When it comes to marketing your self-published book, there are times you can rely on others, but mostly you have to assume the role of a one-man or one-woman dynamo. And the prospect of creating your writer’s website can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating. What the heck do you put on it, anyway? Here are some essential ingredients for any writer doing some necessary self-promotion with his or her own website.
Home Page – Very short, perhaps only 150 words. This is the “in a nutshell” explanation of who you are, what book or books you are currently proud of and promoting, and any aspect of your biography that is compelling or that relates to your books. Remember, you’re never “trying” to be a writer, or “just giving this a shot.” Give yourself more credit than that: you ARE a writer! And always include a link to Amazon or wherever you have the book available for purchase. The best link is not just a boring text link, but a fairly big and high-res image of the book’s cover.
Book(s) Link – Each of your books should have a dedicated page. You should list the genre, a logline (an attention-grabbing two sentences laying out the premise of the book), and then an overview of the book in a couple of paragraphs. Include a link to purchase the book as you did on the Home Page. And feel free to list any accolades or awards the book has received.
About the Author – Write a brief, third-person biography of yourself. It should not be overly laudatory, but neither should you eschew including any accolades or personal triumphs as they relate to writing. If you have a “past life” prior to writing, don’t be bashful about talking about it: your experiences are part of your makeup as a writer.
Media – The media page is tricky. You’ll want to wait until you have a few noteworthy news items to present, whether that’s an interview on a local radio station, a book signing at a local book shop, or a review of your book on a well-known blog or website. And don’t call this a News page – if you have months where you have nothing to report, you’ll look like yesterday’s news!
Blog – In this day and age, the blog is a powerful tool that can help you build an audience. But don’t think of a blog as the albatross around your neck that you have to toil to update. Keep things short, update at least every couple of weeks, and write professionally – sorry, no winky emoticons. And if you’re really on the ball, you’ll cross-post blog entries to your Facebook page and your Twitter feed. No one said marketing your book was going to be easy!
These are obviously just the essentials. To the active authors out there: What pages do you consider essential for your site? Any inessential but interesting additions? Please share your ideas (and your website if possible!) in the comments!