Thanks to a study conducted by Codex Group (which describes itself as as a “pollster for publishers”), we have some really interesting numbers about author web sites, how readers use them, and how books are purchased. The gist of the article is this: You need a website to promote yourself and sell books. Their numbers back this up.
You can read the full article to get all the nitty gritty, but here are the highlights:
- Visiting an author’s website is the leading way that book readers support and get to know their favorite authors better. While those under 35 visited websites more often than those over 35, over-35-year-olds still used author websites as their main method of learning about the author.
- 7.5% of book shoppers had visited their favorite author’s website in the past week.
- Book shoppers who had visited an author website in the past week bought 38% more books, from a wider range of retailers, than those who had not visited an author site.
- Giving audiences the ability to engage with other readers is the factor that correlates most with high site engagement.
- The main thing respondents want on fiction authors’ sites is exclusive, unpublished writing, with 43% saying they’d return for it regularly.
- Visitors will also return to authors’ sites regularly for schedules of author tours, book signings, and area appearances (36%); lists of the author’s favorite writers and recommended books; “explainers,” or inside information about the book (36%, with men finding these especially appealing); downloadable extras like icons and sample chapters (33%); and weekly e-mail news bulletins with updates on tours, reviews, and books in progress (33%).
- Fans under the age of 35 are especially interested in contests, puzzles, and games, with prizes like autographed copies of books.
Whether you already have a site, or are just thinking about one, keep these things in mind. They may make the difference between a successful author website and … well, you know. Contact us today for a free consultation.