Your books are on Amazon and other publishing platforms, and selling. Great! So… interested in taking your publishing empire to the next level?
Well, one very powerful action you can take is to develop your own promotional platform, in the form of your own website. By creating a site, and building an audience at that site, it grows your income and your reach. So rather than purely depending on book sales for income, it opens a lot of other income streams for you.
This post will share some suggestions for what type of content to create and share on your author website.
Now you have your website created, let’s talk through in more detail what the next steps are. In particular, how you use your site to help you reach your goals as an author.
It’s important to realize that how you structure and use your site can differ significantly depending on whether you’re a fiction or non-fiction author.
Let’s start with websites for fiction authors:
Effective Websites for Authors of Fiction
Publishing fiction gives you less options for profiting compared to publishing non-fiction. However this does mean you can focus mostly on writing rather than everything else non-fiction authors can get involved in. And fiction can often reach a wider and more receptive audience than non-fiction (it’s a fun escape, rather than a potential chore to read), and so sales numbers can be higher.
And let’s for now put aside the idea that Hollywood is going to buy rights to your book (they might!), and think where the money’s going to come from:
• Book sales
Well, that’s pretty much it.
Perhaps there’s the option for special edition books (signed books at a higher price for example), but generally, the more books you write and publish, the more you’ll make. So the goal of your website is to help increase book sales overall.
Actions you can take to help sell books include:
• Giving away free chapters.
• Linking to your books for sale on publishing venues. (of course!).
• Selling physical copies of your book directly from your site. Perhaps these are special signed editions.
• Having links to your social media accounts so people can follow you easily.
• Having an email newsletter. This plays a similar purpose to your social accounts.
• Perhaps post exclusive short stories on your site. These would often be related to the books you publish to help entice interest.
• Any relevant audio and video content that attracts visitors and gets people interested in your books is great too.
Some examples of effective author websites include:
- www.jkrowling.co.uk and in particular www.pottermore.com
Effective Websites for Authors of Non-Fiction
Non-fiction offers you many more opportunities to profit than fiction, due to the nature of subject. The reason for this is people who buy non-fiction are often learning how to do something. In particular, how to solve a problem or reach a goal.
Of course, most of your audience is not going to be hugely motivated. They may purchase a home improvement book for example, but most will never read it! Some will read a little. And only a tiny minority will actually put it into action.
But those that are really passionate will also be interested in:
• Your blog posts.
• Your email newsletter.
• Follow-up books you publish.
• More in-depth (and much higher priced) courses.
• Your private membership site that costs $100 a year to be a member of.
• Private coaching and consulting.
As a starting point, your book would point them to your website to claim some free bonuses. Perhaps this is a private page they can visit where they download some extra content. And of course, if they enter their email and sign up for updates, they can access even more great free bonuses.
Then once they’ve signed up to your email updates:
• You send out an a weekly newsletter where you publish great content, and also have offers.
• Your emails (and your site in general) promote your higher-priced and more in-depth offerings, including your courses and consulting.
• And of course your site and your emails promote other books of yours.
• Plus though email you can promote carefully chosen partner offers.
Great examples of this approach being used very effectively are:
Now, of course you don’t need your own website to be a published author. But if you build up a site and attract an audience, it can be a powerful platform for launching new books. Plus, it helps you make more money through other income streams like coaching.
Whether you’re a fiction or non-fiction author determines how you design, structure and update your site. While a site for fiction is built around increasing book sales, a site on a non-fiction topic is largely designed around profiting from a reader of your books, far beyond the initial sale of the book.
Any questions, comments, ideas? Ask them in the comments!