Welcome to part two of Your Book Launch. If you missed part one, you will find it here. Today we’re going to delve into a very important part of your book’s campaign:
You have a website, right? I am very hopeful that no one is going to contact me to ask if it really is necessary to have a website, because that is non-negotiable at this point. You absolutely must have an author website. Period.
Wherever someone hears about you or your book, whether its an interview you do, a friend makes a recommendation, they hear about your book on social media… If you have caught their attention, and they’re interested in knowing more, they are going to come looking for you and that means having a website.
It’s possible some may just go to Amazon or another online bookstore to order your wonderful book, and hooray if they do, but often people like to do a little more research first. A website is your opportunity to say who you are and what you’re about without anyone else adding their opinions and perspectives.
Just having a website is only a first step.Make sure your website is up to date and mobile-friendly. I just recently went to a new client’s website only to find that their last blog post was from April of 2016! What would you think? It looked to me like the person had abandoned her own website.
The latest statistic I could find regarding traffic to websites says that 52.2% of all traffic is now coming from mobile devices. (That statistic is from late 2018, so you know the percentage is higher now). You must make sure your website is viewable and easy to navigate this way because over half of those checking you out are on their phones. Make it easy for them.
Social media is not a substitute for a website because you don’t own your profiles or any of the information posted. You can get kicked off with no notice and then you’ve lost everyone. Not to mention the anxiety that experience would create as you try to notify whoever you need to contact to get it straightened out.
We’ve seen this happen before where large groups of consumers have had their accounts terminated for no apparent reason, and it likely will happen again. If it does, you will still have a way for your fans and others to reach you via your website and blog. You own them: as long as you pay for the hosting space, no one can take it down. (Except maybe a hacker, but that’s another blog post and speaks to the importance of protecting yourself.) You control your website. You control your story. (But even though your website is your home, be sure you have your social media widgets on your website to make it easy for your fans to share.).
Here are some things to be sure to have on your website:
Link to booksellers: Make sure you add links to multiple booksellers on your website. There is more to life than Amazon, after all, even though I’m sure they don’t think so. Consider Barnes and Noble, Powell’s Books, and IndieBound to name a few.
Your events: If you are touring, add an events page so that people can plan to see you live when you’re in their area. Online events count too, so be sure to include webinars, teleseminars, and other online opportunities.
Opt-in offering: Having a way to capture email addresses is critical so you can stay in touch with your fans through online marketing. Consider giving away a compelling gift of some kind that relates to your book. Be sure and give this some thought. I recommend staying away from giving away the first chapter of your book (very 2010) or “Sign up for my newsletter.” The latter can be okay, but your chances of capturing people is higher if you give them something they really want, rather than assume you’re going to spam them regularly. (Look for a future blog post on this very topic.)
Other website elements: Other things to include on your website include a media room, testimonials and endorsements, photos, your blog, and more. The sky really is the limit, but these elements are fundamental. I’ve got more on this topic here. And, here’s more on what to put in your media room.
You have to have a website. Make sure it’s current, functional, and really represents you, your book, and your work.
To your success!
P.S. Speaking of testimonials, here is the newly rebooted Success Stories page on my own website. I’m loving the new look, and it goes without saying (but I will), I love authors!