Why should authors have their own websites? The answer is simple—in order to be visible and approachable. Someone seeking a speaker for a conference or a club meeting; those wanting contributors to their books and articles; those wishing to interview you or review your book for their website, blog, a webinar, etc., need a quick and easy avenue to your contact information. If they can’t find you and your contact information, they will move on to another author. There are thousands of you out there.
Sure, your publishing company or service may feature your book at their website. You are on Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn. But you need your own website or blog site under your name or the title of your book—and this part is vital—with an easy-to-locate and access contact button—so anyone can locate you easily and quickly.
Sure, you’ll get some unwanted emails, but you’ll also receive some invitations and opportunities that will help you sell books.
Now, what can you do to bring the right people to your website? One way is to offer something of value to your readers for free. I create lists of 50 resources, ideas, tips, etc. for authors in order to bring attention to me and my books for authors. Currently, at http://www.patriciafry.com I’m giving away mini ebooks featuring “50 Ways to Establish Your Author Platform.”
You could do something similar. What if your book is a memoir or a novel? Do some research and come up with some interesting or maybe humorous facts about the area you grew up in or the place where your novel is set, resources for those interested in additional books and movies on this topic or place, for example. Write related stories and offer them for free from your site.
Have an extensive resource list at your site for those interested in the topic of your book. Run a video on a topic of interest to your readers—a scene from your book, various people talking your book up or something else interesting or entertaining that will bring visitors to your site and hold their interest.
I could post a video at my websites with one of our cats doing something cute in order to promote my latest novel, Catnapped or my book of cat stories, Catscapades. One author I know has an adorable child pitching his book at his site. A friend has a great professionally orchestrated trailer to entice readers to her true crime book.
Once you have something of value to your readers at your site and an obvious contact button, advertise your site far and wide to bring people to it.
Tomorrow, we will talk about how to promote your amazing, useful, information-packed, entertaining website. In the meantime, if you need help finding a publisher or promoting your book, be sure to order your copies of Publish Your Book and Promote Your Book this weekend. You can get both books in print, Kindle and audio. They are also available at most other online and downtown bookstores. Or do as some authors do, order it here: http://www.matilijapress.com (I’ll tuck in a copy of my book, “How to Write a Successful Book Proposal” OR “Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book” FREE if you order one of these books from me this weekend—September 14 or 15, 2013.)
If you like mysteries with some romance and if you enjoy interesting cats, be sure to read Catnapped, the first in my Klepto Cat Mystery. It’s on Kindle only at http://amzn.to/14OCk0W It’s $2.99. If you can show me that you have bought the book by responding to a question about the story, I’ll send you a copy of my hard cover book, Catscapades, True Cat Tales as a gift. firstname.lastname@example.org