10 Ways To Promote & Market Your Book On Your Author Website
Your author website is just a “set-it-and-forget it” platform, right? – WRONG! Fact is, while your author website is a super important piece of your author platform, it's best utilized when you make it a key player in your book marketing ecosystem. And that means taking the time to optimize and update it as time goes by.
In this post, I'm going to highlight 10 different ways you can use your website to promote and market your books.
Website Functionality Features
These features have to with the basic structure and content strategy of your author website.
Keep your website updated, especially your home page
First and foremost, keep your author website updated. This means dates, links, and content. The last thing you want a potential reader to see on your website is that you haven't touched it in over a year. Yikes.
The most important page? Your home page. This is the page most visitors will see first and you want to make a good impression. I like to recommend highlighting either your most recent release on this page or your most popular book / series. If you have a large backlist, avoid the urge to mention every book you've ever written. Keep it focused and concise.
Optimize for SEO
Guys, SEO is how you are going to actually be found online. Do not skip this step. While it can be time consuming to set up initially, setting up your site SEO, page SEO, and image SEO can help get more eyeballs on your brand and your book.
Pro tip: Google loves blog content. If you are writing blog content to draw in your ideal reader please make sure those posts are SEO optimized.
Book Marketing Features
These features will help you directly with marketing your book on your website.
Make a dedicated landing page for your book or book series
This is such an under-utilized feature within the fiction author community. I write more about this here. But not only will a dedicated landing page give you an SEO boost but it also opens you up to so many marketing opportunities.
Think of this landing page as a sales page hosted on your own website. Yes, Amazon and other retailers will have their own versions of sales pages but as an author you have little to no control of what actually goes on that page.
When you have a page on your own website, you can add as much or as little as you'd like to knock the socks off of your ideal reader and get them excited to buy (or reminisce their latest favorite read).
Sprinkle in social proof
Authors are notorious for not wanting to toot their own horn or come off as too salesy. I get it. Selling creative works can be such a mindset battle for those who have limiting beliefs like selling is sleazy.
But sprinkling social proof throughout your website will help you build the KLT (know, like, trust) factor with potential readers. Social proof can come in many forms like reviews, testimonials, awards you've won, and more.
Include bonus content
This is where you can really make your author brand stand out among the crowd. Give your readers a reason to come TO your website. Depending on your genre, bonus content may mean including the recipe your main character baked in chapter 3, character family trees, or even interactive maps. Honestly, the sky is the limit and adding this kind of content to your author website can help create a 5-star reader experience.
Offer sneak peeks or reader magnets
Along with having a website, list building is essential. Sneak peeks, bonus chapters, and reader magnets are the perfect way to give a potential reader a taste of what you have to offer, get their interest, and add them to your community.
You can do this by creating a sign up landing page with a short description of what they'll get and a sign up form that will deliver their free item once they submit. This is a great starting point for an email funnel.
These features will help you highlight a promotion you are running and get your website visitor to take action.
Top bar announcements
The top bar, sometimes called a ribbon, is the perfect place to place a time-sensitive message or call-to-action. Maybe you have a new release coming up or maybe you just go new stock for your book swag.
Some WordPress themes have this option innately available but if not, there are plenty of plug-ins and tools that can help you achieve this.
Similar to the top bar, a pop up does a great job at catching your visitors attention and letting them know something that will interest them. You can create a pop-up announcing a giveaway, new release, sale, or directing them to a landing page somewhere on your website.
Want to step it up a notch? Create an exit-intent pop-up that offers your visitor a reader magnet before they head off of your website.
Utilize timers and counters
Humans are visual creatures. Get them excited about your upcoming pre-order with a countdown timer to launch, encourage them to purchase during a sale with a countdown timer to the end of a promotion, or share how close you are to completion in your WIP by setting up a progress bar.
Giveaways & hype pages
Holding a giveaway or building buzz for your upcoming release? Build a dedicated landing page on your website (similar to the book landing page) with all of the details and ways to sign up. Then, share that link in your newsletter and social, bringing people over to your website.
Pro-tip? Make sure this page has your Facebook pixel installed so that you can retarget them with ads as the promotion runs.
Use Your website in a meaningful way
As you can see, your website shouldn't be just a set-it-and-forget it entity like many believe. When you start to integrate your website into your overall marketing strategy, you will begin to cultivate meaningful relationships with an audience and overall sell more books.
I hope these strategic tips help you make the very most of your author website and unlock the marketing power it can hold.