And by “ME,” I don’t just mean LDS Publisher—I mean every single reader out there who accesses the Internet!
If you’re a published (or about to be published) author, you need an Internet presence and you need good solid information about your book(s)!
I know I’ve talked about this before but I think it bears repeating because because a lot of you (especially newly published authors) are NOT doing this. How do I know you’re not doing it? Because I’m googling you!
When I hear about a new LDS author or that an author has a new book about to come out, I google you to find the needed information to post about your book on the LDS Fiction site. I should be able to find you in three clicks. Guess what? Often, I can’t find you in 30 clicks!
Okay, rarely am I that persistent. But the point is, if I’m not willing to look that hard for you, potential readers won’t be either. If they can’t find you in three clicks, they’ll assume you aren’t that good and won’t bother. Lost sale, lost fan.
Sometimes when I do find an author blog, I’m able to determine that yes, the person is an author, and yes, the person does have a book coming out or the book has been recently released. But that’s all. No mention of the title, the release date, the publisher. I know that in our culture, we’re trained not to toot our own horn but there’s a difference between over-doing the bragging and simply providing information to interested parties.
Here is the bare minimum that you need to do:
- Have a blog or website. They don’t have to be fancy. A simple, visually appealing static blog using a basic template is better than nothing.
- Have a post about your book. Use LDS Fiction posts as a template. In fact, if your book is listed there, copy and paste it onto your blog, if you want. I don’t care.
- If you have more than one book, do a post on each book. If you have a series, let us know in what order to read the books.
- Make sure there is at least one link in that post to a place where readers can buy your book online—Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book, Seagull, BYU Bookstore, your publisher… (the more options the better)
- With publisher permission, post the first chapter of your book on your blog.
- Put the book covers as pictures in your sidebar.
- When you have a new book coming out, get that information up there as soon as possible!
- If you’re doing a book signing or speaking somewhere, set up a Page on your blog and put a link in your sidebar, with information well in advance of the event. Include date, time, location, complete address, phone number of location (if available), and if you’re savvy, a link to a map of how to get there.
Here are just a few authors who I think do it right. Some of them have fancy websites, others have simple blogs—but they all have good information about their books that is easy to find.
If you have a blog or website that you think is a good example of doing it right, feel free to put your link in the comments section.
Don’t have a blog and need help setting one up? I’ve put some basic info under the label Blogging 101.