Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! This series continues with yet another great IRWA friend and an awesome specialized topic. Anya Breton is a self-confessed computer nerd who really knows her way around author websites. She has some really helpful advice for both new and multi-published authors. Thanks for being here, Anya! Take it away!!!
Author Sites–Untapped Marketing Gold
Your author site is a marketing tool and is a great way to feed your newsletter, remind fans of your backlist, and get new fans.
Are you using yours to its full advantage?
Here are some tips on how you can get more out of your space on the web.
Your author site should be reader centric, as in it should include what the reader wants, not what you want to share with the reader (so maybe keep your rants about the publishing business elsewhere).
But you’ll want to give your fans a reason to come back and/or sign up for the newsletter. That means constantly adding content to entice them. You’ll want to provide exclusive content & goodies only found there (either on the newsletter or website).
What should be on it?
Okay, maybe not sloths making eyes at you. How about these ideas?
• Your latest book/project
• Newsletter sign-up. Don’t have a newsletter? You might want to get one!
• Book information
o Your backlist (books that are older than your newest release)
o Series descriptions, if applicable
• Your bio/about you
• How to contact you
o This is super important because fans WILL email you or submit a form (if you’ve got your address listed or a form). Even no-names like me get emails from fans.
o If you’re a blogger, you may also get requests to host other authors.
• Links to where they can find you on social media
• Where you’ll be doing book signings & appearances
• Latest news and what’s up next
• Extras – even MORE, read on!
Extras - For the Future Fangirls
• Go in depth with book extras
o Character bios - if these pages are interactive (so someone can leave a comment) you can even solicit “dream cast” pictures - but be aware of copyright concerns. Buy stock photos where possible (www.freeimages.com, depositphotos.com, dollarphotoclub.com, dreamstime.com, etc).
o Exclusive excerpts - sections of the book you didn’t send to blog tour hosts, bloggers, etc. This is especially good for newsletters.
o Excerpts read aloud! - by you or maybe by a person who sounds like one of the characters. Think: mini audiobook. You can do this as a video and upload to YouTube or just capture audio and upload to soundcloud.com.
o Deleted scenes - KEEP those scenes you’re cutting from your manuscript and post them on the web! (edit them though)
o Soundtracks - music mentioned in the story or music you were listening to when writing. Make it listenable, so do a Spotify or YouTube list. Embed this on your website so the visitor can hear it right there.
o Alternate POVs - Do you ever write a scene from a different point of view to see what was going through that character’s head? SAVE it! Or…if you’ve got extra time (HAH!) write the alternate POV and post it.
o DIY/craft projects that relate - did your heroine make a crafty item in the book? Share the plans for it!
o Recipes - food or cocktails featured in the book. Or ones inspired by the book.
• Videos - book trailers, chats you’ve had with other authors, etc. YouTube is free to host videos and so easy to embed.
• Fun quizzes - think zimbio.com “Which Harry Potter character are you?” but make it your own.
• Wallpapers & images - cover photos, mobile wallpapers of your cover, or promotional items.
• Fan art - omg, if fans are submitting things to you, SHARE THAT!
I bet these suggestions triggered ideas of your own. Get creative!
Just remember that your author site is your platform. Choose content that reflects your brand and what message you mean to convey to visitors.
Thanks for reading and may you get loads of fangirls!
Anya has published fourteen books spanning genres from young adult to erotic romance. She’s most known for her steamier offerings, and has written for Siren Bookstrand, The Wild Rose Press, and Ellora’s Cave. Her recent release with Evernight Publishing, The Drowning Sorceress, is the third installment of her urban fantasy series The Only Sorceress.
You can find freebies and giveaways on her website http://www.anyabreton.com as well as make-up-related posts and giveaways on a beauty blog she shares, http://www.nailedatnight.com.
Thanks so much for visiting, Anya! Now, writers, go update those websites!!!
Romance...With A Kick!