Now more than ever, people are choosing to stay at home to find their next great read. Sites like BN.com and Amazon are a great means to promote your eBook, and we don’t discourage you from using them. Quite the opposite: Publish Green sends eBooks to these sites to get authors the maximum exposure! However, simply listing your eBook on these sites is not as personal, as they just list the basics about your book. But creating an author website...well, that’s a different story.
While creating an author website is a critical marketing strategy for any author, eBook authors have a particular incentive to create and maintain a great author site since they are selling a digital product. Think about it for a second - we already know that eBook readers are reasonably comfortable on the internet since that's where they find their books, purchased them, and downloaded them onto a device. Establishing an online presence increases the likelihood of one of these readers finding your work.
What should an author website include? Like much of indie publishing process, that choice is yours. Some authors prefer a clean, minimal site with some basic information about themselves and their work (synopsis/description, author bio, contact info, purchase links), while others really maximize the marketing potential an author site creates. Here a just few of the benefits creating an author website can provide:
Building your brand: Branding isn't just for Nike or Pepsi these days, authors have realized that establishing a brand for themselves can help in the same it helps a company. Creating an author website to elaborate on who you are as a writer can help create the name-recognition necessary to sell your books. Maintaining a blog about the subjects or genres you write about, themes that are represented in your work, and your passion as a story-teller really cement in a reader's mind why they should be interested in your book.
Creating a fanbase: The most successful indie authors have hit the bestseller lists with the help of a devoted fanbase. While it's possible to gain this kind of momentum organically, engaging with your readers through a comments section or contact form on your website is a tremendous way to get a reader invested in your work. People love feeling like they have a personal connection to their favorite author and this is generally established through the author's site.
Sell directly: When creating an author website, it is crucial that the site includes information on where to buy the book. But, if you add a fulfillment service to an author website you can also sell directly to your readers. While Amazon has been and will continue to be hugely important for indie authors, it is always a good idea to diversify your revenue stream. Plus, selling on your own allows you to keep more of your profit since you are not giving a portion to third party retailers!
A website is a tool that allows you to tell your prospective readers more about your book and yourself. It doesn’t have to be a complicated thing, and it is definitely not something you should be afraid of. If you don’t want to run off the dock and jump in cannonball style, that’s perfectly fine. Your author website can be simple. All it needs is a few pages that tells readers what your book is about, who you are, where you can buy the book, and how to contact you.
If you plan on creating an author website that is more elaborate, that’s great too! You can use it to reveal passages from your book, write your own blog, or inform readers of events you will be holding. It is important to remember to keep your website informative but not overwhelming, your text brief, and your site clean.
So whether you do it yourself or hire someone else (like us!) to do it for you, creating an author website is a must. To learn more about Publish Green’s website service and see examples of sites we’ve created, visit our Author Website Page.