If you have more than one book or if you have a business, you would want a Web site dedicated to the book – separate from other Web sites that you may have, though some information may appear or all of your sites and you may end up linking them to one another.
The Web site should have an easy-to-spell, memorable name that’s not too long. Some people choose their book title, their personal name, or something catchy relating to the topic that they write about.
Caution: make the site user-friendly. No one wants to have to go digging for information.
Always update your site – as often as needed. No one wants to see: “coming in 2010...” when it’s two years later.
Make sure the font is big and readable with a clear background so that eye strain doesn’t force someone off the site.
Minimize pop-ups for special offers and minimize any ads you might be running on the site. You want your site to reflect your brand – your personality, your credentials, your information and your ideas – not loud ad offers.
Speed is important. No one wants to wait for fancy graphics to download just to enter the site. Make entry easy and quick.
Technology can be a wonderful thing but make sure your site doesn’t require special systems or products in order to be watched, listened to or read. Many people don’t have the patience for a lengthy download.
If you include video clips, keep them short; same with audio. You just want people to get a feeling for what you look like and sound like, to know you come across in an interesting or credible way.
Your site’s presentation and contents should be based on your goals. What do you want the site to do for you?
For one, it’s your electronic resume. People can quickly see what you’re all about by looking at the site. For another, it’s a way to highlight what you have to offer for sale or for free, namely your book. Lastly, it offers a way for people to know how to contact you.
Your Web site should have a number of sections, which can include the following:
About the Book – A brief overview of what’s in the book, which can include the table of contents.
Author Biography – Highlight your relevant accomplishments.
Testimonials – List these to establish your credibility.
Media – You can include portions of your press kit, such as the press release, Q and A, and side bar material. You’d also include reviews or endorsements from the media. You can have links to articles published or to clips of radio or T.V. interviews. Feel free to list upcoming media appearances.
Contact Information – List your name, e-mail, address, fax, phone, etc. Make it easy for them to click on your e-mail address to send you an email rather than providing them a grid to fill out.
Blog - People should be able to connect to your blog there, along with an archive of postings.
Newsletter – You should have a place for people to sign up for a newsletter, as well as the posting of recent issues.
Speaking – If you want people to consider hiring you as a speaker, provide information for them. Include a list of speeches, feature a sample presentation or two, and have a place for people to give you their contact information so you can follow up.
Feedback – Let people send you their review of your book, comments on the site, or any information connected to what you talk about.
Appearances – If you will be making public appearances, from book signings to libraries, churches, or any public forums, list the date-time-location and subject of the presentation. If you have upcoming media appearances, you can list them here as well. If you plan to travel to various cities, post the data and places.
Links – You might want to feature web sites or blogs that you like here. Even better, seek to have reciprocal links where you post the links of others in exchange of them doing the same.
Resources – This could be various data, lists, or information that you feel would be helpful to people. You can also have free items that people can sign up for, like an e-book. display videos, photos, podcast, etc. and make sure people can easily connect to your pages on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media.
Teleseminars – An easy way to promote yourself is to conduct a seminar by phone. You can have call-in questions from listeners. The teleseminar can be 30-60-90 minutes long and should be tape recorded and then posted to your site. You can interview people or vice versa. It’s a great way to get people hooked on what you talk about.
Lastly, have a way for people to buy your book and any other products or services.
Once you do all of this, continually update your site and make sure it has a healthy sprinkling of SEO-worthy keywords throughout the content.
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 email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.
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