Should I build a book website? Becoming a published author simply means writing a book of your own, having your work published and it’ll be read, right? It’s not always that easy. If you are only looking to have bragging rights over Thanksgiving dinner then, sure, that’s all you have to do.
Writing and publishing your very own novel actually requires a lot of effort, not to mention the extra work required to have it read by more than just your mother. When it comes down to it, writing is the easy part. Taking the marketing aspect into your own hands, though, is a completely different story.
Create Your Soap Box
Authors who wish to build some notoriety, must first create a platform if they wish to achieve anything within the realm of modern publishing. Self-publishing has basically torn down the walls of becoming a published author, opening doors for aspiring writers to get their work out to readers.
The sheer amount of self-published books has risen beyond the tune of one million volumes in the past two years, essentially meaning over a million books are within the reach of billions of reader’s fingertips – why shouldn’t yours be competing for their attention?
However, because publishing a novel has become readily available to nearly everyone, you have to work quickly to build a following of your own loyal readers. It is critical that you begin gaining followers before you even write up your first sentence, to ensure your book has a better marketing foundation. You may lose valuable time after you are ready to introduce your work to the world, if you then have to worry about finding someone who is interested.
Centre Of Your Digital Universe
Considering that e-books are an online commodity, it makes sense that social media will be your best tool in the shed for marketing yourself and your book. The sheer amount of platforms available can seem daunting, which is why a website of your very own needs to be the centre of your marketing plan.
Any and all social media activities should direct followers and readers to your website, so they can join your email list. This practice is known as marketing funnelling. Funnelling allows your following to stay on top of your work and updates, regularly. This also enables people to read your blog posts, as well as access exclusive content.
Legitimise; Build A Website
Anyone looking to become a legitimate author, or at least fake it ’til they make it, will put the work into having their own website. While it is a great tool for gaining readers, it also makes an author appear more genuine to agents or editors. When you send your work to different people, such as agents who may spend a lot of their time representing your work, they need to verify that your book will be worth it. If they are intrigued, they will google you. This is why creating an established online presence is so important, for all serious inquiries to have a fine tuned landing page to click on.
Planning to build a book website
Creating a beautiful and functional website is now an easy task thanks to programs like Squarespace, enabling you to build this powerful tool. There are, however, a few aspects that are crucially important to every website. You need:
Build A Book Website: Design
A logo, to set yourself apart.
A brand design, to create uniformity.
Build A Book Website: Pages
The first thing any visitor will see after googling you or your book. You should take special care to ensure this makes an impact, providing a snapshot of your book, followed by who you are as a person. Promoting your book should always take priority but, you also need to promote yourself as well. You can provide ‘call to action’ popups to prompt your audience into visiting other sections of your site, without being overbearing.
Everything you have ever written, or contributed to, should be centralised to a page about your books. You can easily include blurbs and screenshots from each book, including links to where visitors can purchase them. If you are fairly new to the publishing game, or don’t have a lot of work to share just yet. You can include this feature on your homepage.
A page to share info about yourself, even if it’s to brag a little. What’s your favourite colour? Which author is your own personal favourite? People will be clicking this link to learn everything about you, so don’t be shy.
Email sign-up: Including a free newsletter subscription is highly recommended, and completely optional. MailChimp is just one of many services that allow you to create a free newsletter, and maintain email lists until you reach a high number of subscribers. This allows you to share daily thoughts, release dates, events and blog posts in one centralized location.
Shop: When a website is your own, all shop profits belong to you. An e-commerce page doesn’t have to be fancy or difficult to setup. Just be sure to include off-site payment options to protect sensitive data, and you’re good to go.
Events: This can be a page, or even just a section on your homepage. This all depends upon how full your calendar is, and allows you to promote launch dates, book parties, meet and greets and more.
Social media links: All of your profiles should link together, and all lead back to your homepage. It’s common practice to include Facebook and Instagram links to the footer of your website, as well as a share widget in a side column.
News feed: Creating and growing a personal blog is highly recommended to all authors. It is a great tool for growing your platform, especially if you can invest the time into treating your blog like a business. However, if blogging isn’t your thing, and updating a news feed is just another chore on a long to-do list, skip it.
Contact us: Providing followers with a way to get in touch with you, provides new opportunities to flow in as you become more popular and well known.
Good news! We offer in-house web design as an add-on with your printed books, as well as a standalone offer. We can use our expertise in online marketing and E-Commerce to ensure your book has the launch it deserves, Please visit our online shop for more details.
Go it alone then here’s your best starting points: