Do I need a website as one of my book marketing ideas?

Do I need a website as one of my book marketing ideas?


As a first time author, you’re probably thinking you need a website for marketing reasons. What better way to sell books, right? The cold hard truth is this, websites don’t (generally) sell books. Before you close out of the screen, discouraged, take a second to learn the reasons you need a website for your books.


Why have a website?

  1.  Information for Readers: Websites act as the “headquarters” for an author and their books.
  2. Credibility for the Author: A website should present the author as professional, genuine, and involved with readers and other authors.
  3. Promotion: Though I said websites won’t sell books, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a marketing tool. Most of the time I spend anywhere between five and fifteen minutes reading the information provided. Even if I don’t buy anything, I am aware of the author and their books. I’m always disappointed when an (usually local) author doesn’t have a website. There are very acceptable reasons for this though.


Tips before starting a website.

I wanted a website right after my first publication. I had talked to a few website designers but the start up and maintenance was so expensive! I spoke to other small business owners and asked how they got their websites. Usually the answer was, “a friend of mine designs websites.” or “I traded some work with a web designer.”

  1. Money. Websites are expensive! Most authors don’t have the extra cash to create and maintain a website. I had to save money before taking the next step in my book marketing ideas and plans.
  2. Research! Learn what does and doesn’t for other authors. Read every article possible online about having an author website. Learn what type of blog format you would like to use. Watch online webinars, youtube videos and read books about blogs and using websites.
  3. Facebook. I started a Facebook page as the first step. Business or fan pages are free to build and much easier to maintain then a website. This is a great ideas for those of you out there that are not tech-savvy.

    website ideas

    website ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

  4. Find a professional? Remember this is a business, an expense, and a main place for book marketing ideas. Careful, research for a professional or hire an expert. There are plenty of people out there that think they are a social media experts or website designers because they can run a Facebook page or started a blog. Ask them for references and do your homework on them before paying them to do anything.
  5. Sell Books. Don’t start a website until you’ve sold some books. The purpose of a site is for readers to look up information about you and your books. Don’t waste your time and money. Also, the more books you have, the more efficient the website will be as a marketing tool.
  6. Will you use the website? I know a couple of local authors that refuse to blog, put pictures up, add an other information to the site, or get another book published. If you don’t have the time, desire, or energy don’t waste your time.


What each site needs:

  1. A blog: Blogs can be informative (like mine) or fun and creative.
  2. List of books: This includes any information you wish to share with readers such as pictures of fans reading the book, trivia, and prices.
  3. Contact: Remember to include a contact section for your readers to reach you.
  4. About the Author: Include a biography.
  5. Upcoming Events: When will you have your next book signings or maybe webinars for readers to attend?
  6. Pictures: Pictures engage people better then almost anything. I use pictures as a marketing tool, creating new and unique ways to promote my books. This is particularly successful on Facebook.


If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

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