Writing a book means you are now in business. I know; I know! Some of you don’t want to be in business…and yet, you do want to write a book. And if you’ve invested the time in writing the book, you probably want to sell them…hopefully in large numbers.
My expertise is in Independent Publishing, which means that I publish my own books through my own Independent Publishing Company. What most authors want is to get published through a traditional publisher so they don’t have to deal with the marketing. The truth is that whether you publish your own books or whether you get accepted to a traditional publisher, you are still in business. You will still need to market your own book. While many years ago, publishers financed more marketing of their authors’ books, they still did not finance that part for new authors. Now, they don’t do marketing for most authors. Perhaps their blockbuster authors get more of that. But most of us are not Madonna or Lady Gaga nor do we have that much name recognition! Therefore, as an author, you are in business.
So what does it mean? Well, first of all, you don’t have to race to an attorney and start an LLC (Limited Liability Company). A sole-proprietor is sufficient, unless you are wanting to expand your publishing into an Independent Publisher that takes on other people’s book manuscripts. In that case, you should talk to an accountant and an attorney to make the best decision about that.
As a book author, you need a Website. If you have one book, and aren’t planning to publish another, then you need a Website for your book. If, on the other hand, you are planning to write a whole slew of books, then set up an Author Site, as well as a Book Site. Most Web Hosting Companies offer “unlimited domain hosting.” This means you get this on one Website and you can “add-on” other domains for just the cost of the domain registration. In this way, you can put up numerous Websites and pay hosting on one!
Websites, of course, are just Websites! They do you no good unless you put the right information on them. Your Book Site needs:
- An Opt-In page with a free gift to entice visitors to opt-into your e-mail list or fan list. This list will help you market your book and future books!
- A Sales Page with a “Call to Action “(the action being to order your book!)
- An About Page with your bio and a picture of you, preferably a professional picture and not a snapshot!
- Book Summary Page with a short summary of the book.
- Testimonial or Endorsement Page with positive comments about you and your book.
- Events Page with all your speaking engagements, book signings and other events related to your book.
- If your book is for children, it is a good idea to have some activities that relate to the book on your site.
- Contact Page should have your contact information. Generally, people list name, address, phone, and e-mail. If you’re a home business and don’t want to list your home address, rent a Personal Mail Box (PMB) at a local postal service or a box at the US Post Office.
- Media Page should have your Headshot, Bio, Press Releases, and Book Summary.
Your job is to sell books. Look at some of my previous blogs to learn about some ways to market your books, such as a Virtual Blog Tour.