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Do You Need Your Own Book-Selling Website?

Do You Need Your Own Book-Selling Website?
It's great to have multiple sales going for you at Amazon and other book-selling sites, but you, the hardworking author, will receive only $5.50 on a $12.00 book on Amazon. Other book-selling sites will send you 20-30% royalties for print books, and possibly 70% from ebooks. Not so good. With your own author/publisher website you reap 100% of the harvest!

If you don’t offer a book, this information will work for any other product or service.

  • You receive all of the profits.
  • Your customers give you their email addresses, which allows you to follow up and contact them about future books, products or services.
  • Your visitors bring you worldwide publicity at almost no cost to you.
  • Your promotion opportunities open up.
  • You are more accessible to your readers.
  • You establish yourself as the expert.
  • You gain your visitor's trust you are here to stay.

How Can I Setup an Author's Website?

Just like anything else, you need to get organized first. What do you need to learn to put up an attractive, professional, book-selling site? Start a new file called "Website To Do's."

Include in it:

  • My website's purpose
  • What I can do for my readers
  • What results do I want
  • What links do I want to include?
Put these and other topics in your computer files and hard copy manila folders placed in your "Website Planning” folder. Author's Web Tip: A former time management consultant I know said that only 20% of all papers are important. Stop keeping the other 80%. The important papers or computer files, which include files on your book and its contents, your Offline Marketing Plans and your Online Marketing Plans, should all be put vertically and alphabetically in folders and/or in hard files, or placed alphabetically within one main computer folder, within which you place different related documents. Your website is your virtual office. You need to design each part of it to titillate and inspire your visitor, to be fast loading, and to be easy to navigate. You must know your site's purpose before you design it. After you read the plan do your field work and run it by your coach and other friends and associates. Take some time and thoughtfully respond to the questions below with the help of your coach.

Answer These Questions for Your First or Updated Site

  1. What is the purpose of your Website? Sales? Build credibility? Show that you’re the expert? Is it a branding website? Or, is it a single site to sell your book? What do you want to sell? (all sites want to sell something) Note: Each type needs different information and offers.
  2. What visitors do you want to attract? (target audience)
  3. Will your website have a theme?
  4. What should be your visitors' action and reaction once they arrive at your site?
  5. What challenge or problem does your target visitor have?
  6. What's on your site to solve that challenge?
  7. What hardware are they going to use while accessing your website?
  8. By the end of 6 months, what goals should you have achieved? Money? Clients?
  9. What's your technical expertise, and are you willing to learn something new, or delegate it?
  10. What list of keywords are you using? Does it include the more specific keyword phrases (long-tailed and low competition)?
Book Coach’s Tip: Spend time planning your website. Before you design or write a word of copy, get a visual and mental picture of your preferred audience. Your visitors will spend up to 10 seconds on your homepage, so plan accordingly. Draw their attention with compelling headings that include benefits, rather than just a listing.

1. Define your preferred audience.

Picture them as you create your website. Create an audience profile including their special needs and concerns. Make sure your website solves their problem, and it has a lot of free information that will help your visitors. Think WordPress blogs.

2. Make your homepage simple and easy to read so it will load fast and not make potential customers wait.

Include benefits and a few testimonials. Forget the large photos or spinning and flashing signs that distract. Put navigation bars (topics of other pages - things your want to sell) on the side or top to lead your visitors to different pages. With new keyword phrase research, you can rename the links and titles so you’ll get a higher page ranking. These will include seminars, free articles, blog posts, archived past ezines, product pages (one for each product), testimonials, and a how to order page.

3. Send an email survey to your potential buyers to skyrocket your web sales.

Ask them, "Which titles and benefits would make you want to buy?" From their feedback, make every word count on every webpage. Dramatic headlines with specific benefits and hot keywords lure visitors to read, then buy. One author changed his copy from "Money-Saving tips on Car Buying, Leasing, Repairs and Insurance Reduction Tips" to "How to Buy a Car at $50 Over Dealer Cost." He discovered why his surveyed customers bought it. More of them wanted to buy a new car far more than the other benefits he offered. When he changed the title and keywords, sales increased by over 300% in 48 hours.

4. Put a short sales letter on your website for each product and service.

This is so important. If your visitors don’t have enough specific information (benefits) to make an informed buying decision, you’ve lost them to other website choices. To get your visitors to get to that choice, you first need to share that link with a benefit blurb in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn groups you are part of. Or, to get more responses from those who don’t trust you yet, you need to get them to subscribe to your website blog, ezine, or newsletter. To entice them, include a free ebook or special report to give away. Then, when your visitors come to the site from your internet marketing that includes the top three social media venues of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, they will see the benefits of the free product and free ezine or blog subscription. The purpose? To collect your target market’s emails for future marketing, staying in touch with their needs, and offering useful information to keep them with you over the years. It takes time to build trust, sometimes up to two years. These opt-in conversions help you build your database for more effective online promotion. Most sales are made from this database when you email your list about special offers. Author’s Tip: Update your long sales pages to shorter ones. Include hot keyword phrases in the headline, just a few benefits, and testimonials. Your visitors only spend a minute or two per page, so give them the essentials they need to make an educated decision to buy or not to buy.

5. Check and test every part, every navigation bar, and every link with your webmaster to see how they work.

If you are selling a product or service, test your headline and your copy. Replace dull copy with passionate testimonials.

6. Check out all the rest of your site.

A good tweak before your guests arrive will bring you many more positive results.
  • Check your headlines. Do they offer a reason to read on?
  • Check your offer. Did you include a free bonus report?
  • Check your prices. Low cost isn't always best. Let your products reflect your professional status. With your webmaster, check your layout--how you lead the prospect to your order page.
  • Check your ordering process. Will your orders come back with proper information on them?
  • Always include a thank you page after your customer buys. You can mention other products and services there too. Or, include a link to a free special report where at the end, you can put a link to your product or service, such as small group coaching.
  • You may also want to test the use of color, typestyle, and copy.
In fact, test everything you put out to your website visitor. Friends and associates can be your friendly sounding board. Email them a few pages to comment on. But check with a writing coach for the final copy.

7. Include a lot of free content, and make it easy to reach.

Your visitor should be able to click and receive your "gold" in seconds. At the end of each content piece, such as a blog, include a link to your free subscription. Sometimes include a link to your related products, teleclasses, or services page. Put up your social networking buttons too. Links to your profile at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This content is easy to share with the world with just a click. We discovered our unique visitors shot way up one month after 5 months of submitting articles. Eventually, blogs turned out to be better than articles, because Google would notice them. We use Google Analytics to see our monthly stats and found out that LinkedIn is our third best source of traffic. That encourages me to pay more attention to Social Media.

8. Think about search engine placement, but also think how you communicate with your visitor.

Just create a user-friendly, easy to navigate site with meaningful content and submit it manually to the Social Media sites.

More Tips for Updating your Website

  • Check and Correct misspells, typos, bad links.
  • Create a shorter, benefit driven sale page for each product or service.
  • Know that sites must be updated every few months, so new content shows Google you’re active. Old brochure types get no real action, signups or sales.
  • Schedule time to write that new copy that sizzles and sells too.
  • Meet with a coach who knows the game and has done it successfully for years.
  • Learn what to let go of that doesn’t work and invest time wisely in what does.

Sharing is Caring!

Questions? Concerns? Success stories? When you comment, we all benefit.

Published by Judy Cullins

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  • Dan Poynter

    -Dan Poynter

    Savvy publishers are creating a unique website and URL for each new book they publish. The websites are focused, targeted, and aimed at that book only. Until recently, the challenges for a new site were time and

    For my latest book I solved the problem by going to New Media Website Design. Alan Canton charges just 599 for a site, it is in WordPress, and it was up in 24 hours. Problem solved.

    All you have to do is go to the site, select the site design you wish, pick a background color, and then write the copy for the pages.

    Because he sets up the website in WordPress, you can make further changes to the site quickly and easily yourself. If you have dealt with a webmaster in the past, you know how time consuming and expensive changes can be. See

  • judycullins

    Wow, Great to hear from you Dan, and thank you for giving us all a way to do a WordPress website for our books. I will take this tip and pass the word.

  • LorenMGG

    Very helpful information especially as I am embarking on getting my 2nd book written. I was planning on using Amazon for the e-book version… Now I am somewhat overwhelmed as I see the valuable list you have provided… Thank you!

  • Ramona Fransson

    Thank you for the information. I am Swedish and have two of my ten books translated to English, not for free :), and I have them at Amazon.

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