We decided to do this long-form episode of our book marketing podcast because we get so many requests for website evaluations, which I love doing – and, in many cases, authors don’t really know where to start when it comes to a website.
We see this a lot: an author puts a bunch of stuff on their website because they think that’s what goes on a website. But they’re missing the point that their website should be focused on a very particular market, and rarely does turning it into a digital resume or superficial biography of your life work in your favor.
Keep It Simple
So first, let’s start by saying that if this is your first website, keep it simple. Start with a simple, 5-pager website. Or even a one-pager!
I love the one-page website concept for many authors, especially if your long-term plan doesn’t include a lot of website maintenance or a budget for a website manager.
Also keep your website verbiage to a minimum – most consumers don’t read online. We scan. So great, scannable text is awesome.
Understand The Z Factor
I also think it’s worth mentioning that, as you’re looking at your website – understand the Z factor. This means how consumers eyeball your website – their eyes move in a Z fashion – starting upper left and then right and down.
If you have ever looked at an Amazon book page or any product page, you’ll see this reflected – the book is on the left, super important – and the buy button is directly across from it. This is NO mistake.
I mention this because if you have a newsletter, and let’s say you want to showcase something really important, like a new release, that Z pattern is something to be mindful of. Put your new release on the left and your newsletter sign-up on the right.
It’s amazing how many people forget to include contact information on their websites.
I often encourage authors to use the contact form as a way to be super unique too. Asking people to share something is always intriguing; that’s why social media is so addictive. For example, we have a client that incorporates very unique locations and travel into her storylines, so a clever addition to her contact page would be, “I’m always looking for inspiration, and I’d love to hear about your favorite travel destination!” And that creates such a next-level, personalized experience for her visitor AND encourages them to fill out the form and share their contact information.
New episodes of our book marketing podcast go live every-other Thursday! You can stream full episodes from our website, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Plus, you’ll want to follow us on your preferred podcast platform in order to catch our helpful- and often hilarious- minisodes!
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