I give workshops and consultations on book marketing, and one of the first things I tell my clients to do is put up a website, preferably in the form of yourname.com. If you have a common name, I suggest seeing if yournameauthor.com or yournamebooks.com is available. I prefer this to thenameofyourbook.com, because what if you end up writing another book?
Here are some reasons why having a website is important:
It makes you look successful.
Getting people to pay attention is HARD, especially if you’re an independent author. Having a website presents you as a successful writer, which is especially important in the early stages of book marketing.
It allows potential readers to check out your book(s) before purchasing.
You can post the first chapter on your website, as I’ve done here: http://mariamurnane.com/books/peek/
You want people to be able to find you.
If someone searches for you online and nothing comes up, people may wonder why they can’t find you. Or you risk them simply losing interest and moving on to something else.
It provides a way for readers to connect with you.
A “contact” button on your website is critical. That way your most loyal fans can reach out to you. When they do, you can respond and develop a relationship with them.
It provides a way for you to contact your readers.
Use a free newsletter tool such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact and have a “subscribe here” option on your website. That way fans can tell you that they want to hear from you.
Those are just a few reasons to have a website. Feel free to explore mine for more ideas on using one to engage readers.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.