Bennett's Blog

Part 2 - The Book Website

Bennett R. Coles | March 2, 2011

No matter which route to pubilcation a new author chooses - traditional publishing house, self-publishing, POD, e-publishing - the biggest challenge remains the same: how do you get the word out that your book is the most awesome piece of written literature since Homer?

The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing, the customs of which are still being established. In fact, the methods themselves are still evolving. There are several key elements to any author's online marketing campaign, but the most important by far is the book's website.

The book website is critical, because it is to your website that you want to drive all the traffic you generate through other means. Your website is where you can relax and present all the info on your book (and yourself, as relevant). This is where you can offer a free preview of the book (because few online shoppers buy anything in the blind); your website can offer additional info about the book, such as background and story setting details; you can post relevant links which tie into your books theme, and even create a blog or forum to engage like-minded readers. But most of all, this is where you sell your book online. This is where you make back your investment.

The website needs to look professional, so unless you are a web designer/ programmer already, get a pro to design and create it for you. The attention span of the average online surfer is about one second if the website doesn't immediately grab them, so you only have one chance to get their interest.

And don't neglect optimization. After a while, through your other online marketing efforts, readers will start to seek out the website specifically, but many potential readers will ideally find your site by accident while doing an online search for something similar. If your website is fully optimized and keeps showing up near the top of similar searches, your traffic will grow with no extra effort on your part.

But of course online marketing doesn't start and finish with just the website. There are lots of other ways you can drive traffic to your site, and I'll talk about them in another post.

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