An eclectic mix of friends, family, writers, and aspiring authors attended a friendly launch party and book signing event for Vince Bailey’s Path of the Half Moon. Held at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona, the evening opened with a few words from the author and ended with fans and prospective readers excited for Vince’s next creation!
After addressing highly anticipated questions and peeling back the curtain with valuable insights, the attendees were able to have a meaningful discussion about the book and its themes. From the quirky point-of-view to the chronological shifts, the Q&A session helped weave together the readers’ personal observances on Path of the Half Moon.
Path of the Half Moon is currently available in print and ebook format. Learn more about Path and connect with the author here.
As part of our continuing blog series on building a strong author platform, we’d like to take a look at an important milestone – the author website. Admittedly daunting, your author website is crucial to your success as an author. It is a key piece to the communication between you and your readers. It also provides a way for readers to get to know you as an author. Your website is the first impression you will make as an author, so it is necessary to invest in a site that creates the first impression that you want to make with your readers.
Your website should effectively communicate who you are as an author, and should be aesthetically pleasing, as well.
When readers visit your site, they should know immediately what sort of books you write, why they should buy your book, and where they can buy your book. It should be clean and polished, easily navigable, and readers should be able to tell where the focus is – for example, if the focus is where they can buy your book, they should be able to easily find the button or link for purchase. Keep your colors simple, your content high quality, and make sure that your website is compatible with more than just a few browsers in order to market to your largest range of readers.
As you build your website, you should consider an About Page with an Author Bio.
Readers will want to visit this section to learn more about you, so try to preemptively tell them what they will want to know. Think of author bios that you have read in the past. What did they tell you that you enjoyed learning? What did they tell you that you didn’t care to know? What was missing? Don’t be afraid to insert humor or personal stories so that the reader feels better connected to you. In the same vein, however, don’t overdo the personal element – stay professional.
Make your page more personal by including testimonials from your readers.
You can either ask readers for feedback on your books or use feedback you have voluntarily received from them, after asking permission to share. Not only will this give your page a more personal feel, it will build your credibility. Readers will be more inclined to buy your book when they see that others have bought it and enjoyed it.
Another element to consider adding to
your author website is a blog.
According to Social Media Today, research has shown that websites with blogs receive 55% more traffic via Search Engine Optimization. Because of this, a blog on your author website is extremely beneficial. You can write about other books that you’ve been reading (bonus – other authors will be more likely to feature your book in their blogs!), topics that fall in your genre of writing, or just get creative!
The important thing is that you keep up with the blog, because it will generate traffic to your author website and, in turn, generate book sales and a better online community for you. And you can setup contact forms so readers can subscribe to your mailing list and get automatic updates each time you create a blog post.
Speaking of building an online community, make it easy for your website visitors to get in touch with you!
You can do this by ensuring that your email address and social media accounts are easy to find on your website. Remember that the important thing with your author website is that you build connection and loyalty with your readers. The idea is that you would capture a website visitor’s attention and turn them into a loyal reader. With all of these elements, you will have a great launching point for building your website and be well on your way to building your own author platform.
As with your social media content, you don’t have to figure this out on your own.
You may know someone in the digital marketing world that has their own business setting up websites, or you may know a business owner that you can ask for a referral. Just ask who setup their site for them. In many cases, you can pay a designer or virtual marketing assistant to create a simple site for you that you can easily update yourself. Many great DIY site creators also allow quick setup using templates – Weebly, Wix, and GoDaddy offer these. With a little professional help you can be on your way to creating a site your fans will love.
In the next post, we'll take a step-by-step look at developing your brand as an author. Stay connected!
As part of our ongoing blog series dedicated to marketing books, we'd like to talk this week about getting social! Once you've checked out all the available social media sites (see our previous post about getting started) it's time to start connecting and building an audience. This may seem simple, but it really does begin one connection at a time - one like, one follow, one direct message. It may take a bit of time to build a following but you can start by following the authors, film makers, singers, celebrities, and sports figures that interest you. You'll get a sense of the types of content that professionals (or the pro's that manage sites for them) feel is important and will grab the attention of their followers.
The rule of three . . .
According to Wikipedia and numerous pundits and internet articles and lots of books on Amazon, the rule of three is a general writing principle that groups of three are generally more satisfying and easier to remember for readers or audience members. The same can be said of social media practices.
This principle is a lot simpler than it sounds – so don’t be scared off by it! Simply think of your posts as clusters of three. For one of the posts, you will promote yourself (things like your book, business, or brand). For another, you will promote someone else (things like their book, business, or brand). For the final post, you will post something unrelated to your book or business, but still connected to you and your brand (things like a hobby, vacation, family picture, etc.). Simply rotate through these three kinds of posts! It’s so simple, but it gives you a great starting place when it comes to knowing what kind of content to create. And we follow the rule . . . with three images below!
At the end of the day, when it comes to building your brand, you have to start somewhere! Don’t let fear or intimidation keep you from beginning. Do your research ahead of time when it comes to picking your lane and finding places like conferences and online forums. Spend the time upfront setting up your social media and becoming comfortable with how it works so that, as your brand begins to take off, you can focus less on the logistics and more on building relationships with your readers and other authors.
One more thing . . .
You don't have to do it alone! While it's important to make your voice and personality shine throughout your social media presences, you can get help. Take a tour through LinkedIn and search for virtual assistants. You can specify marketing assistants or social media assistants and hire someone to help build your brand, keep your sites fresh, and work with you on connecting to followers.