STATUS: I had to get up early this morning for an 8:30 a.m. panel. Thank goodness for Chai lattes! And yes, I don’t normally blog on a Saturday but I making up for Wednesday’s missed blog. Have a great weekend.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? STAND BACK by Stevie Nicks
Last night I was at the Bantam/Ballantine cocktail party at The Mansion on Turtle Creek where I ended up chatting with a B&N book buyer. She said that the most important tool an author could have is a website.
And I agree. The buyers do actually look at author websites and potentially use them for their internet marketing.
But what is clear to me (and what I actually chatted about incoherently on today’s early morning panel) is that it can’t be any old website. It has to be dynamic.
Websites by nature are static. If very little changes, it won’t draw readers back to the site (and the purpose of the site ceases to be all that valuable). So here are the tips I shared with the attendees this morning. How does one make a dynamic site?
1. Have it professionally done. Amateur sites can hinder more than help. If you aren’t a plumber, then you wouldn’t try to tackle sweating pipes. Leave it to the professionals. It’s worth paying for expertise.
2. It’s all about the content—of course! You need to provide it. If it’s just about your books or you as the author, it won’t draw repeated visits. Make it valuable.
Add deleted scenes that you love but didn’t quite make it into the final book
Get creative. Interview your characters.
Write a series of letters to your fans and post them there (and share them with Borders, B&N etc.)
Have ever-changing content or decide to blog (hint: If you can’t do this on regular basis, then don’t do it. It has to be regular to keep readers coming back).
How can you be interactive on the site? Chat sessions? Start a round robin story where fans can participate in the writing. Teach an online workshop.
Yes, this might mean you need to get more technologically savvy but remember, that could actually turn out to be fun. The internet is growing in importance for author marketing and since it’s not going away… embrace it!