Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Making Yourself Available to Potential Buyers

Most of our authors have a website, which is great. Those who don’t are missing out on a large market. Most of those authors with websites have “Contact” pages with an email address so viewers (and potential book buyers!) checking out their site can ask questions. (How many lesson plans does the Common Sense book include? If I place an order for your books today, will they arrive before I leave for basic training next week?!, etc.)

In today’s technology-driven world, people are always looking for ways to connect, and quickly. Many websites I visit now have Skype buttons on their website so you can place a phone call over the internet.

Basic Training author Mike Volkin recently put a similar feature on his website here. It’s a Call Me button available from Grand Central Station. A potential customer can leave him a message which is emailed to him in .wav format. It’s a great way to put him in touch with his customer base and, most importantly, help sell more books.

Authors with websites, add this type of feature to your site. Authors without websites, get a website and then add this feature. =)

p.s. I wrote this blog post in a Word file, copied the text, and signed into my Blogger account to post it. When I logged onto the Blogger member homepage, there was a large article about Grand Central and adding the Call Me button to your website and blog. One of those instances where you see or hear about something once and then it starts popping up all over!

2 comments:

Jim Hessler said...

Hi Sarah,

Perfect timing on your blog. I am looking forward to working with you on my forthcoming Dan Sickles biography, and at Ted's prodding I am starting work on my website.

I have some basic tech skills, but the list of potential hosting and editor options seems daunting. Do you have any suggestions on how an author can get started, so that I make the right decisions?

Thanks!

Jim Hessler
Author of the forthcoming "The Battlefield is his Monument: Dan Sickles and Gettysburg"

Sarah Keeney said...

Dear Jim,

Nice to hear from you. It depends what route you want to take. Some authors create their own website using a template. Others hire a webmaster to create a unique looking, original website and to take care of website maintenance (adding info on book signing events and additional content monthly, etc.). I know GoDaddy is a popular domain and hosting company. Links to all of our authors’ websites are listed on the left hand side of my blog. By browsing through each site, you can see they vary in terms of content, depth, and layout. You might want to pay particular attention to the websites for Army of the Potomac (http://www.armyofthepotomac.net/) and Plenty of Blame to Go Around (http://stuartsride.com/). Both were designed by Val Laolagi (http://www.digi-arc.com/), who has created websites for a number of our authors. His work is fabulous.

Sarah