Writer’s Weekly Retreat: The Author Website

With the Internet becoming increasingly faster, more affordable and more available, authors are finding it to be a versatile, dynamic marketing resource for their titles and a platform for creating long-standing relationships with readers. Let’s take a look at the top three uses of the author web site:

The Web Site As A Book Promotion Tool

Is there a more prefect place to strut your stuff than on your own web site? Your web site will provide you with a dedicated space and a very targeted audience to promote your books.

Your promotion technique may depend on the type of book you are promoting. If you are featuring a non-fiction book then you probably want to concentration more on reference material while a fiction author will want to focus on content that offers entertainment value.

A non-fiction author looking to promote a book on knitting will want to develop a site and content that focuses on the craft. The author might provide a table of contents so that readers will know what they can expect to learn about knitting from this book. She might also provide a list of knitting FAQ’s that serves to reinforce her authority on the subject.

Meanwhile, a fiction author looking to promote her newest romance will want to develop a site that not only offers information on her book but also includes entertaining content that speaks to lovers of romance. She may include excerpts of her story along with glowing reviews from well-known romance writers or avid readers.

The Web Site As An Identity Tool

Companies spend a great deal of time and money developing an identity. An eye-catching logo provides a visual representation for their company, product or service. A memorable catch phrase tells people what they are all about or what they can expect. This “branding” helps define them as company. It says, “hey pay attention to us, we’re better than the competition.” Likewise, authors can take advantage of these “branding” techniques. From the genre they pursue to the covers on their books, authors can define themselves as a master of their field.

The website is quickly becoming another weapon (and in some cases the biggest weapon) in the author’s arsenal when it comes to creating an identity and setting themselves apart from the competition. Everything on the web site from the design, to the content, to the color scheme should reinforce your identity as a writer and your commitment to quality work.

The Web Site As A Fan Club

New readers. every author wants them. Attracting new people to your web site is a key factor in turning those just dropping by into avid readers. Your web site must be a place not only for your legions of already adorning fans to hang out but also a place where those with mild curiosity can find out more. You’ll want to provide content that is current, entertaining and interesting. Content that gives them insight into you, into your work, into your world.

Endless Possibilities

These are just a few of the ways your web site can help you promote yourself and your work. There is no limit to the amount of information you can provide and the type of promotion you can accomplish through your web site. The possibilities for your web site are as endless and varied as the readers who flock to the bookstore shelves.

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~ by danielledevon on February 23, 2009.

2 Responses to “Writer’s Weekly Retreat: The Author Website”

  1. I definitely believe that content should be current on websites. I personally am turned off when content is old and rarely updated. To keep people interested, it’s a must and it shows devotion to the fans. While a lot of information contained within a website is good, it should also be easy to navigate. I have been to some websites that you can virtually get lost in because there is so much and the information is not cataloged or easily accessible.

    Deidre

  2. I’m with you on that Deidre, I’ve been to a lot of author websites where I’ve gotten lost. Back when I worked as a web designer I used to sit down with my clients and map out a flow chart for their site. I think it’s a good idea for any author looking to either redesign a website or just enhance the functionality of an existing site. To do this, we’d sit down and make a list of all the information we want to display on the site, then group them in categories. Then we create main page sections based on those categories. That way all the related information stays together and it helps people be able to navigate through the site without getting lost.

    The thing people have to remember is that websites are not like a book. People don’t start at page 1 and read straight through to the back cover. Sometimes people follow links and totally miss the homepage all together so you have to make sure that no matter what page they drop into, they can easily follow navigation links or tabs to get to the rest of the information on your website.

    Well, I could devote an entire week to just navigation because it’s THE most important element on a website, but I won’t go into all that here. lol

    Thanks for the comment Deirdre and sharing your thoughts!

    Hugs,
    Danielle

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