In the age of self-promotion and social media saturation, it can be hard to stand out. There are dozens of blogs and posts dedicated to reaching readers, but what about marketers? You know, those coffee-fueled web warriors working for book blogs, book festivals and all sorts of other writer-related things?
I’ve been the Marketing Director for a major literary festival for two years now, and have worked on their social media a year longer, and I can tell you from experience, the more accessible your website and author information is, the faster word of your book/appearance/ general awesomeness will go up on my website. It also means I can write a more compelling blurb about your event, which can bring in a wider audience and new readers.
After scrolling through hundreds of author websites and giving two large face lifts to my own, I’ve created a list of four big tips to help you tune up your website to be marketer-friendly. (Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that these tips help your readers, too!)
4. Place blurbs about your work prominently
Did a book blogger rave about your debut novel? Did an editor post some awesome comment with your short story or essay? Post it! Blurbs on Amazon or Goodreads are helpful, but collecting all the great things said about your work in one place makes it a pleasure to snag that fabulous quote that prompts readers to buy your book or attend your event.
3. Include an updated hyperlinked list of your shorter published works
As a marketer, the quicker it is for me to find that killer essay or poem you published, the more likely I am to use it across all of my social media platforms to drum up interest for your event. Did you appear on a podcast to talk about your writing? Post it! Collecting it all in one easy-to-use page lets me pick and choose which pieces are right for my audience. If your work is published in print or is otherwise unavailable online, still list it, as marketers may name drop publications you are in. Think of this as your digital writing résumé!
2. Create an easy to navigate website
Have clearly labeled pages–Bio, Writing, My Fantastic Novel You Should Read Right Now!– that make it quick and easy for a marketer to find exactly what they want. One click is better than two, and we don’t want have to screen every post just to find your bio.
1. Include an updated, 3rd person bio & author photo
Speaking of bios… This is the biggie! Long, quirky 1st person bios are wonderful. They help readers get to know about your history, your writing and probably your love of animals and/or caffeinated beverages. Keep this! But be sure that on your dedicated “Bio” or “About” page, you have a professional, 3rd person bio a marketer can easily snag for their website, program or social media. A good length is 1-3 paragraphs: long enough to let us know who you are, but short enough for most casual readers. Also include on this page a hi-resolution author photo that a marketer can download and use. This will save time and several emails to try and get the same exact information from you.
Tech Tip: name the author photo file with your name plus the photo credit (if there is one). When a marketer downloads it, this name will show. Downloading ten pics called authorphoto.jpeg isn’t too helpful.