It's important to understand that your readers not only will be interested in your book, but they will also want to know about you, the author. To feed this interest, you will need a platform on which to build your brand. The best place to start is by creating a website devoted to you and your book.
This one marketing step is a must for all authors. Imagine it as your shop front and it is open 24/7 to the world!
Creating a website doesn't mean you have to spend thousands of dollars. In fact, depending on your requirements and knowledge, you can set up a basic site for free. (At this point, you need to decide how much work you can manage yourself, how much you are willing to outsource, and how serious you are about sales.)
The cheapest option: You can create your own website using free program Wordpress or Joomla. (Both program are used by pro-site builders to excellent effect.) If you choose to go it alone, be prepared to undergo a fairly steep learning curve and to put in a substantial amount of time!
If your aim is to attract a prominent number of prospective readers, your website will need to be impressive enough to make them want to buy your book. Buyers can be turned off by a mediocre website: unfortunately, it may give them the impression that your book will be of a similar quality.
Unless you have time to learn substantial web-building skills, I would recommend engaging the services of a professional web designer. The price for an effective, reader-friendly site can range from $500 to $2500, depending on your needs. The $500 range would usually include five pages: Home, About the Author, Book (synopsis/book cover image, etc.), Bookstore (purchase options) and Contact. In the future, you can always add extra pages for new books, your blog or press releases, and general news about you or your books.
You will need to open a PayPal account, if you haven't already. It's free and is by far the best, cheapest, and easiest way to make transactions over the net. (Visit PayPal here). Once your account is set up, you are ready to sell books from your website!
If your book is included in the POD/ebook distribution (see Publicious) you can also include links to the stores, such as Amazon, and direct traffic to them via a buy-now button on your site. This is a great option if you don't want to be posting out books. and it can work hand-in-hand with your distribution model.
You may have heard the term "SEO" (Search Engine Optimisation) used in relation to websites. SEO is an important and particular way of presenting website content so that primary search engines, namely Google and Bing, recognise and rank your site. Doing SEO effectively means ensuring that your website is displayed in the first page (preferably) when your name, your book's title, or relevant search terms are entered by an internet user. A lot of time and money can be spent chasing Google's ever-changing SEO algorithm requirements, but a good web designer can give you a solid SEO start. From there, you will need to make sure your pages are regularly updated, with new content to refresh search engine recognition. A blog is a great way of doing this, as are press releases, book reviews, or even video trailers.
Join me next time for Book Marketing #3 where we'll discuss the importance of a blogging, writing articles, and book reviews!
See you next time.
Write on Andy
|Tags: Andy McDermott / Director|