Getting your book reviewed is not as simple as sending out a pitch; in fact, that pitch is often the first step in the potential reviewer checking you out. So we have to ask: are you and your website ready for scrutiny? We’ve already covered 7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed, http://blog.marketingtipsforauthors.com/2010/10/7-simple-steps-to-getting-your-book.html. Now we’ll move on to the next phase.
No matter how compelling your book and pitch, those can only take you so far if you haven’t taken care of the basics. And nothing is more basic than a website. You should have a website, and your site should be clean, quick to read and simple to navigate. You don’t need fancy graphics or inspiring music (in fact, the music or slow to load pages are a huge no-no unless you want people to leave your site immediately). Clean, professional design and easy to find features are all you need. Your home page should include the following:
* your book cover
* book synopsis
* a buy this book now button
* links to interior pages of your site where visitors can learn more
What your website needs – Those interior web pages should include an author’s page with a bio – there should be a short version of around 250 words that can be used with reviews, on press releases and in pitches. If you want to include a longer bio, that’s fine, but having the short version ready to use on your site is important. You should have a nice downloadable photo of you that reviewers or media can use. The shot should be in focus (sure, you say â€˜duh,’ but we’ve seen plenty of author websites with that blurry photo), be professional and not have a lot of clutter in the background. You should also have a quality, downloadable book cover image available.
Include your latest news – You’ll want a web page for reviews, blurbs and testimonials, and you should update this page as soon as you have new material. Making this a separate web page on your site makes it really easy and convenient for potential reviewers to check out what others have said.
Excerpts can seal the deal – A book excerpt may not be required, but we highly recommended including an excerpt on your site. Given how competitive the review space is, this is something that can make the difference between a review request and a polite “no thank you.” Include the link to the excerpt in your pitch and PR for the book so it’s easily accessible.
Make book purchase options clear – Links to buy your book should be included on another page – list all applicable sites where your book is for sale and include a way for visitors to click through and make a purchase. Make it simple to make a sale or you may drive customers away.
Provide contact information – Do not forget to have a page with contact information and include what you think is appropriate. If you are an expert on a timely, in the news topic, or want to make it really easy for the media to find you, include a phone number, as well as your email address. If you’re active on social media like Twitter and Facebook include those links, too.
Showcase your stuff – Finally, if you’ve written articles or have a blog, or if you’ve been interviewed on radio, TV, in print or online, make sure those links are featured on your website. Make it as easy as possible for prospective interviewers or reviewers to learn all about you, your book and your expertise.
Bells and whistles won’t cover for a weak website – ensuring that the basics are there so visitors can learn all about you and your book (and buy it) are critical. When surfing websites, visitors only spend seconds; if they don’t see what they need or want, they move on. Make your site inviting and informative so they’ll stick around and hopefully follow up with an enthusiastic “yes” to your review request.
* Your 10 Point Website Check Up – http://amarketingexpert.com/your-10-point-website-check-up/
* 15 key elements all top websites should have – http://freelancefolder.com/15-top-site-elements/
* Writing an effective cover letter – http://www.midwestbookreview.com/bookbiz/advice/cvr-ltr.htm
* Writing an effective publicity release – http://www.midwestbookreview.com/bookbiz/advice/prelease.htm
* How to request review copies – http://jseliger.com/2010/03/12/how-to-request-review-copies-or-products-if-youre-a-blogger/