They spend as little time and money as possible tossing something up there. Then they wonder why their books are not found for review or for purchase. I’m in the process of re-vamping my own website. I’ve explored those of other writers to get a notion of what I might do. Of course, I can’t spend tons of money, but there are some things that will make my site more attractive and appealing.
It’s the place where readers, publishers, agents learn about you. Either they will be impressed or they will turn away from the site, thinking you’re not serious about your work. The website reflects your professionalism. If you are writing for a “hobby,” as a pastime that you never expect to go anywhere, then, sure, don’t worry about your website. But, if you take your writing seriously, if you study the craft of writing and are always looking for improvements, if you want more readers to find you, and if you are proud of your work, then, pay attention to that place where the reader’s first impressions are made–your website.
Here are some tips:
- Keep your website up to date. If you had a new release when the site was developed, but that book has been out now for over a year, don’t show it as a new release or available for pre-order. You should constantly monitor your site and create new and interesting content for it.
- Don’t get too wordy. Write like your poet friends where every word counts. Keep your language short and snappy. Today’s viewers will not spend time reading long descriptions on your site.
- Use catchy, modern, colorful pictures. Your book covers are a great choice. Also, pictures of you talking to groups of readers are especially nice.
- Include tabs that tell about you as a person, not just your books. But, be careful not to spend too much time talking about your dog or your hiking experiences. People tire of too much, but they want to learn a little. Create a balance.
- If you have a book trailer, include it on your site. I love Amor Towles site. Take a quick look. He has written several books, some very well-received, but his author site really focuses on his newest release (very up-to-date) and the book trailer (which btw is excellent) is the focal point of the home page.
- You also need tabs for your other books, for your blog, for your awards, for your events.
- Make sure you have lots of opportunities for visitors to your site to be social with you. Easy clicks onto Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest enable this and spread the word.
- If you have author interviews on YouTube, be sure to include one of those on your site. Publishers are particularly interested to see how you present yourself.
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly— that means the words and images must translate to a mobile device and be easy to navigate there.
Take a look at one of my book trailers. What do you think? Like it? How might you change it?
MJ LaBeff says
Personally, I never read reviews when it comes to books. I don’t want to be influenced by another readers opinion- good or bad. You know what sells me on a book? The back jacket cover book blurb. Pull me in with a paragraph or two and I’m yours.
Covers don’t matter much to me either. Wanna know why? Authors don’t always have choice, especially those traditionally published. I’ve heard plenty of authors whisper, “I hate my book cover.”
So before you pass up on a good read because of a review or lack of reviews let me encourage you to read the back jacket, first page, or download a free sample to your reader.
Wishing you happy reading!
Joan Curtis says
So glad you stopped by. I hope some others will respond to your post. Being a compulsive skimmer of reviews before I hit the purchase button, I’m on the opposite end! As for me, I prefer reading the 3 and 4 star reviews. I skim the other extremes but I find the most thoughtful reviews in the middle ground. Of course, I myself happily give 5 stars when I feel they are deserved. 🙂