facebook author page

Author Page: 5 Sites You Should Consider Having One On

I often hear the term “author page” thrown around by clients as something they should have. I think it’s important that I first define what an author page is — and why it’s not the same thing as an author website.

The term author page refers to one page on the web that is dedicated to an individual author. It generally highlights who they are, what they write about, and why a reader might be interested in becoming a fan. This is not to be confused with an author site, which is generally comprised of many elements.

With that in mind, here are five sites that you should consider having an author page on (and tips on how to maximize each one).

Sites for Your Author Page

1. Your author website. As I alluded to above, an author page is a subset of an author site. Think of it like a thumb being a type of finger. You have five fingers on your hand, one of them is a thumb. You have an author website with many pages, one of them being an author page. Your entire site will likely be comprised of a blog, pages dedicated to your books, a contact page, a media page, etc… And yes, an author page.

Tip: Learn more about how to create a great author bio on your own website.

amazon author page2. Amazon. If you have books for sale on Amazon, you absolutely need an author page on Amazon as well. This will allow your name (wherever it appears on Amazon) to serve as a link to your author page. Once someone arrives there, they can view your photo, your bio, a list of all your books available for sale, and highlights of the reviews your books have gotten on Amazon. It essentially becomes a one-stop shop where people can learn more about you and your writing. And best of all, it’s free. You can start by joining Amazon Author Central.

Tip: In addition to all the basic information, your Amazon author page can also be customized to include a blog feed (pulling in your most recent blog entries), details on upcoming book tours, and any video you’ve created. Plus, on the back end, it allows you to access a book sales tracker and see how your books are doing in real time.

3. GoodReads. Much like Amazon, building an author page on GoodReads is free. All you have to do is join their author program. By creating this page, you are essentially claiming your space on GoodReads. Not only will this mean people learning about your books will also be able to learn about you, but it will also provide you with the official Goodreads Author badge that will appear anywhere you post on the site — like answering reader questions or reviewing other books in your genre. Fans will then also be able to follow you on Goodreads.

Tip: There are various book marketing tools that also become available when you build an author page on GoodReads, like being able to run a book giveaway or advertise your books through the site.

facebook author page4. Facebook. You probably already have a personal profile on Facebook. But what you may not have is an author page. And it’s important that you understand the difference. Unlike a Facebook profile, which is for an individual and allows you to friend people, like posts, etc… a Facebook page is defined as “a business account that represents a company or organization. [It] allows businesses to promote specials and contests to followers who have engaged with their page by ‘liking’ it.” In this case, your business is your authorship, and it needs a page that both friends and fans can follow. Another way to put it is that while your Facebook profile has friends, your Facebook page has followers. This is also free to create.

Tip: Make sure to take advantage of Facebook Insights, which you get when you set up an author page. It allows you to track how successful your social media efforts are. It also allows you to schedule posts in advance, launch contests, or run Facebook ads (not free).

5. Your publisher’s site Depending on who published your book — and even if you published it yourself — the publisher’s site is likely to have a place where you can create your own author page. This probably won’t be your most heavily-trafficked author page, but there’s no harm in getting it set up. Make sure to ask your publisher or self-publishing company if and how you can go about creating this page on their site.

Tip: Given the fact that you’re unlikely to spend a lot of time working on maintaining this author page, I highly recommend that you work in a link to your author website somewhere on the page. That way, a visitor who wants to stay on top of what you’re doing knows where to go.

Which author page worked best for you? What tips would you give other authors? Share them with us!

Photo credit: Foter.com / CC0

What Authors Should Read: November in Review

what authors should read

Photo credit: Foter.com / CC0

Another month has come and gone (and we are in the midst of the holiday season). We did a lot of posting and sharing in November — both of our own content and of other sites’ interesting articles, blog posts and more.

In case you missed any of it, here’s a summary of what authors should read to stay on top of industry trends.

What Authors Should Read From November

1. Is Passion for Your Book Enough? Include These 10 Hot Selling Points
Knowing these before you write your book will make all of your copy more organized, succinct, easy to read and engaging.
Book Coaching, November 5, 2016

2. Author Website Templates: 5 Things You Need to Know
So you want to build an author website. Here’s what you need to know about selecting and utilizing the right author website templates.
Smart Author Sites, November 7, 2016

3. Guest Blog Post: Author Website Tips
This article offering author website tips is our second guest post from Irish children’s book author Avril O’Reilly, who I met when she took one of my book marketing courses.
Build Book Buzz, November 16, 2016

4. Social Media Marketing Evolves
As social media platforms get more crowded, indie authors are recalibrating their marketing efforts.
Publishers Weekly, November 18, 2016

5. 4 Steps to Selling More Books with Less Social Media
Traditionally and self-published authors use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to help sell books. But should they be doing that?
Digital Book World, November 28, 2016

Happy reading!

book website 2017

5 Things You’ll Want to Add to Your Book Website by 2017

book website 2017We’re only halfway through 2016. And yet, everyone’s eyes are on the future already. Based on all the conversations going on in the publishing and marketing worlds, here are five things that I hear each book website should have in the new year…

Book Website Technology Musts for 2017

  1. Podcasts. Content is still king. But audio content is … well, whatever is higher than king. Authors should consider repurposing some of their blog content or book content in the form of podcasts, or podcasting interviews/conversations with other authors or experts. Podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016. There’s reason to think it will grow even more in the coming year.
  2. Livestreaming. I’ve written many posts about the hows and whys of using video on your website. But suffice to say, if you’re not using it by the end of 2016, you’ll be missing out on a lot of site traffic — both to your site and your videos on YouTube, as YouTube is now the second biggest search engine (behind Google). But the latest trend goes beyond that … it’s about livestreaming video. According to Dave Kerpen of Likeable Local via HuffPost, “Apps such as Periscope, Meerkat and Blab will grow in popularity and create opportunities for marketers to cut through the ever-cluttered landscape.” Think about livestreaming your videos from conferences, book signings and more.
  3. Instant articles from Facebook. According to socialmediaweek.com, this relatively new feature allows you to immediately post any new content on your site — like blog entries — directly to Facebook. “Essentially, the company’s content management system interfaces directly with Facebook and can seamlessly publish new content as it is ready for release.” It’s currently only available to big publishers (like NY Times, etc…), but predictions are that anyone will be able to use it by the end of 2016. So next time you post a blog entry about, say, your commentary on last week’s Brexit vote and how it ties into your book, that would immediately appear on Facebook and be visible to all.
  4. An omni-channel experience. It’s quite a buzz word, right? Well, what it refers to is creating an experience for your readers on various channels at various stages of their journey. An example provided by conversionadvantage.com is one that Disney used:
    • Users book a trip online and then use the My Disney Experience tool to help them plan the whole trip from booking hotels, obtaining passes etc.
    • Once they arrive at the park, the app helps users locate attractions and waiting times.
    • But the experience gets better with their Magic Band which acts as a hotel room key, photo storage device for any pictures, and a food ordering tool.

    Think about how you can provide something similar for your users. Maybe their experience starts with them viewing your website. Then they buy the hard copy and read the book. Maybe you want to offer them an app that they can use while reading the book to track their growth/learnings/progress. Then maybe they can come back to the website and join an online community to share their thoughts. Think about all the different ways your book can touch a reader, and how you can offer, as they call it, an omni-channel experience.

  5. Personalized emails. I’ve been saying forever that it’s important for authors to collect email addresses. And that hasn’t changed. But it’s what you do with those email addresses that is changing. Instead of just putting everyone’s name on one big email list and sending out emails en masse, today’s emails are becoming more and more personalized. First, it’s helpful to actually use a person’s name in the email to make it clear that it’s customized for them. Also, ask users when they sign up what they’re looking to receive. Do they want news updates? Do they want to be pinged every time you post a new blog entry? Are they just looking for a monthly recap? Give them options and then bucket your lists so that people are receiving exactly what they’re looking for. Also make sure to collect users’ geographic information so that you can update the appropriate people if, say, you’re doing a radio interview in Philadelphia tomorrow. By collecting a user’s name, location and interests (in addition to their email address), you can ensure that their email experience is a satisfying one.

What other book website trends are you predicting for 2017? Share them with us.

googletrends

Marketing Your Books Through Current Events

googletrendsQuick. Check out Google Trends. What do you see?

In case you’re not aware of Google Trends, it’s the branch of Google that shows you which search terms are being entered the most right now. And what is the thread that always seems to carry through each and every one of them? That would be news.

In other words, on the day of the Super Bowl, the most popular search terms were “Super Bowl,” “NFL,” “Denver Broncos” etc… On the day of a presidential primary, the top search terms are the names of the candidates, the state that’s voting, etc… This isn’t rocket science. People are searching for what’s top of mind that day.

So why does this matter to authors? Because taking advantage of these top trends can play a role in marketing your books. Let me explain…

Making the Connection

“What does my book have to do with today’s news?”, you might ask. For some people, making this connection is easy. If you’ve written a book on politics, it’s a no-brainer to think about how to tie your book in to the conversation surrounding the presidential election. But for a large majority of authors, this isn’t such an easy connection. That’s where your creative mind comes into play. Here are three scenarios of book topics and things in the news as I write this … and how you can link them.

Romance Novel and the Super Bowl

These two things seem to be polar opposites, correct? Well, that’s exactly where the connection lies. What a great opportunity to bring up the fact that chances are, if you’re a fan of romance novels, you are not all that into watching the Super Bowl. This is where you create, say, a live chat with the author during the Super Bowl. Or you remind people that your book is the perfect one to read while their significant others are wrapped up with football.

Psychology Book and the Presidential Election

This year’s Presidential election is … well … fascinating. We’ve got competitive candidates in both parties, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who are using extremely non-conventional approaches to the election. And no matter how you feel about these candidates, studying their tendencies — and their supporters’ devotion — is practically a psychology experiment. This is the perfect time for an author to step in and talk about the intensity of the feelings behind the support for these candidates. Are they feeling angry? Why? What’s the best way for them to express this anger? Is there room for personal growth for either these candidates or their followers? Or are they MORE in tune with themselves than the other candidates? Again, this is ripe conversation for fodder among authors who dabble in the spirituality/self-help/psychology arena.

Historical Biography and the Flint Water Crisis

So we’ve all heard about the awful situation in Flint, Michigan. Kids — and let’s not forget pets — are being filled with lead through the drinking water. The results are already awful, and could only get worse over time. So what does this have to do with a historical biography? Well, let’s look at the leadership in Flint, in the state of Michigan and in the US government. What are they doing to fix the problem? What caused the problem in the first place, and who is responsible? If you have written a biography on, say, John F. Kennedy, Jr., you probably know something about his position on the involvement of government in this type of issue — both on a local and national level. Maybe you even know if he worked on any bills related to clean drinking water. If nothing else, this is your opportunity to write a piece along the lines of “What Would JFK Do?” in response to this current crisis.

Obviously, you are not likely to fit into one of these three scenarios exactly. But this (hopefully) will give you some ideas about how to think outside the box and find the link.

Utilizing the Connection for Marketing Your Book

So now that you’ve found the connection, what do you do with it? Here are a few different ways to take advantage of the news cycle and use it as an opportunity to market your book. All of these routes will help — in one way or another — get a mention of your book in front of a portion of the many, many people searching for these popular keywords.

  1. Blog, blog, blog. Yup, it all goes back to blogging. This is the easiest and quickest way for you to get your message out there. Write one or more blog posts specifically tying your book to a top news story. Make sure to use specific tools/plug-ins that allow you to properly optimize the piece for those search terms. For example, here are dummy titles for each of the three scenarios outlined above:

    “Forget the Super Bowl! Read _____” (optimized for “Super Bowl”)
    “Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and the Psychology Behind Them” (optimized for the candidates names)
    “The Flint Water Crisis: What Would JFK Do?” (optimized for “Flint water crisis”)

    By properly writing and optimizing these pieces, you can try to break through to the audience specifically looking for more on these news items. Is it easy to compete with top news organizations for these keywords? Of course not. But a good effort might just sneak you in. And if your title is interesting and clickable enough, it will attract the perfect audience of potential readers.

  2. Pitch articles. There are hundreds of sites out there just looking for good writers to pitch good story ideas to them. Giving an interesting slant to a popular news story is just icing on the cake. Think about local publications/news sites that you can easily reach out to, and also think big — like HuffPost — and pitch your ideas there as well. It may be as simple as finding other bloggers and asking them if you can guest blog on their site. Depending on the specific subject matter, identify five or so relevant sites that accept story submission ideas and make your pitch.

  3. Use social media. How many people are talking about top news items via Twitter or Facebook? That would be a lot. Just look at how many tweets were sent out during the Super Bowl. Do some quick sleuthing online to find out which hashtags are being used for tweets related to the news item you’re connecting with. Then use that tweet to inject yourself into the conversation and make the connection with your book. For example, a post that reads, “#superbowl Bored to tears? Buy an e-copy of ____ now” can reach your target audience. Ditto with Facebook … find conversations going on related to hot news items, and chime in with your quick blurb (or link to your blog post).

Again, there are a million ways you can go about this — both how you make the connection and how you get the word out. But no matter what type of book you’ve written, piggybacking on today’s hot news items can be your ticket to reaching a whole new audience.

 

fall-photo

September Round-Up: 5 Must Reads for Authors

fall-photoOctober is here already, and fall is in full swing. With that in mind, here are five must reads for authors from the month of September. If you missed any of these the first time around, here’s your chance to catch up!

  1. An author reveals ten secrets to marketing your own book
    Scroll.in
    September 9, 2015
  2. 5 Things I Love About Haruki Murakami’s Author Website
    Smart Author Sites
    September 10, 2015
  3. What ‘Game of Thrones’ Author George R.R. Martin Can Teach You About Marketing
    Marketing Profs
    September 16, 2015
  4. Book Marketing 201
    Publishers Weekly
    September 25, 2015
  5. 3 Steps to More Social Media Followers
    Build Book Buzz
    September 30, 2015

Happy Fall! And happy writing!

5 Things CoverCake Has Taught Me About Books and Social Media

book_tweetsFor the past few months, Publishers Weekly has been printing a monthly report from CoverCake about the most talked about books in social media. And these lists (and the corresponding analysis) have taught me a thing or two!

First, here’s how CoverCake describes itself:

At CoverCake, we are focused on helping organizations, their brands and their products engage with people. Our philosophy is based on a platform that simplifies and cuts through huge amounts of data in the social media universe to provide you with the necessary information you need to have a meaningful relationship with your customers.

And now on to what their stats about books and social media have taught me…

1. It might be nice to have your book turned into a film. This certainly is no surprise, but it is noteworthy. According to Publishers Weekly, and based on the monthly report from CoverCake, “Thanks to the warm critical reception and box-office domination of the film adaptation of Catching Fire, released November 22 and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, the second book in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy was the most-talked-about book on social media for the month of November.”

2. When a book catches fire on social media, it really catches fire. For the past two months, the book that’s #1 on the CoverCake list far outperforms all the others on the list. “Like Catching Fire in November, Allegiant, in October, was the subject of twice as many social media conversations than the second most-buzzed-about book that month,” Publishers Weekly reports.

3. Men and women talk about different things on social media. It’s no secret that women use social media more than men do. It’s also no secret that women read books more than men do. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that  for most of the titles on these lists, women generated more of the chatter than men. But that’s not always true. In fact, according to Publishers Weekly, “Men initiated 61% of the social media conversations about Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s Killing Jesus, and 62% of the commentary on Mitch Albom’s The First Phone Call From Heaven, which was released November 12.”

4. Books can hover near the top of the social media list for months on end. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins has hovered consistently in or around the top 10 books in CoverCake’s ranking for the entire year, according to Jeff Costello, v-p of CoverCake. This just goes to show you that good buzz can continue for an extended period of time.

5. A book doesn’t even have to be released yet to be a hot topic of conversation. In the CoverCake report for the month of September, two of the most talked about books hadn’t even hit the printer yet. They were House of Hades, by Rick Riordan (released in early October) at number two, and Allegiant, the final installment of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, which was released on October 22nd, at number four. The lesson to be learned here? It’s never too early to start building buzz for your book.

Want do do some analysis of your own? Here is CoverCake’s list of the 10 most buzzed about books on social networking sites in the month of November. Enjoy!

9 Creative Ways for Authors to Help One Another

handshakeThere are thousands — if not millions — of authors out there trying to make a name for themselves. Most of them have very little in terms of publicity agents, marketing experience, etc… So they’re basically fighting an uphill battle.

That’s why so many authors are looking for ways to connect with other authors, and potentially help one another. With that in mind, here are nine creative ways that authors can team up to help promote one another’s books, author websites, etc…

1. Share, share, share. Are other authors posting blog entries? Tweeting? Pass on what you’re reading of theirs to your friends, readers, etc… If they do the same for you, you can increase your reach exponentially.

2. Like one another. Clicking on a Facebook “Like” button is so simple. And yet, doing so really does help to spread the word. So swap “like”s. What’s there to lose?

3. Guest blog post for one another. Do you have a blog? Does your friend, an author, have a blog? Why not write a guest post for his or her site, and vice versa. Not only will this breathe some fresh life into your own blog, but it will get your writing out to a new group of readers.

4. Review one another’s books. Post a review/recommendation of another author’s book on your site. Have him or her do the same for you. If you speak to a similar audience, you’re exposing a whole new crop of readers to a book they may not have heard of otherwise.

5. Interview one another. Use one of your blog posts to interview your author friend about his her book, writing habits, publishing lessons learned, marketing techniques used, etc… Again, it’s a great way to get new faces in front of an existing readership.

6. Offer special deals/giveaways. Why not consider providing a special deal or giveaway to people who came to your site through your friend’s author site or social media page? Any incentive that will get people to buy your book or give you their email address is a good thing.

7. Consider doing group tours. Not actual tours, of course: virtual tours. But by teaming up, you can offer book clubs, libraries, schools, etc… the opportunity to double the attendance by featuring two authors (and triple, if three of you get together).

8. Promote each other through other forms of social media. Do you have a GoodReads account? Make sure to cross-promote there as well. Ditto if you follow people on Twitter, highlight book covers on Pinterest, etc…

9. Create a group blog. This is a little harder to do, but it’s not unheard of. Get a group of authors together and create an author blog site. Agree to each post, say, once a week. The more posts you have, the more you will become a can’t miss destination for other authors. Then, make sure each of your books/websites get fair promotion.

One last caveat … as much as your friend may be your friend, make sure that you’re not wasting your time cross promoting with him or her. In other words, if you have 100,000 followers on your blog and your friend has 5,000, it may not be worth your time for you to “help” one another. Always ask potential authors for information on their following before deciding whether it makes sense to proceed. If the two of you are in the same ballpark, then it’s probably a good arrangement.

Looking for additional advice on selling or marketing your book? Contact us today at Smart Author Sites for a free consultation!

5 Ways to Integrate Social Media Into Your Author Website

You might love social media. You might hate social media. But there’s one thing you can’t deny: it’s practically a necessity in today’s world of author marketing.

So how can you integrate social networking tools into your author website without creating even more work for yourself? Here are some ways to do just that…



icons1. Links to your social networking profiles. This is practically standard nowadays. On just about any author website, you’ll see little buttons that represent Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc… Most people understand exactly what those icons mean and know that if they click on them, they will be taken directly to your profile on the corresponding site.
like


2. Like buttons. Have you ever seen that little thumbs up sign with the word “like” next to it? That’s a Facebook like button. That allows site visitors to tell all of their Facebook friends that they “like” your website. Plus, Facebook will keep track of how many people have “liked” your site, and even show the faces of those who did. See our example on the left.



3. Blog-post-to-tweets. You’ll be happy to know that there’s a relatively simple way to set things up so that every time you post a blog entry on your site, Twitterfeed automatically takes the first 140 characters and “tweets” it out to your fanbase. That tweet then ends with a link to read the full post on your site. Again, this is a great way to get your message out through multiple channels without having to do any additional work.
share



4. Share buttons. In today’s social media world, there’s no better way to get more eyeballs on your site than to have readers “share” your articles, blog posts, etc… with their friends. It’s the equivalent of a personal recommendation. Make sure that every piece of content on your site includes share buttons that allow readers to spread the word about your good read through their social networking site of choice. See the example on the right.




widget5. Widgets. I just love Facebook and Twitter widgets on author websites. These little snippets of code that you can embed on your site mean that your latest posts, comments, pictures, etc… on your favorite social networking channel will automatically feed into your website. Put this on your homepage and you’ve got a site that always looks fresh and up to date … without your having to even touch it. See an example on the left.


Remember: every one of your readers has a preferred way of staying on top of what you’re doing. Some prefer to visit the site. Others prefer to follow you on Facebook or receive your Tweets. By seamlessly integrating all of these methods, you’re allowing your readers to follow you in the way that they like best. And that can only be good for you.

How These Authors Took the Bull By the Horns (and How You Can, Too)

Photo: Angela Mann, Kepler's

I came across an interesting read on PublishersWeekly.com this week. It’s about four YA authors who got together and organized their own book tour.

Here’s a summary of the article:

  • The touring authors – Martha Brockenbrough (Devine Intervention, Scholastic/Levine), Sean Beaudoin (The Infects, Candlewick), Kevin Emerson (The Lost Code, HarperCollins/Tegen), and Cat Patrick (Revived, Little, Brown) – are friends who met through the Seattle writing community.
  • The “You Are Next” tour, a nod to what the group calls “the next generation of books for the next generation of readers,” launched in January, with visits to schools and bookstores in Las Vegas, and San Francisco, and Portland, Ore.
  • To chart their itinerary, the authors brainstormed about West Coast cities they’d like to go to and bookstores they’d enjoyed visiting in the past. They contacted booksellers to arrange store and school visits, and circulated flyers announcing the tour.
  • The tour will next touch down in greater Los Angeles, where the quartet will make several store appearances during the week of March 25.
  • Capping off the week is a visit to Disneyland on March 30, when they will be joined by several other YA authors, plus bloggers, librarians, booksellers, and fans for a day of play.
  • At each stop on the You Are Next tour, which the authors are publicizing through its Facebook page and through their respective Twitter feeds, the authors offer a panel presentation that involves significant audience participation.
  • The authors show embarrassing photos of themselves (“including but not limited to prom photos,” she says), read from their books in voices mimicking those of celebrities, and give kids prizes if they guess correctly which “fun facts” pertain to which authors.

What a brilliant idea! These four YA authors came up with an innovative way to get their books in front of their target audience … and have fun all the while. I’m not sure who is paying for this trip — or how much the total cost will be — but this should be a model for authors everywhere.

Communicate with other authors in your genre. Think of them as idea-generators, not competitors. Together, you can think outside the box and come up with creative ideas like these four women did.

Author Success Story: Allie Phillips

I’ll confess: I love Allie Phillips. Not only is she one of the kindest, politest people I’ve ever worked with, but she dedicates a chunk of her time to protecting animals: a very noble cause. So I was beyond thrilled when I noticed that, in a recent month, Allie got over 1,100 visitors to her site, AlliePhillips.com.

So what is she doing to get so much publicity for her books and her cause? Here’s what she had to say…

Who built your website? How was the experience?
Smart Authors built my book website and the experience was so seamless and wonderful that I had them build my coaching/healing website too (ManifestedHarmony.com)! They have always been available for follow up questions and tweaking both sites. The customer service has been fantastic!

Which social networking sites do you regularly participate in? Facebook? Twitter? GoodReads? LinkedIn? Any others?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. But I spend most of my time on Facebook because that seems far more interactive.

How many online followers do you have?
LinkedIn = 326
Pinterest (new) = 26

Alliephillips.com
Facebook = 1735
Twitter = 110

Manifestedharmony.com
Facebook = 638
Twitter = 115

How has your online presence (be it through a website or social networking profiles) increased your visibility/book sales?
The website, since the outset, has ended up being an educational portal where people can talk about how to help animals through my blog and other social media sites. My purpose in writing 2 animal protection books was to raise awareness about helping animals. So even though book sales have not [skyrocketed as a result of] the website, my mission of helping animals has.

For the manifestedharmony.com website, I believe that the website has increased my visibility. Since the website is global and has connected me to people from all over, it has encouraged me to move my practice to more online work (trainings, etc.) rather than in-person work. So the web presence is helping me to grow!

What is your “secret” to achieving this success? Were there any tricks or creative ideas (i.e. a contest) that you used?
I still struggle with marketing and outreach. So it’s just perseverance everyday, posting on social networks and linking back to the websites, keeping people engaged and my two sites front and center. For the coaching/healing website, I started posting free videos which has been a huge success for getting views. I just use my camera to tape the footage and then use the IMovie feature on my Mac to edit them. I’m so not tech-savvy and I was able to figure it out. I think people like to see who we really are and videos are a great way to do that. I don’t think you need to do anything fancy with videos either. Just be yourself, be real. I also respond to every posting (whether on the website blog or social media) to show that people have a connection with me and in an age where we relate better to technology than people, I think that’s a bonus!

Is there anything you would do differently if you were starting over again?
Get more help on marketing. It’s not my forte.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned in the process of building your online presence as an author?
The publishers are not helpful at all … it is up to the author to market their books and themselves. I was not prepared for that at all. One of the best moves that I made was getting myself into a professional writing network (the Cat Writer’s Association). I’ve learned so much about writing and publishing just by watching the numerous emails everyday that are posted to the group.

How and where do you promote your website? Is the URL on business cards? Your email signature?
For alliephillips.com, I have business cards and post cards that I place inside books that I sign. I have all of my URL’s in my email signature. For manifestedharmony.com, I have multiple brochures, business cards, flyers. I have the URL’s on all printed materials, on videos, in my email signature.

Final words of wisdom for any new authors wondering how to get started….
Outreach is crucial to being an author or online business person. Creativity will get you noticed, so do not be afraid to be yourself. In fact, it is essential that you portray who you really are and get comfortable with being different. If you are comfortable with videos, I highly recommend posting those on your website. Just realize that the outreach and marketing never ends … it is hand-in-hand with the creativity of being an author.

Ready to talk with us about building your own author website? Contact us today for a free consultation!