Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Should An Author Web Site Have?

What Should An Author Web Site Have?

An author’s Web site should be set up to do the following:

·         Inform others about who you are and what you have accomplished
·         Share ideas on topics of concern to you that relate to your book’s theme
·         Sell other products and services of the author, as well as the newest book
·         Brand the author
·         Provide resources

The best sites include:

·         Strong visuals and colors that don’t interfere but enhance the user’s experience
·         Well-written text
·         Appropriate photographs
·         Good-quality audio
·         Interesting video
·         Useful links
·         Special offers
·         Easy navigation tools
·         A blog
·         Means to sign up for a newsletter or some special freebie
·         Your connection to a charity (if one exists)

Your site should include the information that people want most often:

·         Overview or summary of your latest book
·         Author biography
·         List of your other books, products, services
·         Something free to download
·         Contact information – make sure you include everything
·         Media room – press releases, list of past appearances, media coverage links
·         Upcoming events planned or scheduled speaking engagements

Additional items that typically make it onto a site include:

·         A way to buy your book
·         A photo of you and of your book cover
·         Excerpts or a sample chapter from your book
·         Testimonials for you or endorsements for your book

What your site should avoid:

·         Deeply personal stuff – keep it professional – unless it somehow relates to your book
·         A lot of advertisements
·         Too many links – don’t overwhelm people
·         Sharing opinions or views on controversial topics that don’t relate to your book and could alienate half of your potential customer base
·         Inappropriate language, visuals, or declarations

The best Web site is one that is easy to use, interesting to read, pleasing to the eye, and regularly updated. It should also be peppered with SEO words and terms so that your site will rank higher on search engines. For instance, if your book is about relationships, liberally use words like love, romance, marriage, dating, etc – and all versions (tenses, plurality). Look at competing sites to get ideas – copy what you like; dismiss what you don’t. When in doubt, keep it simple, but always strive to expand and improve the site so that it looks current and comprehensive.

With a good Web site you are one click closer to realizing your riches.

Interview With Author Les Williams

1.      What is your new book about? First I want to thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed. I have two short stories electronically published by Publishing by Rebecca J Vickery coming out this summer. Last Assignment is about two men who grew up together in Lancaster Nebraska. They joined the police academy, eventually realizing their dreams to become detectives and carrying the coveted gold shield. One night in an abandoned warehouse, the life of one will be forever changed.  Reversal of Fortune is a mystery genre also set in the fictional town of Lancaster Nebraska. This is the first in my seven story Geezer Justice series with three main characters. John Walking Horse, a 62 year old Lakota, Sean Hagarty is 61, an Irish descendant, and 59 year old Jackie Kwon an Asian American woman. In Reversal of Fortune, Hagarty has come up with an idea on how Walking Horse can get pay back for a wrong done to his father years ago. This plan is not without its risks. Can they successfully pull it off? I’m currently at work on the next story in this series. A novel based on the Geezer Justice series remains a work in progress. To date there are seven stories in the Geezer Justice series. It is our hope to release one every two months. They will be available for Amazon’s Kindle and the Nook by B & N as well as other ereaders. I have three westerns E-published by Western Trail Blazer. They are Marquez, Under Nebraska Skies, and Unwanted Reputation. These are what the publisher calls Dime novels and sell for $.99.

2.      What inspired you to write it? I’ve always been an voracious reader. A trait I picked up from my father. I never thought about becoming a writer until I attended a creative writing class in North Carolina following my retirement in 2006. It was here I discovered I have a passion for writing.  My writing was jump started when I was accepted as a columnist for our local  quarterly senior’s paper 55+. A Senior Moment ran for four years. I was also encouraged when my western short story Under Nebraska Skies won second place in the 2008 Aspiring Authors Writing Contest as well as second place in the People’s Choice Award in the 2011 winter edition of The Storyteller: A Magazine for Writers.

3.      What are the rewards/challenges to the writing process? To me the greatest reward of being a writer is when someone tells me how much they enjoyed reading one of my stories. As far as challenges goes, it’s coming up with the hook at the beginning of a story and carrying that on to the end to where the reader can say, I didn’t see that coming.

4.      Any advice for a struggling writer? Read, especially in the genre you’re writing in. If you receive a rejection, learn from it. Treat it as an opportunity to improve on what was rejected. Find someone, a relative or a friend who will read what you’ve written and give you their honest opinion. After you’ve completed a story or piece, set it aside for a few days before beginning the editing process. Lastly, write and keep on writing. Even if it makes no sense at the time. You can go back later to edit, tweak, or fine tune what you’ve written.

5.      Where do you see book publishing heading? Electronic publishing, both on line and for tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle and B&N Nook is here to stay. Having said that, there is still a place for traditional publishing. I feel small presses are becoming more popular with authors. They allow a more one on one interaction  between publisher and author.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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