This morning I was over on kboards and I came across a thread where a young fellow asked the kboard folks to read one of his stories in order to determine whether or not he ought to write full time. Here’s how I answered that question. Funny story. I used to know this old fellow […]
“All authors need a website.”
“All authors need a mailing list.”
“Authors need a Facebook account (or Twitter or whatever!)”
Sure, all of the above is good advice, but are you utilizing those tools in the most effective way? I really think many authors miss the boat with websites, mailing lists, & social media accounts. The purpose of spending all that time online is to ultimately sell books. Yet I can’t count how many times I’ve went looking for more info on an author or wanted to sign up for a mailing list, and I simply could not find it. If I’ve had to click more than four or five times, you’ve already lost me….I’m moving on to another author who makes it easy for me to find what I’m looking for.
Discoverability means making it easy for readers to find out about you & your work.
1. Make sure your mailing list landing page states WHO you are (a blank landing page with just boxes to fill out makes the reader wonder if they’re in the right place and less likely to sign up) Check out my mailing list sign up HERE
2. Put your mailing list link (CLICKABLE) in the back matter of all your books in your “About the Author” section. If you have a list of books to your name, you can also add your mailing list link to the end of your book list.
3. Put your mailing list link in your Author Central profile, along with links to your social media sites. AC is one of the first places readers will look to find out more about you, so make sure you pack it with everything a reader might be looking for. See example HERE: AUTHOR CENTRAL PROFILE.
4. Put your mailing list link in the “About” section on your Facebook Fan Page, if you have one. SEE EXAMPLE HERE: FACEBOOK
5. Put your mailing list link in a prominent spot on your website. Look in the upper right hand corner HERE, and it is also a pull down on the main menu (VIP List).
6. On your website, make sure readers don’t need to look too hard for what they want. The less clicks, the better. Make sure a list of your book and vendors you sell them on is easily accessible via the first page or directly on the menu bar.
7. On your website, make every book cover image CLICKABLE with either a direct link to Amazon, or redirect link to your page where all your book vendors are listed. When you click on BUY BOOKS on my webpage, you’ll see each vendor listed as a clickable image; in addition, I link all the covers direct to Amazon.
Make it easy for fans to find you by maximizing the effect of your online presence. Part of being an indie author is not only having an online presence, but utilizing it in the most effective way.
Now, go fix your website and your Author Central profile. And for Pete’s sake, please add something to your blank mailing list sign up form!
Just when I’m wondering if anything in this industry makes sense, I read a post from a fellow author that resonates with me hard. Hugh Howey makes a lot of great points, highlights the struggle between the old way & the new way, and gives some straight-talk insight on what is going on in the industry today. Check out Hugh’s post here: The State of the Industry