And just as potential customers of restaurants and clothing brands expect them to have websites, so do potential readers of your books.
It’s extremely important to have a website -- or even several websites -- to provide information about you and your books. 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.
Authors' websites (and blogs) follow several formulas, and you can have one or more.
- You can have a website to promote one book.
- You can have a website to promote a series of books.
- You can have a website to promote a cause you support, and also promotes a book.
- You can have a website to promote your publishing company.
- You can have a website to promote you as an author.
- You can have a website to promote you as a person.
- You can have a website to promote the subject of a book.
- You can have a website that promotes an organization or location related to your book, and also promotes the book.
- You can have a website that deals with a subject unrelated to your book, but also promotes the book.
- Many potential customers don't know that your book exists, and don't care. While some customers will find your site(s) by searching for the book title or your personal name, it's likely that many more will search for a subject -- such as movie monsters or Italian food -- that your book deals with.
- If your book is not nonfiction, but is a novel or poetry, it will be much more difficult to attract customers with web searches. Some genres such as dystopian fiction or romantic poetry include so many thousands of books that it will be very difficult for your work to stand out.
- If you have a website for one of your books, it should also help to sell your other books!
[below] Website for my book, Do As I Say, No As I Did
[below] Website that provides help for victims of internet harassment, and promotes my book, Internet Hell
[Below] Website for my publishing company, Silver Sands Books
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.
Try not to 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'll be more coming tomorrow, and there's more in The One-Buck Author's Website Book