5 Author Website Must-Haves

An Author Website is a critical part of your Self Publishing Toolkit, but for most authors websites can be a real head-ache–just one more thing to do that takes them away from writing–so they slap up a free blog and call it done.

You and your fans deserve better than that.  Your readers will come looking for your website after they’ve finished your book and loved it. Don’t disappoint them! Give them a way to connect with you further, find out more about your books and what inspires you to write them.

Websites don’t have to be hard. (I’ll even help you get started.) Here are the 5  (easy to implement) must-haves for every website:

1. Your Books & a Way to Buy Them

Your website should have a single page dedicated to listing all of your books and where to buy them. In addition, you can and should feature your latest book on the home page with a brief description and buy link.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

*If your books are for sale on Amazon, join Amazon Associates and they will provide you with the code to link your book and you’ll get a small percentage of whatever a buyer buys after they click your link–even if it isn’t your book. Once you’ve signed up for an account, type in your book title and when it pops up, click Get Link and Amazon will give you a variety of options to customize your link. Just copy and paste that code and your book will show up on your site with a buy link.

2. About the Author

About pages are among the most frequently clicked pages on the internet. Your readers want to know more about you and your books and this is the place to tell them. If you want to get even more creative, you could also offer bios for your main characters that include information that isn’t in your books.

Your website is also your chance to provide additional content that enhances your books. As writer, we all create characters and scenes that end up on the cutting room floor. These extra bits of information can be recycled into content that your readers will love. Author Brandon Sanderson frequently posts extra information about his books on his website and that just keeps fans coming back for more. (He’s also a great content Tweeter not to mention an amazing writer.)

*Put a sign-up for your email list at the end of your bio. This is one of the best, logical times to ask a reader for their email address.

3. Multiple Ways to Contact/Follow/Like You

It’s not your reader’s job to find you, it’s your job to be where your readers are. This is why you should be on all the big Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook, provide them with an email address you can be reached at as well as a contact form. You never know what your readers are going to contact you about, so be ready and available just in case someone needs 100 copies of your book for their next book club meeting.

WordPress makes it very easy to set up a contact form on your website with the Jet-Pack plug-in and for the sake of professionalism, your email should be yourname@yourdomain.com. You can easily set up a forwarder so that all email you get via your domain ends up in your most frequently checked email inbox.

4. Email List Sign-Up

It is never, ever too early to start collecting subscriber emails. If you have a website, you should have a form on it. Don’t wait until you are more popular or have more books. These early sign-ups on your list are likely to be your most ardent supporters. These are the people that will forward your new releases to their friends and drive your sales rank up on Amazon when they rush to get your new books.

*I highly recommend using Aweber to manage your emai list. Yes, it costs money (though the first month is only a $1) but in the end you will be happy that you went with a high quality, industry leader for your email list management because your emails to your fans will end up in their inboxes, and not their SPAM boxes. It is extremely easy to use their interface, they have tons of step by step help videos if you get stuck, and very helpful customer service if you get confused. Putting your form on your site is as easy as copying and pasting.

5. You!

More than anything, your website should reflect you and your books. Pick colors you love and write blog posts about things that interest you because those are the same things that are going to interest your readers. When you look at your website, you should feel pride and excitement about all of the things that you have to offer your readers.

Great author websites don’t have to be complicated and you can manage your own site when you build your site on WordPress. WordPress allows you to have a totally static site, a blog or a combination of both (which is what the Self Publishing Toolkit is.) If you need help getting your site set-up, I can help you out with the technical end. Go here for the details.

I hope this article helped give you ideas for your own website. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!

Tutorial: How to Add Social Media Icons to Your Website

Introduction

For this tutorial, I am assuming that you have a self-hosted WordPress website/blog. I will be using the Twenty Eleven Theme which ships with WordPress. It is the default installed theme. If you have installed a different theme, your screen may look slightly different than mine, but under the hood everything should be in the same place. This tutorial will help you set up icons on your site that look like this:
How to Add Social Media Icons to Your Website - The Self Publishing Toolkit

Set up all of Your Social Media Accounts

Before you can add the icons to your site, you must have your accounts set up and have the links to your profiles. Once you have this information, you’ll be good to go. –>Make a list of the sites you want icons for, gather your account info (use Evernote to store all your links) and set up any accounts that you don’t have.

Select a set of Social Media Icons

If you haven’t already, select a set of icons from one of these sites:
I’m going to use elegantthemes for this tutorial.
How to Add Social Media Icons to Your Website - The Self Publishing Toolkit

Getting Twitter Followers

Get More Twitter FollowersAre you getting the most out of your Twitter experience?  Followers are key to getting the word out about you and your books. When I first started tweeting, I thought that the followers would come to me. I am sure you can guess how well that worked out! I was amazed to discover that finding followers was easy, once I went looking for them.live streaming movie The Bye Bye Man 2017 online

Follow Readers

Twitter can be a valuable marketing tool–but only if you have people who are seeing what you have to offer. As I mentioned above, follow other people first, don’t wait for them to find you! You have to go out and find your audience and Twitter offers you a super easy way to do that. Do you write paranormal romance? Use the #paranormal hashtag to find Twitter users to follow. No matter what your genre, there are hashtags for it, so spend a few minutes  and find your audience. (Keep a list of those hashtags as well so you can use them in future tweets.) You can combine hashtags to narrow your search.

Make sure you seek out readers, not other authors. Following authors is great, but they aren’t your target audience. So focus on finding readers first, then once you’ve built up your follower base, work on connecting with other authors in your genre.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Fill Out Your Profile

A lot of authors waste the space in their Twitter profile, filling it out with information that is irrelevant to their books. Don’t make this mistake! When you follow someone (and they have notifications turned on), they get an email announcing the fact and Twitter includes your profile information. Make sure you’ve listed the books that you’ve written, their genre and where to find them. Include a link to your website as well so potential followers can check you out.

Make Following You Easy

Stay away from validation services like True Twit. True Twit claims to keep spammers from following you, but what they are really doing is keeping legitimate people from following you. Do you care if a spammer is following you? You don’t see their tweets and they can’t direct message you unless you follow them back. So don’t annoy your potential followers (and readers!) by making them fill out a CAPTCHA to follow you. Twitter makes communication fun and easy, so don’t complicate it unnecessarily.

Get HootSuite

I’ve said this many times before, mostly because I am so impressed with how easy HootSuite makes Twitter. You can use it for free, so there is no reason not to get an account.  HootSuite lets you see all of your Tweets, your Direct Messages, Mentions and any other searches you want to add. (Keep track of your genre hashtags and participate in Twitter chats.) You’ll spend less time managing your Twitter experience and more time writing, which is what this is all about! HootSuite will also manage your Facebook profile as well as any other social media sites you are on.

Twitter is all about connecting with people who have similar interests and sharing information. It’s not about direct sales, so don’t think that you can Tweet a constant stream of ‘buy my books’ to your new followers. Focus on sharing content and driving potential readers to your website to pique their interest further.

Do you have a tip for getting more followers? Add it to the comments and thanks for sharing!

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