Originally published on authorsboutique.com
by Gillian Nicol
Your author website is one of the best ways to showcase your books and promote your growing brand. It is also a key way to connect with your readers and fans. Keeping this type of technology up to date with the latest marketing tactics will make your website a powerful tool. Follow these easy tips to give your site a facelift that both you and your readers will enjoy.
1. Social Media Connection
Have you created and maintained an author Facebook fanpage or Twitter account? Great! Pinterest and Tumblr? Even better! What is most important is that these accounts are each linked on your main website as social media buttons. Your website will serve as the hub for all of these accounts. This will not only enable your readers to connect with you through their favorite social media outlets but will give you a varied presence on the web.
Widgets are a fantastic way to have new content constantly streaming on your sites so your viewers will automatically have something new to look at when they visit your page. You’ll often see banners and ads in the sidebars of websites and you too can use them to promote your books and other topics of interest. A favorite is the Daily Literary Quote application that features new quotations by your favorite authors everyday. You can also easily create your own banners for upcoming book releases or events through www.bannersnack.com.
3. Amazon Affiliate Links
Amazon Associates is a fantastic program that authors should use to start monetizing your website and meet different advertising needs. Create your own product links, banners and widgets all while creating Amazon functionality on your website.
4. Reader Discussion Forums
Forums are a fun and interactive way to get readers to discuss your book and characters in a public venue. This is also a great way to start online book clubs that can meet monthly to chat about various aspects of your writing.
5. Active Blog Presence
It is vitally important that authors keep up with blogging. It provides instant feedback of your writing and really connects you with your readers. You can have a lot of fun with this aspect of your website. Feel free to get creative! Design a schedule for yourself so that you have new content going out at least once a week and invite fellow authors and bloggers to post on your site as well. This is a great way to keep yourself writing but also taking a break from your regular projects.
6. Press and Media Appearances
Keep fans up-to-date with recent happenings by maintaining an active press and media calendar. Use this section of your website to your advantage by advertising book signings and events.
7. Book Trailer
Book trailers are a wonderful promotional tool for any author. They bring to life your book in a way that readers can visually connect with and expands your brand beyond print. Similar to a movie trailer, a book trailer is an outstanding way to market your book through video advertising. You will be able to share this on your author website and widen your reach to larger media outlets, such as YouTube and Vimeo.
8. Book Excerpts
Giving readers a sneak peek into upcoming and new releases will be beneficial to book sales and heighten reader anticipation. Amazon.com allows free book previews for Kindle users, but non-eBookers will appreciate featuring a book excerpt on your website.
9. Learn More
Providing a “Learn More” page on your website teaches your readers more about where your story originated. If your story centers on a historical event or a real place, include the research and resources you used to write your book. If your book is a complete work of fiction, create in-depth character biographies that will give fans a deeper insight into the minds of the characters they have come to love.
10. Book Giveaways & Contests
Giveaways are a great way to engage readers while expanding your fan base to those who may not have picked up your book at first glance. Not sure where to start? There are many tools that authors can utilize to connect with their current and future readers.
Improving your author website doesn’t have to be a chore. Pick and choose the tips that work best for your book brand, get started and enjoy being creative!
Gillian Nicol is a publishing assistant and aspiring writer. She launched her publishing career at Pressque Publishing and currently works with PubSmart. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Connecticut and Florida. She holds a Bachelors degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. The beach is her favorite place to crack open a book and enjoy a good read.
Image courtesy of OeilDeNuit