I was browsing online the other day and discovered the news about a first time novelist who had recently published a book telling the story of an African tribe suffering the loss of land and identity. Her story is based on her true-life experiences and research. She’s even donating a portion of the book’s profits to a charity that helps the displaced people. Her whole story sounded intriguing. However, when I looked for her web site--I couldn’t find it.
What a shame, I thought.
While her book is featured on Amazon.com and other online bookseller sites, and there’s a couple of press releases announcing her book signings, there is no obvious web presence for this wonderful book and its author. My immediate thought was that she was leaving book awareness and sales on the table.
Maybe she feels she doesn’t need a web site because she has the charity and her publisher assisting with publicity, or because there is some expressed interest in movie rights. Even so, I feel that a simple web site featuring her telling her story of how she researched and wrote her book, with photos of her on location, would do wonders for her novel.
In today’s fast-paced world, where attention spans can last a nanosecond, an author can’t afford NOT to have a web site. Even if people aren’t lining up to buy your book today, they can visit your web site and browse. If they like your site, there’s a good chance they’ll be back in the future, or tell friends about it. I think this point is especially true for us first-time novelists. In my opinion, a fiction novel is the hardest type of book to promote and sell online or offline. There are literally thousands of fiction novels published each year, due to how easy it is to get a POD published book on the market.
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Authors have tons of competition to get noticed. While the amount of readers are declining, the amount of books being published is going up. New authors have to compete with each other, as well as, established authors, movies, TV, blogs, video games, and other entertainment offerings. From a reader’s perspective, why should they read your book over someone else’s?
Your web site gives you a fighting chance to capture someone’s attention and introduce them to you and your brand of storytelling. Plus, you have the creative freedom to make your site look however you wish. It’s all about colors, graphics and words—especially words.
HELLO WORLD, I’M HERE!
CHECK OUT THIS GREAT BOOK!
HERE’S A SAMPLE OF MY STORYTELLING!
Because most authors have to do their own promotion, your web site is your own personal promotion booth sitting amidst a vast sea of similar booths inside a virtual flea market. Remember, people are online 24-7 looking up information on all sorts of things.
While you’re sleeping, someone could be visiting your web site.
While you’re out shopping, someone could be visiting your web site.
While you’re busy at work, someone could be visiting your web site.
Of course, if you don’t have a web site promoting your book, then potential readers will just have to wait until they stumble across your book while reading about your book signing somewhere, or maybe browsing the online bookstores, or maybe hearing about your book from a friend of a friend . . . you get the idea.
Why leave it up to chance?
Web sites are easy to get up and running these days, so there’s no excuse not to have at least a page featuring your book. Believe me, people will be looking for it, and if you don’t have a web presence, they’ll move on to the next author that does.