Vital Elements Your Author Website Must Have to Succeed

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Vital Elements Your Author Website Must Have to Succeed

A key component to building ‘You’ as a successful author is to have your own author website. Some author’s devote a page on their existing website to their eBooks but I would highly recommend that build and develop your own author website with your own domain name

When you try to paste unrelated content all over the same page you are displaying your eBooks then you are distracting the viewer. You need to stay focused and promote yourself and your eBooks specifically without distracting the viewer with pop-ups, selling other unrelated products or adding too much information to each page.

With your own author website you are creating a ‘presence’ for your eBook and building that all important relationship with your reader base.

There are three essential elements and requirements that you will want to make sure you have on your web site:

1.    Media Kit / Press Room
As an author you want as much publicity as possible and when you get the chance to promote your eBook via a respected journalist or media outlet you will want to make it as easy as possible for them to get the information they want about you. This is where a well written and structured press kit will assist you.

A key marketing strategy for your eBook is to directly contact journalists with the goal of them picking up your unique story. We discuss this in more detail in our marketing section. Whether the journalist finds you through a press release or some other form or whether you contact them directly you will want to have a fact sheet available to them with all the required information for them to build a story. Be sure to allow ‘copying’ of the text and information as they will appreciate not having to re-write all the information.

On this fact sheet include:

  • Title of your book
  • Author name – even though it is you
  • Provide a photo of the book cover
  • Provide a professional photo of yourself as the author
  • Publisher – if self-published make note of who is printing your book
  • Category or genre of your book
  • ISBN – required if sold in a book store
  • Number of pages in your book
  • Marketing plans and strategies for your book
  • List the retail price for your book
  • Testimonials you have gathered for your book
  • Your contact details including mobile number and email (make sure you have a professional email and not an old one with a silly nickname from high school)
  • Author platform / profile – how and why you are an expert on this topic
  • A statement about what unique twist your story has or how it will solve your reader’s problem

2.    Capture Your Viewers Contact Details
This is one of the first steps in being able to build a relationship with your readers. In order to capture their contact details such as name and email address, you will have to give them something in return and also clearly state your privacy policy with regards to how you will use their information.

Many viewers will not hand over their details unless you clearly state in writing that you will not giveaway or sell their details in any form.

You can entice the viewer to give you their details with a free ebook, free eCourse, access to your membership site, informational newsletter or any other high valued item.

Building your database of potential and existing customers is vital to your online success. It is like having immediate access to your buying customers who you can stay in touch with and provide updates on any new eBooks, books or products that you are about to release.

I have found that you can further establish a bond with your readers by adding an interactive forum or section where they can leave comments, pose questions to you or discuss your eBook with fellow fans. Forums can be hard work as you need to monitor for members who are just there to span or post irresponsibly. Be sure to maintain a professional communication network and don’t hesitate to ban those users who abuse your ‘terms of use.’

As an author, this personal contact with your reader is essential and such an important part of building that relationship to where they feel a personal attachment to either you or the characters in your eBook. Many authors have started to really open up their work to their legion of fans who can have a direct influence on their next piece of work. It may be where you have a poll asking readers which type of ending they would prefer in the next eBook or deciding who to kill off in the next series and so on. You are involving the readers and making them a part of the story.

For non-fiction authors, it is all about solving the readers problem, providing them with an answer to satisfy their need or want and being able to show them that you have a high level of expertise in your niche area that they can trust and come back to you in the future for more advice.

3.    Make it easy for the viewer to buy your eBook
This is quite self-explanatory but it is vital to stress that you must provide clear steps and an easy to follow pathway for your viewers to buy your eBook. Remember that most people ‘buy on emotion’ so you need to capture them while they are in the mood to buy. If they leave your site they may not return and you would have lost a sale or potentially and addition to your database.

Place a banner or link on your home page that clearly displays a message for the viewer to go and buy your eBook. If you self publish and sell your eBook on a major online ebook store then you will often find that they will provide you with a ‘widget’ or graphic to sell your eBook. Amazon is a perfect example of this.

Building a community on your author website is up to you and how much effort you wish to put into your marketing. However, there are some key elements, pages and items that you must have on your site and they are:

  • Home page specific to you and your eBook
  • Clearly visible ‘Buy the eBook’ button
  • A page for your upcoming presentations, signings, events or media appearances
  • Online Media kit or Press Room page
  • Author Bio / About the author / platform page
  • Contact details using a form. Prevent spam by not displaying your email address
  • Your author Blog
  • eBook excerpt or sample chapters
  • Table of contents
  • eBook trailers
  • Author video
  • Testimonials for your eBook from respected figure in your niche or field
  • Positive and influential eBook reviews
  • Form to capture name and email address

By following these tips on what to include on your author website you should be able to now sit down and start planning your own site. Visit our worksheet section where you will find a website planning worksheet to assist you in this process and help guide you step by step in producing a quality site.