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  Ideas for Creating an Author Website


This document contains and ongoing collection of ideas that you, as an author, might want to incorporate into your HostingAuthors.com website. Not all of them will apply to you, but many will. If you have other ideas not listed in this document, feel free to add them to the comments below. They will be appreciated!

The following is a summary of the ideas that we will eventually get to posting details about each, but if you are comfortable with the Tools, you can probably figure out how to do these:

  • Create a Video Introduction - This can be used on the home page of your website. If video production is too advanced for you, use the Presenter tool to create a multi-media book introduction instead.
  • Use Marketing Tools - Use the 3 Good Things tool, Dream Collage, Headlines, Task Manager, and/or Video Postcards as marketing tools that will attract users and give your book(s) more exposure.
  • Create an Author Blog - This is the best way to keep your readers updated, attract new readers by posting articles using keywords prospective readers are searching, and keep readers interested in your content. Blog software is often included as part of your hosting package.
  • Have a "Contact the Author" Link That Goes to a Contact Form - Don't use an e-mail address for this, use a web-based contact form to prevent spam. You will need to make it very easy for people to contact you. It could be the media, booksellers, or the Pope trying to get in touch with you.
  • Optimize Your Website - Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a vital part of having a website. Not doing SEO is like having a pool and not putting in any chemicals, not vacuuming it, and not covering it in the winter. Doing SEO right can bring countless new prospective readers to your website. This is something that can be learned, but it is not easy. You might also want to consider hiring a reputable firm.
  • Make Regular Blog Posts That Are Optimized for Your Keywords - Google likes an active website—one with content that is fresh and frequently changing and being updated. Use your blog to write articles that search engines will "like" based on the keywords associated with your book (the keywords that you established in an earlier idea).
  • Display a Calendar of Events - If you have several speaking gigs lined up, will be signing books at different locations, or are doing some virtual (or in person) meetups, use an interactive calendar tool to display these events so your readers will know how and when they can interact with you. HostingAuthors.com comes with a calendar program ideal for this purpose.
  • Invite Guest Bloggers To Post on Your Blog - Why would someone else do all the work for you? Because they can benefit from your name or reputation. You benefit by having an article that your readers/prospective readers will like.
  • Sell Your Autographed Book(s) From Your Own Bookstore - You can't autograph ebooks and you can't autograph your print books sold on Amazon or through other distributors who use the print-on-demand service for your books, but you can purchase a small supply of your own books and sign them on demand for those who buy them through your website. You can charge a premium for this. You will need to ship them, but that is not too much of a hassle if you are not far from a post office.
  • Create a Testimonial Page on Your Website - Buyers like social proof. We like to know that others have purchased your book and were happy with the purchase. This is why reviews are so important. A testimonial is a form of review, but it is usually solicited by the author (although sometimes readers who love your book may send you an unsolicited review). Include these on your website.
  • Create an Impressive "About the Author" Page - If you wrote a fiction book, this is less of a selling point and more of a way to satisfy the curiosity of your readers. But if you are non-fiction author then this is your chance to sell yourself (don't hold back)! Convince prospective readers that you are a qualified and credible source of information on your topic.
  • Link Your Social Media Accounts To Your Website - Your website should your central hub online, where all of your content can be found. Make sure you make it easy for your readers and prospective readers to find all of your social media sites.
  • Link Build - Link building is a technique to increase your website's visibility in the search engines by getting other websites to link to your book.
  • Provide Free Samples of Your Book - Samples entice buying, and samples are sometimes shared. When you create your ebook, create sample files that provide the start of your book. Depending on the length of your book, I’d recommend approximately 10-25% of the book. Make these sample files in as many formats as you can (.mobi, .epub, .pdf) and make sure users can easily download them from your website.
  • Create an "Ask The Author" Resource - If using HostingAuthors.com, the Q&A Tool can be used for an "ask the author" resource where your readers will use the online form to ask questions and you, as the author, provide public answers that are searchable and browsable.
  • Turn Your Non-Fiction or How To Book Into an Online Course - You can use audio, video, and interactive tools to enhance your book in an online course and find a whole new source of readers and revenue. Take a look at the examples below. This online course software is part of the premium HostingAuthors.com package.
  • Create a Multi-Media Introduction To Your Book - If you lack the equipment and software, consider using the multi-media presenter tool at HostingAuthors.com to easily create an online presentation of your book. (I have used several examples of these in the Resources section throughout the book).
  • Create Multiple E-mail Lists That Users Can Subscribe To - We talked about creating one or maybe two lists, but if you have software that allows (like the Relationship Manager with HostingAuthors.com), you can create many more lists that are specialized for individual books or topics.
  • Bring In Prospects Through a Google AdWords Campaign - Google AdWords is a wonderful way to bring in serious revenue, but I have generally not found it to be successful when trying to sell books. This is because books are one-time, low-profit purchases, which make it difficult to justify spending more than 50 cents or so per click. However, if your goal is to get exposure, then this can be worth the investment. (Perhaps Oprah will see your ad!)
  • Sell Themed Merchandise That Promotes Your Book - How cool would it be to have pens, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and other items with your book details on them? There are places on the Internet where you can get these items for little investment and sell them through your own online store. This can be a nice little side income as well as a way to promote your book.
  • Use Custom Webpages to Create a Full PR Kit Online - Since downloading is still an extra action the user has to take, providing your press kit in HTML format is preferable to many users.
  • Use the Appointment Manager to Organize and Accept Appointments from Media Sources - The Appointment Manager, a HostingAuthors.com tool, allows you to set your general schedule while users select dates and times to schedule time with you. It makes you look important :)
  • Auction Yourself, Signed Books, or Other Unique Items Associated With Your Book - Unlike a regular online store, selling via auction works well for unique items of limited quantity that have no set price, but whose price is based on how much the market will bear. As an author, you can auction off your time in the form of lunch dates with fans, private readings at birthday parties, etc. You can also auction off signed copies of your book. The auction idea works great if you do have many fans, otherwise attempting to auction these things will just lead to a bruised ego and a night of heavy drinking.
  • Create a "Who's Who" Character List From Your Book - This works best for fiction books, but can work for non-fiction books with several characters. Create a sort-of biography for each character. HostingAuthors.com provides the "People Tool" for this purpose.

IDEA
#1

Allow Prospective Readers to Download a Chapter or Two of your Book


Giving away a portion of your ebook is commonplace now, and expected. All the major ebook retailers do it. Usually a .pdf of a chapter or two will suffice. To do this:

1) Upload your sample book in your resource libary in your Relationship Manager.

2) In the resource list (after the file uploads), edit the resource and add a user-friendly name, and select if you want anyone to be able to download the sample file (suggeted). You can also make it registered users only.

3) If you right-click on the filename, you will see the option to copy the URL. This is the download URL of the sample file that you can link anywhere on your website.

4) Click the "Save Updates Only" button at the bottom of the page.

Note: Another option is to make users register for your e-mail list to get the sample file, and just attach the sample file to the new registration e-mail. This is risky, because most people won't bother doing this, but some might.

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