The rest of the
world has websites. But if you are an author or an aspiring author with big plans for your
project, a nice-looking page with some general information on it isn’t going
to cut it.
The thing about turning your book into income is this: You need to get the business. And for that, your website needs to wear a few different hats. You need more than just an information page — you need a marketing kit.
Marketing is all-important to an author. You can’t sell your book if nobody knows you’re selling it. So make a checklist — you’re going to want all of the following four tools in your marketing tool kit if you want to use your website to promote your book.
This is more than just some general information — it is your book’s mission statement. There’s never a guarantee that a visitor is going to get further than this, so you’ve got to make it count. Make sure that everything potential readers need to see is on this page, and that they don’t have to hunt for it. Remember, this is your first impression, so make a good one!
The checklist: Your book, your name, your expertise, your contact info, ordering info, a qualifications recap and a picture of both you as the author and of your book itself
You can also think of this as your “online press kit.” This is where you put articles, biographies, written interviews and any other supporting materials you’ve created to promote your book. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s an interactive world, and a lot of people appreciate being able to watch things as well as read them. So if you can, start leveraging some audio and video in your favor.
Another thing to keep in mind is that journalists and other media officials need good content to feature you with, should they come wandering through. Make the facts about you and your book clear and easy to find. Finally, few things advertise your credibility better than other people’s praise. Don’t forget the testimonials!
The checklist: Book synopsis, biography, news releases, articles, interviews, fact sheets, video and multimedia files, contact info, testimonials
For a new author, a blog can be a great way to build your credibility and increase book sales — but only if it’s done well. Doing a blog well means putting up new content on a regular basis and making sure that that content is interesting. You might even consider using excerpts from your book to do this. Invite comments and interact with your readers. If one post gets a lot of feedback, write more posts on that subject. Another thing you can do is start a blogroll (a list of other blogs that relate to your topic). Often, if you let the other bloggers know that you’ve linked to them, they’ll return the favor — and that gets you more exposure.
The checklist: Blog entries, blogroll
By the time they read through the solid content of your website, your visitors will trust that you know what you’re talking about. And once they trust you, there’s every chance that they’ll want to learn more. So give the people what they want. Set up an online store that showcases not only your book, but additional supporting resources as well. Then pay attention to what your readers are asking for and take note of what they buy. The more in tune you are with your audience, the higher your sales will be.
The checklist: Your
book; supporting products such as e-books, DVDs and audio CDs; services such as
consulting and public speaking