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A website is an essential tool for marketing. It serves as the central hub of information for your book(s) and is great for promotion, sales, and building a community of readers.

[This article on “website musts” was written by guest contributor Marcie Hill of Overcoming Blogger’s Block.]

Whether you have a simple website for a single book or an elaborate site for multiple books and products, here are 11 must-haves for all author websites.

  1. Information About New Releases

    You want the world to know about your new book, and your website is a great way to spread it. At a minimum, this information should include:

    • A catchy headline to attract your readers’ attention
    • A clear image of the book cover
    • An engaging book summary to keep their attention
    • Links to where the book can be purchased (if not directly on your website)
    • Social media links
  2. Additional Books or Products

    If you have published other books or created other products, include them on your site, especially if they supplement the new release. You may be able to create packages to boost your sales and earning potential.

  3. Contact information

    You want to make it very easy for people to contact you. Therefore, this information should be accessible on your website.

  4. Shopping Cart

    Make it very easy for customers to purchase your books and products by putting your shopping cart in a prominent spot on your site, or on a separate page, with a big, bright colored “buy now” button. Also, ensure that your PayPal or other payments systems are working properly and can be processed in a timely manner.

  5. Testimonials, Reviews and Interviews

    All testimonials, reviews and interviews pertaining to your book should be posted on your site. If you don’t have any, ask friends, family members, book reviewers, bloggers and “qualified” strangers to read your book and write reviews and testimonials before and during the early stages of your launch. After you gain a bit of traction, start requesting interviews and other guest appearances.

  6. About the Author

    People want to know about the person behind the book. Give them details about who you are, what you do personally and professionally, and why you wrote the book. Your story may actually help sell the book, especially if you connect emotionally with the readers.

  7. E-mail Sign-Up Form

    An e-mail sign-up form allows you to capture the names and e-mail addresses of people who are genuinely interested in you and what you have to offer. Use this information to keep them abreast of your appearances, successes and new books or products.

  8. Social Media Connections

    Encourage people to connect with you on your social sites and to like your Facebook page if you have one. Traditional publishers and advertisers want to know how big your platform is, and these connections are a way to grow yours.

  9. Blogs

    Blogs are a great way to connect with authors and fans through conversations. You can use them to get feedback on current books and generate ideas for new books. They can be apart of your website or linked to within.

  10. Events Calendar

    Use an event calendar to help promote yourself and your book. Let your readers know about speaking events, book signings, and book fairs/literary festivals that you will attend. Local supporters may stop by and help you sell your book.

  11. Call to Action

    Here are some calls to action you should have on your website: Buy now, Order today, Email for more information, etc.

Above are 11 must-haves all author sites should have. Which of these do you use on your site? How have they helped you market and sell your book? Let us know in the comment section below.

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