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When you walk down the self-publishing road, it’s important to think ahead to how you plan to sell your book. Online sales are critical. While you should try to get your book into physical bookstores if possible, it can be difficult. Making your book available online is easy!
Just sticking your book on Amazon isn’t enough to make it stand out in the vast expanse that is the Internet. You need that online hub I mentioned yesterday.
This brings us to today’s question:
Do I need an author website?
I personally think that every author who plans to self-publish needs to have a website or blog—preferably a website with a blog. I recommend an author site on a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress. This puts the ability to update the site into your hands.
If you already have a blog, I encourage you to take a few minutes to assess your site and make sure it contains the information people want to know about an author.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or tweaking your existing online home. . .
Make sure your site is a good reflection of who you are.
Clearly communicate “you” to your readers. This needs to be a place where they feel they can get to know you. This is reflected in the site’s design and content. Don’t forget to include a great About page and your photo.
Start blogging regularly.
What “regularly” means is flexible. Make sure it is something you can maintain, but be consistent. Blogging introduces your readers to your writing, builds relationship, and creates interest in whatever you will publish later.
Build your subscriber list.
Many of you may be thinking that you just want to avoid the numbers game. And I get that. Selling books requires that there be people who want to buy the book, and it’s hard to sell books if people don’t know you exist. You want to share your writing with the world, right? Remember that people subscribe to your blog by choice, so give them something worth subscribing to!
Make it easy to connect.
It’s frustrating when you land on a blog or site and want to contact the author, only to find that there is no contact tab or easy way to connect. Don’t make that mistake! Make sure there is a clear way for people to reach you. Remember that not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook—an email option or contact form is important.
Above all, make sure readers feel welcome and that your site is a pleasant place to visit!
Thanks so much to all of you who are following this series! Please feel free to ask questions in the comments, and I will cover them in future posts!
During the month of October, we’re chatting about everything self-publishing—design, branding, marketing, formats—you name it! Pulling questions from Design by Insight clients, Re:Write Conference attendees, and you, we’ll take a look at what can often be a confusing and potentially overwhelming subject.