Why A Website Is Essential To Sell Books In 2019

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For the most part, we’re all aware that if you don’t currently have a website, you’re going to fall behind. (Psst, talking to you in the back, the one without a website. Don’t skulk away, you know you need one!) One of the first things I always advise new clients when starting their business is not to just register with the government, but get their preferred domain purchased. Even if you’re not going to build a website immediately, grab it. And then, get that website built.

Websites are like your very own little storefront. Your landing page, also known as your home page, is the window into your store and alllll of the other pages are the inside. Make sure you know who you’re talking to with your website, why they’re there and what you want them to do once they land there.

Now authors. Let’s have some real talk. For the longest time, we weren’t putting a ton of money or effort into our sites and it totally showed. I’ve seen some old school websites and they hurt my heart. It’s time to get those updated. Here are the reasons why I think it’s a non-negotiable.

1.     Readers are doing their research. If you’re a new to them author, they’re checking you out before one-clicking. Most often, it’s inside the platform they’re purchasing on, but 50% of the time, they’re heading to a new tab and checking you out. Especially if you’ve got a significant backlist.

2.     SEO is crucial to keeping up with the Jones’s. Search Engine Optimization is the fancy way to say, how likely you are to be found on the first page of a Google search. Now, granted, currently a lot of readers aren’t using Google to find authors, but this is slowly shifting and if you want to be ready for the direct market influx I predict is coming, you need to have a SEO optimized website.

3.     As we grow as authors, our backlist grows and keeping it organized in one easy to find spot, is a real revenue booster for us. How many times have you discovered a new-to-you author and bounced over to their website to find what else they have on offer or where the book you just downloaded fits into a series so you can know what to buy next. Right? Me too!

4.     The days of authors selling direct to readers on the mainstream are getting closer. If you’ve already got a website that has e-commerce functionality, you’re that much closer to being able to sell your books directly to your readers.

5.     Finally, my very favourite reason, data capture. When a reader lands on your website, it’s key to capture their data in order to market to them at a later date. Email list pop-ups, Facebook pixels and Google Analytics. These are all invaluable tools that can grow your revenue at a much faster rate. You can start targeting readers who have visited your site via Facebook. You can grow your list in exchange for free content and then re-market to those readers all year long. The options are endless.

So there you have it. My favourite reasons you NEED to be online with your books, even if it’s just a one-page landing page. It’s no longer optional.

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