PDA

View Full Version : How to promote books?



iwannabepublished
08-16-2016, 11:15 PM
Hello All,

I have been writing for a long time and have self-published several books. While trying to figure out how to promote my books, a friend and fellow self-published author suggested I create a website. So, I searched around and found an inexpensive site to begin building my site. I mean really inexpensive - I got my domain name for an initial cost of only $3. So, what do I do now? I'd really appreciate any suggestions, hopefully ones that work. Please also take a look at the site I built and let me know what you think, either here or by sending a message through the site.

Thanks in advance.

http://kennethjoelteicherbooks.com/

lizmonster
08-16-2016, 11:57 PM
Hi Kenneth! :hi: Former UI programmer here. Not sure how much coding knowledge you've got, but here goes.

- Right off the bat, you've got a width problem. Horizontal scrolling is not your friend when it comes to making your site friendly for new eyeballs, and the whole thing is set to 1420px (which is pretty wide - I can get the horizontal scrollbar to disappear if I maximize my browser window, but I don't habitually use my browser that way).

So the first thing I see when I hit your site is banners and paragraphs that get cut off on the right-hand side. Scrolling is not difficult (nor is zooming out), but the effect is amateurish, regardless of the quality of the banners, or the content of what's written.

- In terms of the graphics themselves: Your top banner (Erin & Craig) is noticeably pixelated. You need a higher resolution image to use here.

- Also, it feels a bit...ununified? (Spell checker tells me that's not a word, but you know what I mean. :)) I'd choose a color scheme, and make sure your banners fit into it. You're designing a flyer, really, and it needs to feel more like a work of art if it's going to be memorable.

I'm assuming your hosting site gave you tools for this, and that your flexibility on some of these things may be limited. In terms of most bang for your buck: narrow down that page width. A quick Google tells me the most popular browser width is 1024, and many people still browse as narrow as 800. You want to make it as frictionless as possible for people to read about your terrific books.

As far as promotion goes? Not my strong suit. :) But I do think blogging can help - not necessarily about writing (although people often enjoy how-to and personal experience blogs on the subject), but about your life, your travels, other hobbies, whatever you care to share. (As an example, the interest in archeological travel that you mention in your bio would be a great source for blog topics.) People really do like to get to know the person behind the stories. You don't have to bare your soul to the world, but giving people a glimpse - at whatever level makes you comfortable - won't hurt you.

Curlz
08-16-2016, 11:59 PM
So, what do I do now?
Make sure the content of that website is intriguing enough. I just visited the website, read the blurbs and .... they don't make me want to read the books (not "hooked") :Shrug:

AW Admin
08-17-2016, 12:11 AM
Hello All,

I have been writing for a long time and have self-published several books. While trying to figure out how to promote my books, a friend and fellow self-published author suggested I create a website. So, I searched around and found an inexpensive site to begin building my site. I mean really inexpensive - I got my domain name for an initial cost of only $3. So, what do I do now? I'd really appreciate any suggestions, hopefully ones that work. Please also take a look at the site I built and let me know what you think, either here or by sending a message through the site.

Thanks in advance.

http://kennethjoelteicherbooks.com/


I'd stop using the site's site builder, and move to WordPress; your host has a free one-click install.

I'd suggest you go with a template like WordPress's free 2016; it's exceedingly modifiable, and will work for laptops, desktops, smart phones and tablets.

See also this thread: How to promote your book like an intelligent human being (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb)

iwannabepublished
08-17-2016, 06:00 AM
Hi Kenneth!

- Right off the bat, you've got a width problem. Horizontal scrolling is not your friend when it comes to making your site friendly for new eyeballs, and the whole thing is set to 1420px (which is pretty wide - I can get the horizontal scrollbar to disappear if I maximize my browser window, but I don't habitually use my browser that way).

I'm assuming your hosting site gave you tools for this, and that your flexibility on some of these things may be limited. In terms of most bang for your buck: narrow down that page width. A quick Google tells me the most popular browser width is 1024, and many people still browse as narrow as 800. You want to make it as frictionless as possible for people to read about your terrific books.

As far as promotion goes? Not my strong suit. :) But I do think blogging can help - not necessarily about writing (although people often enjoy how-to and personal experience blogs on the subject), but about your life, your travels, other hobbies, whatever you care to share. (As an example, the interest in archeological travel that you mention in your bio would be a great source for blog topics.) People really do like to get to know the person behind the stories. You don't have to bare your soul to the world, but giving people a glimpse - at whatever level makes you comfortable - won't hurt you.

lizmonster (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?63454-lizmonster) - Thanks for your valuable comments. I'm not sure about the width issue. I opened the website using IE, Chrome and Firefox and it seemed okay on all. That being say, I did manage to narrow it a bit. I also added a light blue background to the whole page. I also removed the headings with all the color and changed them for simple text headings. The hosting site is not very clear on how to set the width to a 'good' size. That may be because I'm using the lowest price, simplest tools to build the site. As far as a blog, I have zero experience with blogs but I will certainly take your suggestion and look into starting one.

Once again - thanks for your comments.

Ken

iwannabepublished
08-17-2016, 06:04 AM
Make sure the content of that website is intriguing enough. I just visited the website, read the blurbs and .... they don't make me want to read the books (not "hooked") :Shrug:

Thanks for your reply. Don't know if you weren't hooked because of the genre or perhaps my blurbs were not so great. I have gotten some good reviews on Amazon, B&N and SmashWords so maybe my stuff is just not for you. Anyway, thanks for your comment.

iwannabepublished
08-17-2016, 06:07 AM
I'd stop using the site's site builder, and move to WordPress; your host has a free one-click install.

I'd suggest you go with a template like WordPress's free 2016; it's exceedingly modifiable, and will work for laptops, desktops, smart phones and tablets.

See also this thread: How to promote your book like an intelligent human being (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb)

Thanks for your suggestion. I have set up a site on WordPress but could not manage to build the site I wanted to have. I'll go back and see if I can figure out how to make it better. I will also, of course, check out the thread you suggested. Thanks again.

CathleenT
08-17-2016, 09:49 AM
Granted, consensus is hardly likely among writers (we're a contentious bunch), but most of the stuff I've read recommends having a separate page for each book. On my blog, each book's page has all relevant stuff to that book--reviews, interviews (I've interviewed both my publishers), promotional stuff that other writers have written about my book, the story behind the story, etc. I plan on putting photographs of the actual site where much of my upcoming novel took place, maybe some recipes (not sure on that one), and maybe some more background history. (I write historical fantasy.)

I'm seconding McAllister's excellent suggestion to use Wordpress. Part of the problem is that a lot of people look at these things on mobile devices, so you want a site that will automatically adjust when people use their phones.

Concerning the blurbs, I think feedback could improve them. The last one in particular has incomplete sentences.

The author bio should have its own page, normally called About Me or something similar. Also, in your author bio, fourth is spelled forth.

I hope something here helps. :)

AW Admin
08-17-2016, 09:54 AM
Thanks for your suggestion. I have set up a site on WordPress but could not manage to build the site I wanted to have. I'll go back and see if I can figure out how to make it better. I will also, of course, check out the thread you suggested. Thanks again.

There's a lot of people here who use WordPress; see the Tech forum.

And ask questions!

Look at a lot of sites; find a model. Or find several that you would like to use as modesl -- this style of header, menus like this, a sidebar like that . . . .

iwannabepublished
08-17-2016, 07:26 PM
Granted, consensus is hardly likely among writers (we're a contentious bunch), but most of the stuff I've read recommends having a separate page for each book. On my blog, each book's page has all relevant stuff to that book--reviews, interviews (I've interviewed both my publishers), promotional stuff that other writers have written about my book, the story behind the story, etc. I plan on putting photographs of the actual site where much of my upcoming novel took place, maybe some recipes (not sure on that one), and maybe some more background history. (I write historical fantasy.)

I'm seconding McAllister's excellent suggestion to use Wordpress. Part of the problem is that a lot of people look at these things on mobile devices, so you want a site that will automatically adjust when people use their phones.

Concerning the blurbs, I think feedback could improve them. The last one in particular has incomplete sentences.

The author bio should have its own page, normally called About Me or something similar. Also, in your author bio, fourth is spelled forth.

I hope something here helps. :)

Thank you so much for your comments. As with others, you have been very helpful.

I just fixed the last blurb and the spelling error.

The web builder I'm using (at a very low price) allows a total of five pages. Based on your comments, I just set up a separate page for each book group. I rewrote the paragraph amount me and put it on the first page. I also added a few of the reviews my books received on Amazon and B&N.

The hardest part of all this was writing about myself. I decided to do it third person. Not sure if that's best or if I should change to first person. Anyway, now I have a 4 page website.

I still haven't had a chance to fool around with WordPress. It's taken a lot of time to rearrange the site I've started.

If anyone wants to take another look, the site is --

http://www.kennethjoelteicherbooks.com/

Again, all comments and suggestion will be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

Ken

James W
01-09-2017, 05:37 AM
One of the best ways to get your book out there while spending little to no money is to make use of free book promotion sites. If you need some help check out these - https://kindlepreneur.com/list-sites-promote-free-amazon-books/. If you submit your book to the widest mix of sites possible then it can help to generate some extra downloads during your launch period. That in turn will hopefully have the knock on effect of generating some extra book reviews.