If you’re an author, you must have a modern website. Modern. Not something that looks like you made it in 2000 (sorry, old-guard science fiction authors, but it’s true.) Relying on your Amazon author page is a huge mistake.
You may not want to do it, but a website is a basic requirement. It’s a professional tool that shows your readers that you’re serious about your job (of writing books). If you update it reliably, your readers will know that you are reliable, and you’ll keep their interest.
If you don’t give this assurance, you look unreliable. Readers will wonder if you’ve abandoned your work. There are many other writers who do have a modern, updated website. This makes readers able to predict that you will release more in the future. People need this comfortable assurance, especially if you are a series writer.
People guard their time very carefully. A reasonably up to date website will help them make the “right decision” about investing their time and lives into your work.
This series of articles will help you do the minimum on a website and still meet the requirements… one page at a time.
Today, we’ll just be looking at your “books page.”
You must have a book page WITH WORKING LINKS.
If you only have one page, make it this one. If you don’t have this page, it’s like going to The Gap’s website and finding nothing for sale. Your job isn’t just to write books. Your job is to write books and get paid. Otherwise, you just have a hobby.
Your books page should be up to date and list your books in an organized fashion. It doesn’t have to be fancy or use custom styling. It just has to be organized and have working links. Worry about the other stuff later.
Here are some sample book listings for your “books page:”
- A small image of your cover (150 x 200 or whatever the dimensions are). Most people will expect that when you click on the image, they go somewhere. So make it a link to a sales page, like Amazon, or a “more info” page like this one.
- The title, which should also be a link to Amazon or the “more info” page.
- If it belongs in a series, and where it belongs. If there’s a series, this should link to the “series page” on Amazon or your author page on Amazon, etc.
- The release date.
- The genre and number of pages or length (novel, novella, word count, etc.)
- The 1-paragraph “executive summary” – they can get the full writeup on the sales page.
- Working links for where to find your book (Kobo, Amazon, etc.)
Doing this sucks! It’s boring, I fully admit it. I get paid to do it because no one else wants to.
But it is easy. You may not want to do it, but it’s not as hard as writing a whole book. So suck it up, buttercup, as my mother used to say.
Do not be lazy! Do it 100% or not at all.
Don’t be lazy about hunting up all the links. You only have to do this once, so do it right. If you leave some e-tailers un-linked, you will get an email from someone who will ask you to link to them on your website.
I know, you may think, “Do they actually use the internet??”
But it’s not laziness. It’s that most people are afraid of doing the wrong thing. Most people are looking for an authority to tell them what to do. It’s a complicated world – these days, it’s often easier to trust someone else than trust yourself.
So, these readers somehow won’t trust their own research and want to get all their info from an authority source (you.) Even if you give them the exact same -tailer page as the one they found themselves.
This is also where you list audiobooks.
Do you have audiobooks? Definitely blow the trumpet about this one – some people are crazy for them and will want to know. Audiobooks are pricey and you can make some affiliate money if you send them to Amazon with your own affiliate link.
That’s all for now! Next, I’ll go over what to put in your single-book info pages. You don’t have to have them. But you should. And it’s way easy with WooCommerce (WordPress.)