Aren’t we all secretly authors? Some of us have already published books, others are working on books. But the majority of us are just thinking about the book that we dream of writing, be it a novel or an autobiography.
Regardless of your status, there are tons of things you can do to get your author career off the ground. Not surprisingly, I’m going to recommend that you start with an author website.
Before you even ask: yes, it’s okay to have an author website even if you haven’t published anything yet.
But what should be on that author website? And how can you use it to catapult your writing career? Here are a few ways…
1. Offer writing snippets. At some point, you will be reaching out to agents and publishers in the hopes that they will be interested in your works. Well, how will they know how good a writer you are unless they can actually read your writing? Make sure to offer articles, short stories, book excerpts, etc… on your author website so that they can get a taste of your work even before it’s published.
2. Show your personality. The publishing field is much like the music industry: it used to be all about talent, but now it’s as much about “sellability” as anything else. All of this means that it almost doesn’t matter how great a writer you are. You also have to be personable, outgoing, funny, etc… in order to make it in today’s publishing world. Make sure to include photos of yourself on the website, any audio/video of yourself, and a blog that really lets your personality shine through.
3. Build a fanbase. This is probably the most important of the three items listed here. Why? Because a publisher is far more likely to work with a writer who already has 100,000 followers than one who doesn’t have a platform. Here are some creative ways to start building that platform and watching your number of followers climb:
- Blog, blog, blog. This is the best way to drive traffic to your website and keep people coming back from more. Pick a subject to blog about and stick to it. Make your blog informative, humorous, and a must-see destination. You’ll be surprised how many people keep coming back …. and even better, “sharing” your content.
- Interact. People visiting your blog will start commenting on it. You need to comment in response. Join the conversation with your readers. They will appreciate it.
- Offer email sign-ups. Give readers a good reason to enter their email address. Maybe it’s a little trinket or something. Regardless, collect as many email addresses as you can. That will be invaluable when you talk to a publisher.
- Use social networking. It doesn’t matter if your preferred network is Facebook, Twitter, etc… Ideally, it’s all of them. But make sure you build fans/followers and keep them informed on what you’re doing. Pose questions, offer tips, etc… Whatever is working, just keep doing it. And watch those numbers continue to rise.
No one said becoming a professional author is easy. But it is doable. And hopefully these ideas will help you get started.
Ready to talk with us about building you an author website? Contact us today for a free consultation.