An author’s website should be as unique as their book. However, it should also have some basic features that readers will want to find on their favorite author’s site. Here are four tips that will help you turn the mundane into the fabulous and make your site a favorite destination among readers.
You may be wondering why I listed the Contact page as the first item. But, you’d be amazed at how many authors don’t publish any way to contact them via their site. Some authors state that they simply don’t want to deal with the spam. Well, get over it. There are plenty of secure contact forms available for free. And, if you’re on WordPress, there’s a bunch of free plugins that are simple to install and work great. The little bit of spam you may receive is nothing compared to the promotional and sales opportunities you may be missing because no one can get in contact with you directly.
You’re probably used to including just a blurb about yourself in your books or online resource boxes. But, this is your site and space is not a limitation. Most bios are so dry. While you don’t want to undercut your expertise in any way, it’s a good idea to consider showing a little personality here. Consider listing your hobbies, or folks you admire, or where you draw your inspiration. If you love cats, say it. You will only endear yourself to other cat lovers. (And, like their pets, dog owners won’t mind.) Be sure to include a picture of yourself. Folks become endeared to another person, not to a bunch of facts about them.
Blogs are tailor-made media outlets for authors because writing is one of your best talents. It’s a fantastic way for you to engage directly with your audience. Write to encourage comments. Invite your readers to dialogue with you.
There are more topics for you to blog about than you may realize. Book and author marketing coaches routinely create posts and articles on topics for you to blog. Find these folks and follow them online. They will keep you inspired.
As a published author and book marketer myself, I was amazed at what folks wanted to know. During interviews and tours they asked what the writing life was like, where I found inspiration, and how I decided to include the information I chose while researching my non-fiction book. If you write fiction, blog as one of your characters now and then. Have fun with it and your readers will too.
Buy the Book
Make sure you include a way for folks to buy your book directly from a link on your site. In retail, this is called Point of Sale. While you have folks on your site and interested, don’t let them leave empty-handed. And, yes, you can have more than one type of sales link on your site. If you sell primarily through an online outlet like Amazon, be sure to sign up for the Amazon Affiliate program and use that link on your site. You’ll get you’re regular cut, plus an affiliate commission.
Autographed copies can be another offering you can feature and you can sell those using PayPal. Signing up with PayPal is free and they only take a small portion of each sale, so there is no monthly fee. You can even set it up to add shipping to the final cost. Be sure to highlight the fact that autographed copies make great gifts too. You can even ship it directly to the gift receiver with a note mentioning the giver, just like a flower shop.