Articles tagged "website"

Why Authors Need Their Own Website

If you're an author, a website is crucial for marketing your writing career.

You’ve written your book. You’ve published it. Congratulations! So…what’s next?

If you’re like many authors, you want to start selling it. But it’s not enough to just make it available for sale and cross your fingers. After all, you have a lot of competition out there. And while you have a lot of control when you independently publish, that comes with a lot of responsibilities, too. You have to do a lot of the heavy lifting for marketing on your own. It may seem daunting, and you might not even know where to begin.

Why not start with a website?

While selling your book in bookstores is great, let’s face it: you need to be found online. Your job in marketing yourself is to remove as many barriers as possible for potential readers. You want it to be easy to find you, easy to learn about you, and easy to buy your book.

Part of this is building your personal brand. That’s right, brands aren’t just for multinational corporations to slap on packaging and billboards. Building your personal brand lets readers know you outside of your book and helps you connect with them and build relationships. This will make them more likely to want to buy what you’re selling.

Websites and social media have made this easier than ever, because it allows you to directly share your thoughts with people. If you have a marketing strategy that doesn’t involve a website, you’re missing out on a lot. Plus, having a site just might make you a better writer.

Here are four ways having your own website will boost your writing career.

Engage Readers

How do you stand out in a world full of millions of people selling their books? By making it personal. Build relationships with readers by sharing your thoughts, responding to comments and questions, and entertaining them – in other words, by being a real person and not just a name on a book cover.

Building close connections to a group of fans can add up quickly; in fact, it’s the whole idea behind Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans premise. If you can give people a place to find you and you have a conversation with them, showing that you care about them and not just about their money, you’ll be well on your way to building your fanbase.

Sell Your Book

Hopefully your book is available in every place that will carry it, from Lulu to Amazon to brick-and-mortar stores. But there are a lot of benefits to selling your book on your own. Setting up a storefront on your website – allowing readers to find out about you and buy right away, without needing to go to another site – removes a barrier for purchase and makes them that much more likely to click that “Buy” button.

Network

Readers aren’t the only ones you’ll be able to reach with your website. Fellow authors, publishers, and booksellers are also online, and your website will allow you to network with them. Guest blog posts, for example, let you share tips and tricks and, even better, let you tap into someone else’s audience to build your own. Writing collaborations, workshops, author events – the bigger you grow your network, the more inroads you’ll have to great marketing and writing opportunities.

Practice Writing

Sure you’ve published a book, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement! Even the best authors are always striving to get better. If you’re updating your website regularly, you’ll get a ton of practice writing, whether it’s responding to visitors, posting writing exercises, or learning how to write concisely with your author bio. When you’re an author there’s no such thing as writing too much, and when you’re writing for your site – contributing to your marketing efforts – you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Getting Started

Making your own site has never been easier. Using a blogging platform like WordPress is a great place to start; you can create static pages that will remain relatively unchanged – for example, your bio or contact information pages – and have a built-in blog for regular updates. Or you can choose a platform like Squarespace and use their templates to make creating your own page a snap.

Some platforms are free, only charging you for extras, while some will run you a small subscription fee. And even purchasing your own domain name only comes out to a few bucks a month. No matter what route you go, look at the time and money you’re putting into it as an investment: a little work now will pay dividends as you continue to grow.

Do you have your own website? Tell us about it in the comments! Share your insights with your fellow authors about what works for you (and what doesn’t).

Updates To Your Lulu Account

Lulu is excited to announce the first in a series of releases intended to improve your user experience on the Lulu.com website.

Following the July 24, 2012 release, everything about your Lulu account, including your email preferences, purchases, downloads, and shipping information will be managed from a sleek new My Account & Orders page. This change separates your user account information and purchasing history from the Lulu authoring tools.

What can you expect following this release?

  • The login / registration page has a new streamlined look.
  • When you click on the My Lulu tab, a new My Accounts & Orders button displays in the page header.

 

  • Click the My Accounts & Orders button to access your Order History, My Downloads page, and your saved Shipping & Billing information.
  • On the About Me page you can update your account information, username, and password.
  • On the Preferences page you can manage your email notification settings.

Check out the changes and see for yourself. If you’d like to leave some feedback for us, join the discussions taking place in the Lulu Connect Forums.

Lulu University Classes

Lulu empowers creators with the tools needed for success. Our FREE Lulu University webinars will provide you with the knowledge and know-how to get the most out of your work. Lulu University is a series of free webinars. You can register for each class by adding the free service to your shopping cart and checking out.

You will be emailed with instructions on attending this free Lulu University webinar from lulu@amarketingexpert.com a few days prior to the webinar you’ve selected. Webinars are held at 7pm EST/4pm PST and require computer access. Following each class, all webinars will be available for viewing via the link mentioned below.

Be sure to sign up a few days before the event by clicking on the link provided for each webinar. See you in class!

Two Upcoming Lulu U Classes

StudyingMore and more people are attending our FREE Lulu University classes. These classes are empowering our creators and helping them get the results needed to get their remarkable works noticed. Next week we have TWO great Lulu University classes that you don’t want to miss.

Our next class on May 3rd at 7PM EST, Build a Great Web Site, covers the key elements to creating a successful web site. This class will teach you simple tricks and effective strategies to help you understand how a terrific site needs to look. You’ll also learn about keywords and how to find the right ones for your needs. Site layout and the secrets to selling books on your site will also be covered as well as some simple steps to creating a web site or hiring someone to do it for you.

On May 5th at 7PM EST be sure to attend the very special Lulu U class, How to Crack the New York Times Bestseller List. Get the scoop on how to get your book bestseller ready and get noticed!

To take advantage of these FREE classes, be sure to sign up by adding the service to your cart. You will be emailed with instructions on attending this Lulu University webinar from lulu@amarketingexpert.com a few days prior. Webinars are held at 7pm EST and require computer and phone access. All webinars will be available online afterward for viewing.