Everyone knows that the cheapest, easiest way to promote anything these days is the Internet. The Web
- has generally the lowest up-front costs
- is fairly easy to use if you’re using the right platform
- is the only publicly accessible channel with nearly worldwide reach
- and provides almost immeasurable return on investment (ROI)
What’s not to like? And it’s no different for authors. Even if you’re an avid user of social media in getting your marketing message out about yourself and your books, you’re seriously missing the boat if you don’t have a website to anchor all those other efforts. After all, social media is primarily good for two things: building visibility and generating traffic. But there’s no use generating traffic to a non-existent blog, or—worse yet—to one that’s poorly created and will create a less-than-professional image of you when visitors do show up.
In my work helping authors and indie publishers do a better job of promoting themselves and their books, I see a LOT of author websites, covering the spectrum of quality from the cringeworthy to the sublime. When I give presentations on the subject, there’s one author website I come back to again and again as an excellent example of an author site that does what it’s supposed to in a beautiful, elegant way.
Author Jenna Blum has created a compact little site that’s not minimalist, but in no way is it cluttered; full of personality, yet confidently understated. And that seems to be the perfect showcase for her two novels, which are about deep emotional and psychological subjects that get to the very heart of what it means to be human, to be family.
But from a marketing standpoint she’s got everything she needs, and it’s all there—easy to find—on the home page: You’ll find links to
- her books
- press kit
- everything a reporter, editor, agent or publisher would want to know
- and a great photo of Jenna to add that human connection
As a marketing consultant who gets paid to help authors and other small businesspeople build effective websites, I have referred lots of future clients to this site as an example of what they want to shoot for. It’s just really well done.
Authors, if you’re considering building an author site and don’t have the time or inclination to reinvent the wheel, this would be a good one to pattern on.