Six Website Essentials for Authors

A website is a staple of any book publicity campaign. As your publicist works to solicit awareness about you and your project, it is crucial to provide those who are interested with details about your book, background, and purchasing information. When a producer, editor or reporter is contemplating covering you, the first step they take is visiting your website. Then, media coverage will often include a mention of your website to direct potential book buyers.

Here are six essentials of an author website to help you get started:

  1. Purchasing Information: For most authors, selling books is a top goal. To encourage sales and for visitor convenience, showcase a link to buy your book on each page of your website. If you are selling your book yourself to maximize your profit, great! However, many people will not purchase from a site with which they are not familiar. We recommend also including Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other household name retail online and bookstore outlets. Place the link directly to your book’s page, not the general home page. If you offer bulk sales discounts, let people know and how to order!
  2. Media/Press Page: To encourage the media to cover you, make availa ble both high resolution for print (300 dpi) and low resolutions for the Internet (about 72 dpi) images of you and your book cover for easy downloads. Once your publicity campaign gets underway and media runs are secured, list the press placements on your website. Not only will this build you and your book’s credentials, it shows media contacts that you do have a newsworthy story to offer. Note: If you receive copies of television and radio interviews, embed them in your press page for user convenience. Also, try to include direct links to magazine, newspaper, and Internet articles in which you and/or your book appear.
  3. Author Background: A book comprises half of a publicity campaign; the other half is the author! Since you c an’t interview a book, it is crucial to provide visitors with a descriptive biography. This also allows you to highlight some of the topics not related to your book you feel qualified to discuss on the air or in an interview. Plus, this is a way to let your personality shine.
  4. Post Reviews and Testimonials: Show visitors what everyone is talking about! If you are soliciting reviews from credentialed sources and consumers alike, create a ‘Reviews’ page on the site to give visitors insight into your work through reader feedback.
  5. Showcase Your Expertise/Give Useful Related Links: You are typically an expert on the topics covered in your book, whether you have written a fiction or non-fiction book. Consider adding case study/by lined style articles showcasing real life successes of your philosophies in your business book, research papers you have written on the topic of domestic violence which is the theme of your new novel, or useful links and resources related to the topic of your book. Be creative and give people a reason to come back and send others to your website.
  6. Build Your Social Network Connections: Did you know over 70% of adults regularly follow blogs, tweets and user-generated content? As your network of supporters builds, stay connected with individuals and businesses through social network accounts. This also helps ground your online presence. By including links on your website to your blog, and YouTube, Facebook and Twitter account profiles, you’ll encourage visitors to click through and connect!

Corinne Liccketto is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Smith Publicity, Inc.Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run from a bedroom office to one of the world’s leading promotional firms. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and business representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international; we’ve effectively worked with clients throughout the United States and Canada, and countries from the U.K. and Australia to Israel and Malta. Offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information, please visit www.smithpublicity.com.