There’s a lot of advice out there about self publishing a book, and most experts will tell you the first step in book marketing for self published authors is to “get a website.” While I don’t disagree with that, per se, it’s not always practical to create a good website with all the start-up costs involved in producing and publishing a book.
The issue with website creation is that you’re better off doing the kind of site you really want, and one that supports your overall brand, rather than doing something that doesn’t meet your overall long-term goals.
However, you should aim to get a website by your next release. So, if this is your first book, make sure you have one by your second. This can give you a chance to really explore colors and fonts because once a website is designed, it’s hard (and often expensive) to redo it. And I really believe that you’re better off having no website than a bad one — a poorly designed website suggests an unprofessional brand.
If you’re ready to explore your options, let’s check out some other must-haves if you’re going to put a website design on the back burner.
Author Central Pages Are Great Resources for Self Publishing a Book
It’s interesting how often authors overlook Amazon Author Central pages. In book marketing for self published authors and gaining more traction on Amazon, a fully-loaded Author Central page is an absolute must.
It’s important to note that Author Central pages get 1 billion hits a year. You can also customize your Author Central URL here’s mine: https://www.amazon.com/Penny-C.-Sansevieri/e/B000APPXOS
Grab With Your Goodreads Profile
Goodreads is another great place to gain some visibility, and your author profile takes almost no time to create. We did a podcast on your Goodreads Author Page – I’ll link it in the resources section of this post!
Don’t Forget About BookBub Author Profiles
These profiles are really starting to rival Goodreads in terms of traction and visibility. If you haven’t created your author profile, or aren’t familiar with what BookBub is, take a look at: Bookbub.com. We did a podcast on this, too – the link is in the resource section of this post!
If You’re Self Publishing a Book Without a Website, Don’t Forget About Social Media
Social media may feel like a hassle and a time suck but done right, it can be a great way for readers to get to know you – especially if you don’t have a website just yet – and an easy step in book marketing for self published authors.
Instagram is a fabulous way for readers to get to know you, the person and the author. Things like other books you like to read, what you’re working on now, hobbies (other than writing) can really help to spike reader interest.
So why Instagram? Because the profile page holds all of your posts. Often, in a single scroll, readers can really get a sense of who you are. There’s also less “interruption” on Instagram, unlike Facebook and other social media sites that are more jammed with ads and distractions.
Don’t Waste Too Much Time on One Page Websites and Other Free Resources
There are a lot of places to “create” websites, but if website design isn’t your talent, you may spend a lot of your valuable time creating something that won’t really serve your market. Instead, consider creating a one-page “placeholder” with your book cover, author photo, bio, about the book, and a way to contact you. That way, you have a link to your Amazon Author Central, Bookbub, and Goodreads profiles, but you aren’t spending a lot of time creating something that will just need to be redone.
Ready for a Website? Now That You’ve Done Your Homework…
What I find interesting is the farther we go down the road as an author, the more we tend to learn about ourselves. After your first book, you really get a sense of the colors you resonate with, the fonts you like, and the look you want. And while there’s no reason that you can’t launch a website with book one, I often find that authors who are self publishing a book really run out of time, and money, to create a good website.
Keep notes about what you like, websites you would love to emulate, colors and fonts that interest you, etc. Then, when you’re ready to approach a web designer, you know what you want. It’s often easier (and more cost effective) to go to a designer with an idea in mind rather than starting from square one.
In book marketing for self published authors, your website is a great way to introduce readers to you and your work. A poorly designed or rushed site can leave readers with a bad impression of you. Remember, everything is your resume, and this absolutely includes your website, too. So, do it right, and do it at the right time.