Authors: Make Yourself Media-Friendly!

What’s the main purpose of author websites? It’s publicity! Which is why it’s so frustrating when authors make someone from another website or media outlet jump through hoops in an effort to feature them and their books. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot!

Case in point: A blogger who covers books stumbles upon an author website. He’s interested in reviewing the book on his website. But he can’t find a picture of the book cover that’s high-enough quality for him to use on his blog. Or he can’t find the author picture that’s usable. So he gives up and goes somewhere else in frustration.

That’s the last thing an author wants to have happen. You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to decide to highlight you or your book somewhere else in the media — be it in print or in cyberspace.

Blogger India Drummond, who has faced this type of frustration when trying to feature an author on her blog, offers these five tips to make things easier for folks like her.

  1. Write a bio for your website. If I’m going to review a book, I always try to find an author website to get more info on the author. You’d be surprised how many authors don’t bother to put anything about themselves on their blogs / websites! But if I’m going to interview an author, it really helps if I know a bit about their interests (beyond their own work) so I can think of some questions to ask. Info like day job, hobbies, family, pets, or even favourite books or movies can help me think of interesting questions!
  2. Provide (on your website) a photo of yourself and your book cover(s) in a large enough format that I can put one or both in a post and have them look good. A lot of blogs seem to use teeny tiny profile shots. Don’t make me hunt around the web to find your book cover. Sure, I can maybe find it on your publisher’s website or on amazon, but having to search for info like this is one one of the reasons it’s so time consuming to do a review post!
  3. If you’re willing to do guest posts, write some ahead of time! That way when I ask you if you want to do a guest post, you can reply saying, “Sure, I have three articles ready. Here’s the first paragraph of each one. Which would you like to use?”
  4. Make it easy to contact you. You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but I run into author websites all the time that have no contact method beyond leaving a comment on their blog! I recently wrote to an author this way, wanting to interivew her on my blog, and left my email address. When I hadn’t heard from her a week later, I went back to see if she’d even approved my comment. She had, and she’d replied there, rather than emailing me! She asked me to email her my interview questions, but there was no email address on her website anywhere! I moved on to easier pickings. Sorry, but there are a lot of good books out there, and I’m not going to work that hard to help authors who can’t be bothered.
  5. Have blurbs, exerpts, and review quotes on your website. Again, just to make life easier for those who want to write about you!

And I’ll add my two cents here as well … You should make all these things easy to find on your site. Don’t make someone go to the book page for the book cover photo and the bio page for the author photo. Instead, create a “Media” page or a “Press” page on your website, and amass all the information there that someone might need.

After all, something so simple could mean thousands and thousands of new fans. What’s to lose?

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