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An Author Website Staple: A Printable Backlist

Okay, I must confess that I’ve changed my tune on this one. I remember reading a while back (and blogging about) some things that people said they wanted to see on author websites. One of them was a printable backlist. At the time, I wasn’t really sold on the idea. After all, it seemed a little archaic in this day and age.

But my mind has officially been changed. I came across another comment recently that read as follows:

I think the number one thing I want to see from an author’s website, and I really don’t see it often enough, is a printable backlist, with series books in order. That way I can just print it out and take it to my library or bookstore.

I can see why, if someone still prefers to buy their books at a bookstore, this would make sense. It certainly is a lot easier than making them hand-write each book title, ISBN, etc… that they want to read.

And if something as simple as a printable backlist means that an author is going to sell more books, then it’s a no-brainer. It’s something I’m going to start recommending for all my authors going forward.

Now onto the question of what should be on a printable backlist. First, here are some examples of different types of printable backlists on other author sites:

As you can see, different authors do it differently. But in my humble opinion, here are the do’s and don’t s of backlists:

  • DO include the ISBN and pub date of every book.
  • DON’T put your book covers on the backlist. It may be helpful in terms of recognizing your book, but people will be annoyed having to print out all those pictures.
  • DO put your name on the page. This sounds silly, but the Roxanne St. Claire backlist above is devoid of her name!
  • DO include information about the series that a specific book may be a part of.
  • DON’T put anything in color, or include long book descriptions. Make it as quick and easy to print and scan as possible.

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