Create an Author Website – Marketing for Authors

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It’s time for another marketing lesson! This is my third video in my Marketing for Authors series, so if you haven’t checked out the first video, The Basics, be sure to do that now.

Today we’re going to be talking about the thing every author needs, and that’s a website. Your website will be your home base. All roads (social media outlets) lead back to your website. Today I’m going to cover three things for you: finding a host for your website, creating a domain name, and what type of content you should be putting on your website.

Find a Website Host:

The first step when creating a website is choosing your website host. There are a lot of options for website hosts, but two I recommend most are WordPress and Wix. Wix is great for beginners but it’s very limited in what you can do. The website you’re on right now is a WordPress site. I love it because it’s still easy to use if you’re a beginner, but there’s a lot more tweaking you can do if you’d like. If you really know what you’re doing, you can also upgrade to WordPress.org (as opposed to WordPress.com) that let’s do use different plugins that make your options almost endless for your website. Both Wix and WordPress have a free version and paid version. The difference between free and paid is your domain.

Claim Your Domain Name:

Your domain is your website address. For this website it is mandilynn.com. If I had a free account through WordPress my domain name would be mandilynn.wordpress.com. That’s not very professional, right? Using a free domain name is fine when you’re first starting out, but when you become more serious about your career you’ll want to claim your own domain name. To do this you’ll have to find a third party to register your domain. I use GoDaddy, but I’ll admit that I’m not sure what the differences are between all the different website registrars are. When you’re choosing your domain name, make sure it’s something that will be easy to find when people search for you, such as your name. Don’t use your books in your domain name, because that means you’ll have to make a different website for each book. Keep it simple and use your name. If your name is common, throw in the word author.

Website Content:

Now that you’ve got your site up and running, what do you put on it? When I was designing my website for the first time I looked to other authors to see what their websites looked like. Here’s a list of what I think are must haves:

  • Blog feed and easy to find subscribe button (if you have a blog)
    • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to subscribe to a blog but been unable to find the subscribe button.
  • About you page
  • Social media
    • Have a list of everywhere you can be found on social media.
  • Book page with all info of each book you’ve written:
    • book cover
    • summary
    • links to buy
    • chapter excerpt
    • book trailer
  • Contact form 
    • Make sure people can get in contact with you easy. Start building bridges!
  • Events
    • Doing a book signing soon? List it on this page! I also like to make a log of all past events I’ve done. PS- I’m doing a book signing at the end of this month!

Here are some pages that are nice to have, but not totally necessary:

  • Press
    • Keep a log of everywhere you’ve appeared in the press (newspaper, TV, radio, blog interviews/guest posts). This is a great thing to have in your back pocket in case anyone ever asked about your media appearances.
  • Photos
    • Have any photos of book signings that you want to show off?
  • FAQ
    • This is a great place for people to get to know you more.

Overall, remember your website is a place for your author career. Be professional at all times. Inspired to start making your author website? Let me know!

Inspired to start making your author website? Let me know!

Marketing for Authors: The Basics

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A little while ago I was on Twitter and asked some of you if you’d be interested in some videos on marketing your novels and you guys screamed loud and clear, YES! So this will hopefully be the first of many videos/blog posts about book marketing.

Recently I’ve become more and more familiar with the in’s and out’s of the marketing world because I’ve acted as a marketing and PR intern at three different organizations, all of which had different ways of marketing. Through these internships, I’ve been able to accumulate a ton of ideas to help me market my novel, and while haven’t been able to implement them all just yet, I’m hoping to take you guys along for the ride as I do this.

I’ll be giving you a step-by-step guide to implementing different marketing ideas that I use for myself. Marketing is essential, traditionally published or self-published. You have to sell copies of your book somehow, and this is how you’re going to do it!

Today we’re giving to start off with the basics three things you’ll need before you start any marketing and that’s a product, a home, and a presence.

Develop a Product 

If you’re a writer, your product is your book, but sometimes your product can be other things as well, but I’ll get into that topic in future videos/blog posts. All the marketing that you do should revolve around your book. Every decision you make will be whether this will benefit your book. And course course you also want to ensure that book is well written. Don’t rush through writing your novel just to get it done and move onto the publishing stage. You can have great marketing but the novel won’t pick up unless it’s good.

Find a Home 

Create a website. This is your home base. Everything you do will be linked back to this. All social media accounts will go back to your website. You only have so many characters for a Twitter bio, so put the full bio on your website. If someone wants to contact you, make sure they can do it from your website. Your website should capture who you are as a writer and it should encourage the reader to buy your book. Make it easy for them to find information on you and your books. If you’re first starting out it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but as you grow as an author, make sure your website reflects that.

Create a Presence 

Social media! The free form of marketing! In order to sell books, you have to make sure people know you exist and the easiest way to do this is to be on social media. Now there will probably be a whole series of videos/blog posts about marketing with social media, but today keep this in mind: be professional, be relevant, be you.

Be the lookout for more marketing videos! If you’re looking forward to them, please let me know! Or better yet, let me know if you have a topic that you want to be covered!