It’s extremely important to have a website, or several websites, to provide information about you and your books. It’s neither difficult nor expensive to build and maintain a website, and most self-publishing companies can provide basic websites for their authors.
If you don’t have a website, you are missing a major opportunity to impress and interact with potential readers. Readers expect authors to have websites. Don’t disappoint them. You can have a website to promote one book, a series of books, a cause you support, your publishing company, you as an author, you as a person, etc. The more, the merrier. The more sites you have, the more likely it is that people will find you, and the more opportunities you will have to sell books. Your site or sites should have information that will be useful and interesting to potential readers, as well as to members of the media.
Fortune magazine once said that a website would take six months to develop and cost $500,000. A well-known book marketing expert wrote that a writer’s website could cost as much as $6,000 to set up. Both costs are very wrong and could needlessly scare off writers who would benefit from having websites.
Never get a URL with a hyphen in it (unless it’s a product name or term that is already hyphenated). If the name or term is hyphenated, your website should work both with and without the hyphen. The Coke website can be reached by typing either Coca-Cola.com or Cocacola.com. Or Coke.com
Make sure your website is complete, accurate and has no dead links, inaccurate links or template artifacts (below).
There are books and businesses that specialize in SEO (search engine optimization), the process of getting a website into a top position in Google, Bing, Excite, Yahoo and lesser search engines.
Keyword-based online ads, such as Google’s AdWords, are great for driving potential book buyers to your website or to sites that sell your book. Unlike a mass of shotgun pellets, they are like aiming one bullet at a single, nearby target.
There are lots of schemes for getting other sites to link to yours, but some businesses do very well simply by having a good site with useful information presented in a pleasant way.
Track your traffic (hits). If few people visit your site, maybe you don’t have enough of the proper keywords or maybe you chose the wrong subject to write about.