Over the last year, I’ve participated in many different Facebook groups dedicated to helping authors thrive and sell more books. I am always surprised when an author posts a question about why they are not selling more books when they have six, or seven, or eight books available on Amazon. Many times, when someone asks to look at their website for some clues, the answer is often “I don’t have a website.”
Do authors need a website? Yes. The answer is yes. End of post.
Just kidding about the end of this post. But I’m definitely not kidding that all authors need a great website. Here are just a few reasons why.
- Your website should be your main hub of information. One of the reasons many authors cite for not needing a website is that they use Facebook to get the word out about their books. Although Facebook and social media in general can be good marketing tools, relying on social media alone is not a good marketing strategy. To ensure that you have a place where readers and potential readers can go and easily look up all of your books, find links to all of your social media sites, find out more information about you, and access all of your contact information, you need a website. When correctly designed, your website should serve as a vital and central hub of information for readers.
- Your social media sites don’t really belong to you. When you pay for your own website domain and set up your website, you own and completely control all of the information. You control what to post, what the public can see, and what the site looks like. That’s not the case with social media sites. Social media sites could completely change the way they work overnight, creating massive problems for people who use the sites for marketing. Just think about Facebook’s recent changes to Pages. A few years ago, when an author shared something on their page, everyone who likes the page would see the post. That’s no longer true. Now, you’re lucky if 5% of your fans see your post unless you pay to boost it. Social media sites can change their rules overnight, leaving you with no good ways to share information about your books if you don’t have a good website.
- You can’t easily find old information on social media. So you shared information about your newest book on Twitter two months ago. Great! Can people who like saw that post easily it find it again? Nope. Social media is great for immediate engagement and meeting other people online. However, it should be just one part of your marketing strategy. If you have a great website, it’s easy to frequently share content from your website on social media to drive traffic to your site where readers can then find nicely organized information about all of your books.
- Your website can easily and elegantly display all of your books. If you set up your website effectively, your books will all display in a nice, organized way with your book covers, a book summary, and online ordering information right at your reader’s fingertips. Your website will make it much easier for your readers to learn about all of your books, your book series, and read a blurb or book excerpt. Social media sites are not as effective at this as your own website.
- After you set up your website, you don’t have to worry about it every day. Your website is a great central hub of information, but after you spend time writing all of the content, you don’t have to worry about updating the content very often (unless you have a blog, and then you still only need to post once a week or less). If you write crisp and compelling book blurbs, provide book excerpts, and provide great information about you, the only thing you’ll need to do with your website is add new books, update your event calendar, and fix any errors you find. Unlike social media, you don’t need to post every day, making it a great static tool for your marketing efforts.
If you are serious about selling books, build a website. If you already have a website, take a close look at it and make sure it’s a beautiful and effective showcase for your books.