What your website should be doing to help you promote yourself and your books.
Your Website: what it should do for you
T. L. Gray
Recently, I was complimented on my website and asked if I had an article about it to contribute to the Outreacher. Hmm, an article about my website? What would I say—it’s a website. Then it hit me, anybody can set up a website, it’s how effective that site is that really counts. Unless you’re drawing people to your site, it’s not doing much for you except sitting out in cyberspace waiting for someone to trip over it.
I had a website, and still do, that’s doing just that, sitting out in cyberspace. Yes, I’ve entered it on the search engines, listed it on AOL, etcetera, etcetera. Then another author suggested I try AuthorsDen. So, I checked it out and…WOW. I was immediately impressed with the offerings on AuthorsDen. And best of all, it’s free.
When you sign up as an author you are treated to the best of technical support, not to mention given the essential tools to market both yourself and your books. And your articles. And your short stories. And your news, events, booksignings, poems. The list goes on and on. You’re given a message center where both authors and readers can leave messages for you. A newsletter center, where you create and send out electronically your very own newsletter.
The main page includes a place for your picture along with a bio and little about your newest release. From this page a reader can click on your articles and read them, as well as your books, and sign up for your newsletter, read your news, events, etc. Also on this page is a place to list your favorite links—my original webpage is linked here. It also features book covers—if you care to upload them, and a place for three professional reviews.
The books page shows your book cover, with links to online outlets where it can be bought. You provide as little or as much of a sample chapter as you want. Readers can get a feel of the book, buy it, rate it, review it. (You control whether or not to keep the reviews from your command center) Each book has its own page. The same goes for each article, short story, poem that you upload. Each is indexed within the community you indicate.
There are also author boards, where technical support is provided, along with the chance to interact with other authors and share information. You are alerted with an email when someone responds to your post or there is a message waiting for you in your message center. Cool huh?
No way all this is free, you say. But it is. Yes, there are services offered for a fee, such as power indexing (for about $60 your site and each book, article, etc., are indexed on a number of search engines for one year—you provide the keywords for each book, article, etc), press releases (about $100. you create it, they send it out to about 16,000 media outlets, both online and off), Bookads (about $30. your book cover and short blurb are flashed on all sites within AuthorsDen until a guaranteed number of click-throughs has been achieved).
I can vouch for the power-indexing. My hits went from 453 during the period between January 2001 and May 18, 2001 to 2959 as of August 4, 2001. Can you say the same about that website you have floating out in cyberspace? Power-indexing also provides you with a stats page, divided by articles, poems, bio, books, short stories, etc., so you can see which pages are getting the most traffic. You simply provide the keywords and AuthorsDen does the rest. For the money it’s absolutely worth it.
A tip: articles on writing and how-to will draw people to your site.
You don’t have to spend money on AuthorsDen to promote yourself effectively. The website is easy to navigate, easy to manage, and best of all, IT’S FREE. So, what are you waiting for?
Visit me at http://www.authorsden.com/tlgray and take a gander at what your website should be doing for you.