As an author, self-published or not, you now have a massive weight on your shoulders. You’ve spent years crafting your work and it’s finally published. There’s just one problem, now you have to sell it.
Even if you have a publisher on your side, your website is a key part of promoting your book and yes, selling copies of it. If we place so much importance on this task, then why are so many author websites failing at selling?
Okay, I’m going to be cruel to be kind here – your website is failing because your an author. Sounds weird right? Surely if you’re an author, and therefore a writer, you can create engaging website text that really draws your reader in.
Of course you can – you do it in your books!
But here’s the interesting bit, your website isn’t a story you can get lost in. It has specific goals it has to achieve, and all your text is probably getting in the way of that.
So, let’s take a look at three reasons why your author website isn’t getting any sales and correct them.
1. You’re not making it easy for them
The likelihood is, a potential reader has searched for you on Google, you pop up and they click on your site. In the majority of cases, they want to find the quickest way to buy your book.
When they land on your homepage though, they are greeted with your author bio, Twitter feed, latest blog post and more. It takes them a good few clicks to get to where they want to be.
Your goal is to catch people within 2 seconds of them landing on your page. Your ‘buy the book’ button, should be right at the top – absolutely unmissable. Then it should appear again halfway down the page, and again above the footer. It should be on every page of your website because once you’ve lost someone, they are likely gone for good.
2. You’re not providing an incentive
The rest of your visitors are looking for something more, they’re explorers, tentative about their next purchase. For these potential readers, you have to give them a little nudge.
Your homepage should showcase your latest book, and it’s in this section that you should include a little trick to drive up sales – give a chapter for free.
Think of your website like a bookshop. In the shop you have the option of reading the first few pages of a book before you buy – give your visitors the same opportunity.
To implement this, create a form using MailChimp or ConvertKit and get your visitor to fill in their name and email address for the free chapter. Once you have sent them their freebie, you can give them that nudge with an email, advertising the book and where to buy it.
3. You’re thinking about yourself, rather than your reader
You might think I’m jumping to conclusions here but this is right for a good number of websites, not just author sites.
A visitor that comes to an author website has either already bought your book and loved it, or wants to buy your book and find out more. Either way, whatever you write or contain in your site, should appeal to them.
Your site should be the bonus content of a DVD. Your blog should contain initial character concepts, revealed secrets and bonus cover artwork.
The tone of your website copy should also appeal to your audience, think of it as an extension of your book. Your author bio should contain information that makes your reader want to be your best friend and then become a fan.
Your website is an extension of you and your writing. Everything I’ve said above revolves around this. You know the tone of voice that works for your audience because you’ve written in it. You know what appeals to your readers because you’ve researched it.
Now it’s time to implement that hard work into your website, and once you’re done – share it. I want to see your wonderful work.
Until next time, story creator.