Aug 22, 2011
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Today, I want to talk about Blogs and Websites:
For the writer just starting out, a blog might be the answer, but if you've been blogging for a year or so and you're ready to begin the process of querying for an agent or publisher OR if you're thinking about self-publishing, you'll want to step it up a notch and get a website. My domain name is through GoDaddy, but I don't have a website through them. Instead I have both a blog and a website/blog. I've used blogger to set up a separate blog to look like a Website. My domain name links directly to that site.
I did this because . . . well . . . I'm cheap. I couldn't afford a more expensive site fee and it seemed to fit my needs at the time. As my career progresses, I will either switch to a site that I can manage myself or hire a professional to do it for me.
What you need on your Website/Blog:
1) A custom header with your name clearly visible & a template/background to match (Look professional) This should match your genre. If you write romance, you won't want it to look juvenile and if you write children's books, you won't want dark, paranormal stuff on there. (Unless your children's book is paranormal)
2) A professional looking head shot of YOU, not your dog
3) A link to your blog
4) Social media buttons & RSS feed
5) Information about your book(s)
6) An "about me" page with your biography and maybe another shot of you
7) A place to brag about awards, other publications, etc.
8) CONTACT information or link
IF YOU ARE SELF PUBLISHING OR ALREADY HAVE A PUBLISHER, ADD . . .
1) Your book cover
2) Description of your book (back cover copy)
3) First chapter (if approved by your agent/publisher)
4) Purchasing links (Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, etc)
5) Publisher's info, logo or link
6) Agent info/who represents you
8) Blog tour schedule with links
9) Your schedule (where you'll be doing signings, presentations and appearances)
10) News (links to interviews and media appearances)
11) Media kit (I need to do this, more later)
12) A place to sign up for a newsletter if you have one
13) If you're self-published and want to sell your book from your sight, you'll also need a PayPal button or some other secure way for them to purchase it. I'm going to offer signed copies, so need to use this option.
Now, go HERE. It talks about how your blog should look and the appeal it should have. It also covers some of the things I've mention above. It's a great read. Just be sure to come right back.
Whew! That seems like a TON of work, and I still don't have it all on my site, but I'm working on it. I also have the same information on my blog. I know it seems strange to have both, but I see my website as an online business card and my blog like letters to my fans and fellow authors. They both have a different feel to them, even though they are very similar.
Did I miss anything? Would you like to share your website links with my followers to give us some examples to follow? Please feel free.