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Armstrong Libraries Group

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Smith Publicity
Smith Publicity

How to Get Author's Websites Right

Author's websites don't need to be elaborate or complicated to be effective. When you research how to market your book, you'll find they need certain essential elements rather than too many "bells and whistles." Providing a good user experience means including information about yourself and your book(s) in a visually pleasant, easy-to-navigate site. You can find many examples by checking out competing authors' sites and seeing what works for them. You'll quickly realize that the best sites keep things simple while providing helpful information. People appreciate the convenience and consideration.

If you're weighing whether you could get by without a site, abandon that thought quickly. Gone are the days when author's websites were options. Today, it's conceivable (and even likely) that someone could pull out their smartphone in the aisle of a bookstore and check your site before buying your book. Retail buyers might check it if they aren't aware of you, and a site works with and supports nearly every marketing function. Many people interested in purchasing your book may head to your site to buy directly or follow a link you post to an online seller. All of these opportunities hinge on having a website.

Organic search results from prominent search engines are also intriguing opportunities to consider. If you take time with your site content and work with other sites to gain backlinks, you'll generate visitor traffic. It's beneficial for nonfiction books if people search for information about your topic and your website comes up in the results. Your site needs well-written content that's easy to read and includes well-distributed keywords to attract organic searches. It takes practice to write excellent web content, and it may be something you do with professional marketing support, at least for the first time.

Authors need a platform from which to market their books, and three elements commonly are a website, social media, and an email list. You can use your site to collect names for your email list, link your social media accounts to it, and so on. The idea is to connect the elements so visitors to one are reminded about the others. You'll see your fan base grow as you increase engagement with target readers. It helps sell books and can also be helpful for business promotion. Besides selling books, many people today become authors for the PR value. It's an excellent way to promote yourself and a business.


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