Author Websites Grow and Maintain Your Readership
“Do I really need to have an author website?” This is a question many self-publishers ask and, while having an author website is not for everyone, the answer is almost always, “Yes, you do.” Having a website requires time and energy, but is a proven way to promote and sell your books.
A recent study by the Codex Group showed that websites are one of the key ways people discover books. When a potential reader types an author’s name into a search engine like Google, a well designed website with good search engine optimization will be the first thing that comes up. That gives you visibility and the opportunity to grow and maintain your readership.
While some authors use social media in place of an author website, publishing professionals like Annik LaFarge insist that an author website is more valuable. LaFarge, author of The Author Online: A Short Guide to Building Your Website, Whether You Do it Yourself (and you can!) or You Work With Pros, says that “even in this age of social media, having a website is really, really important. […] Surprisingly, in terms of new book discovery, Facebook and Twitter are much less influential than author websites.”
Websites allow authors to actively engage their readership by sharing excerpts, audio clips of readings, videos, news and a calendar of events like upcoming appearances and book signings, biographies, featured projects, information about other titles, sneak peaks, reader testimonials, and so much more.
And an author can use their website as a platform for their blog, to create their own custom email address, to gather reader email addresses for a newsletter, and as an online bookstore from which they can sell their books.
There can be no doubt that more people are browsing the Internet when making decisions about what books to buy, and authors with websites are more likely to be found than those using other forms of digital marketing.