A website is a central hub of information and a place for you to guide your readers (and those who may not be readers yet) where to go to connect with you and most importantly, how to buy your books.
If you do not have a website set up for your brand, then you are definitely missing out on a perfect marketing opportunity. Stop reading now and get a website set up.
If you already have a website, then good. Now, you just need to make sure you have all of the components on the site that will help you to sell more books and connect with as many readers as you can. Most authors will have these things, but read the details for some additional tips to ensure you’re maximizing the marketing prowess of your website.
Keep reading to learn about the 5 things that you NEED to have on your author website…
1) Your Books
Obviously, if you are an author, you need to showcase your books, but many authors put their books on their site haphazardly and do not generate sales because of the poor layout.
You should have a page dedicated to showing all of your books. The books can be sorted by publish date, by the collection if you have multiple sets of stories, or any way that makes sense to you. This page should feature the covers and the links to individual book pages.
The individual book pages should all feature the cover, a brief description of the book, and of course the links to buy the book. Feature the Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and maybe 1 or 2 other buy links, and then include all of the other links in a smaller font or smaller images. You want the links that a majority of your readers will use to buy the books to be the links that stand out the most. You don’t want to overwhelm someone, who is about to make a purchase, with a lot of options. Also, be sure the links to buy are at the top of the page. You can also feature quotes from top reviews of your books as social proof to help your potential readers pull the trigger on buying the book.
2) Mailing List Sign-up Form
While having your books (and links to buy the books) is important, having a mailing list sign up form on your author website is just as important.
Many authors skip this step and then wonder why they are having to work so hard to find more readers. The problem is that they are not connecting with and collecting the readers they do have! A mailing list helps you to connect with your readers on a constant basis, and more importantly, let them know about new books that are coming out so that you can have an initial wave of purchases by readers who wanted to know when your next book came out! THAT is the power of a mailing list.
Make sure that your sign up forms are easy to see, in prominent locations, and appealing. To learn more about setting up a mailing list and the benefits of having a list, read our post:
Why Authors Need To Set Up A Mailing List, NOW!
3) About Me/Author Bio
People want to feel a connection, so one way that you can allow your readers to get to know you more is by creating an “About Me” page, or an “Author Bio” page (they’re the same thing, really). The key to this page is to let your readers know about you. Feel free to use the same bio you use on places like Amazon and such. Don’t forget to include a headshot on this page as well. Knowing what you look like is a great way for your readers to create another connection point with you.
One secret I learned a long time ago from marketing psychology guru, Derek Halpern, is to include a mailing list sign up form after your bio/about me description. If people are that interested in getting to know you, then it’s an extremely easy step to get them onto your mailing list. So don’t forget to add an additional mailing list form at the bottom of your “About Me” page as well!
4) Social Network Links
You want your readers to connect with you in every way that they can. The more you are in front of them, the more likely they are to buy your next book. Be sure to provide links to all of the social networks you are on. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, etc… Each person likes to use a different social network so make sure you are on the various social networks so that readers can connect with you how they want! Plus, these social networks are a great way to drive people to your website, the website which has all of the important items on there.
5) Engaging Content
One of the best ways to get people to want to buy your books is to offer them a sample section of your books. An alternative to providing samples is to create short stories that are exclusive to your blog. This could be a quick prequel of one of your books, or any type of engaging content so that readers can see, for free, your writing style and your skills. If you can draw them in with this engaging content then they will most likely be willing to purchase a book from you. You can set up a blog to provide this extra bonus content. Be sure to include links to buy your books, especially books related to the bonus content, at the bottom of the blog post or short story.
Wrapping It Up
Your author website is an essential marketing tool, and you need to make sure you have these important marketing elements on your author website.
Hopefully you already have your website set up this way. If you do, congrats! Your next step is to start getting people to your site. If you don’t, that’s fine. Take some time in the next few days to get it all set up to maximize your marketing efforts!
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