It’s a hard fact to face that despite all your efforts to write and publish your ebook, your pride and joy is not going to get found or bought unless you put some time, effort and money behind your book to market it online.
There is a self-publishing boom at the moment. People from all walks of life are writing about anything and everything and when you launch your book, you can be sure that you are not alone. There may be thousands of rival books out there already and more being launched every day.
So how do you make your ebook stand out from the crowd? Well, in simple terms, you need to shout louder than everybody else. In today’s digital world, this means exploring areas which may seem alien to you – Facebook, Twitter, message boards and blogging. Above all of these, you need to have a website to promote your ebook online
Creating A Website For Your Ebook – the minimum requirement
A website for your ebook is quite simply a ‘must have’. At the very least, you need a single web page, or perhaps a few pages and include a description of your ebook, a sample chapter, some information about you, some book reviews if you have them and ideally some background information on the subject matter of the book. Don’t forget the most important part – details on how to buy your book.
Once you have a site for your ebook, you can put your website’s address anywhere you can – on any promotional leaflets, email signatures, message board signatures, letter heads – with the hope that you will catch the attention of potential readers, that they will visit your site to find out more and hopefully buy book.
How Do You Create A Website For Your Ebook?
Your website needs to look professional. Just like a run-down shop, a shabby, amateurish looking website site won’t do much to encourage people to come in, look around and buy.
There are several options and your final choice comes down to budget. If you do not have a large budget, your options are limited to DIY sites which may or may not bring you the level of traffic (visitors) that you need to encourage more sales. If you have a larger budget, you may be able to use the services of a professional web designer who will create a site which will actively encourage more visitors. Below are the various options.
1) DIY website – if you have the time and the technical aptitude, you can create your own, simple HTML or WordPress website. To create the site you will need to buy a domain name and set up hosting. Both need to be renewed yearly. If you know what you are doing and understand the importance of SEO (search engine optimisation) and how to implement SEO techniques, this option can be very satisfactory as you can add as much content as you like to the site with low running costs.
2) Blogspot blogs – Blogspot is a free service provided by Google where you can set up a blog and mini website to promote your book. The good thing about Blogspot is it is 100% free although you do not get your own domain name. Blogspot blogs are easy to set up and manage and are a good alternative for those on a low budget who do not have the technical skills to set up their own site.
3) Website builders – there are many DIY website builder services online where you can create your own site from a template. Many include a free domain name and hosting space and are available on a month to month subscription basis. The main disadvantage is that such sites are based on a template which may not fit your needs exactly, and tend to look like – well a template. The other big disadvantage is that they may not be fully optimised to encourage the maximum number of visitors from Google.
4) Professional web designers – If you are really serious about promoting your ebook online, the best option is to commission a website by a professional web designer or web design company, ideally someone who specialises in websites for authors. A professionally designed website will look good and will be optimised to actively attract visitors from Google searches which in turn will encourage more sales. Finding a good web designer is not that simple. There are thousands of web designers looking for work, ranging from young, novice freelancers to large web design companies with a team who will work on your site. You will receive quotes ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. Your choice will be influenced by your budget, but sustainability is also a key issue you should also consider when choosing a designer. You may choose the cheapest quote you get, but will your designer still be around in six months’ time to help you manage your site? Will your site be professionally coded? Will it look good? Does it use SEO techniques to encourage more vistors? You should always ask a few probing questions before making your final choice of designer.
Here are a few questions to ask when choosing a web designer:
How many sites have you designed?
How many author websites have you designed?
How many clients do you have in total?
Can you show me some samples of your work?
Do you offer full support for the websites that you design? How does it work?
Will you register a domain name on my behalf?
Will you set up hosting?
What will you do if I notice something wrong with my site?
Can you advise me on the best way to present the information on my site?
Will I be able to update the content on my website?
What will you do to make sure my site is easy to find on Google?