Thursday, January 29, 2009

Author website content and timing

I received an interesting question via email the other day from an author regarding her book and website. She asked if 1.) it was as important for her to have a website for her historical fiction book as it would be for an author with a non-fiction book and 2.) should she wait until her book is released to create her website. The short answers to each question are YES and NO. In more detail,

1.) YES. A website is just as important for a fiction book as it is for a non-fiction title. As I was replying to her email, I realized there isn’t much (or any) difference between websites for different types of books. The components that I always tell an author his or her website should have are:

- a description of the book
- sample material from the book, such as excerpts, photos, extra information, etc.
- praise and endorsements for the book
- an author interview
- a list of author upcoming events and appearances
- info on where someone can purchase the book
- a blog and/or forum where the author frequently posts new information, making a reason for viewers to continue coming back for fresh content

2.) NO. All authors should have websites up and running before their books are released. For our Spring titles released in May, some of the authors have their websites done and others are completing them now. That way you have a place to point people who you know or who are interested in your book. Send your book website’s link out to people in blogs and forums pertaining to your subject matter and start getting hits to your website to build interest before your book’s release. Another great way to capture email addresses and potential readers is to have an online sign up form on your website. “Click here to be notified when this book is released!”


Book Marketing Buzz said...

"That way you have a place to point people who you know or who are interested in your book."

I only wish all authors would listen to this. When I send send info out to the reviewers, I need a way for them to learn more about the author. I can send them author bio and book info, which I do, but they always ask for a website address if I don't give them one. Most authors realize they need one, but some still lag behind. Love this post.

Online Bookmarketer said...

I would think that having a website would be even more important for a fiction book then a non-fiction one. From my experience, fiction books are even harder to market, and thus require much more to get the word out - a website or blog really helps.

Anonymous said...

I actually had my original website up before I found a publisher and used the website to help "sell" potential publishers and literary agents. You have to careful here in following my lead. A bad website can turn off potential lit agents and publishers just as a good one might help.


Sarah Keeney said...

Thanks for your comments, all. Gary, those are good points.