Category Archives: Websites

Selling books from your website

The easiest and probably the most effective way to sell books from your website is to link each book to the relevant page in Amazon. If you join the free Amazon Associate scheme, you’ll get commission on all sales that result from someone clicking through from your site to Amazon’s. That’s not just your book. It’s everything else they buy while they are there. I once got commission on a mountain bike which was very welcome.

You’ll also gain access to useful statistics on how many people click-through on your book links and what percentage of them buy.

Why Amazon?
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Rollover Blues

Adding interactivity to websites is fun and makes them interesting to use. However, technology keeps moving on and sometimes things that looked cool a few years ago can now look dated. Even worse, they can fail to work!

Have a look at the demo below. If you’re using a computer with a mouse, hovering over the clouds will show you some words. This is called a rollover but, unfortunately, rollovers don’t work on tablets and phones. If you look at these pictures on one of those, you’ll need to click in the right place to see the words and there’s nothing to show you that clicking is a sensible thing to do.

Hover over the clouds to see the possibilities:
clouds Heavens above
clouds Floating away
clouds Cloud nine!

This causes trouble if you’ve used rollovers to reveal important information on your website. For instance, you may have used pictures or symbols as links and rely on rollovers to reveal the words that show where the links lead. Apart from the issues caused by expecting your visitors to pay guessing games, you now have the added problem that tablet and phone users can’t even see that the pictures are links, let alone where they go.

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up rollovers completely – it just means you have to think carefully about how you use them. In the above example, a bit of redesign does the trick. The picture below allows everyone to see the necessary words. A different rollover effect adds interest for anyone with a mouse, but tablet and phone users don’t miss out on anything important.

To see this working effectively, take a look at the website for childen’s author,  Valerie Wilding.  Mouse users can see the cover picture in the corner switch as they rollover the left-hand links. This doesn’t happen on tablets and phones, but those users can still use the site without any problems.

Steve Kimpton

 

Use our search page to find the right editor, designer or illustrator to help produce your book.

 

How to build traffic to your author website

In a recent edition of Dragon’s Den, one of the dragons declared that you couldn’t launch a website successfully with a budget of less than £100,000. That may be true of big price comparison sites, but it certainly doesn’t apply to author websites. Here are seven ways to promote your site that are easy, effective and completely free.

Email signatures
An email signature is a piece of text that’s automatically added to the end of all your emails. Make sure you put a link to your site in yours so every message you send is helping with your promotion. Continue reading

Search Engine Optimisation – is it worth paying for?

If you have a website, and quite often if you don’t, you are sure to receive emails offering you search engine optimisation (SEO). These services vary in price, but they all cost money you can ill afford. But there is plenty you can do to boost your position in searches which don’t cost you anything.

To understand how to get good rankings on search engines, put yourself in Google’s shoes. Their reputation is based on providing good search results – useful sites that provide the information searchers want. So what Google is looking for is good, relevant content and that is what pushes you up the rankings. As a result, the best way to improve your chances of showing up in searches is to provide good content and make it easy for search engines to find you.

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10 mistakes to avoid on your author website

Your author website will be much more effective if you avoid these mistakes.

1: Making it hard for visitors to find their way around the site
If you don’t provide a clear way for visitors to get around your site, they won’t find many of your pages. What you need is a clear navigation on each page that lists the main links along the top of the page or down the left hand side where people expect to see them.  To work well, they need to be in the same order in the same place on every page to avoid confusing your visitors or leaving them stranded.

2: Using confusing navigation links
Although you might enjoy thinking up imaginative names for your navigation links, you risk confusing your visitors. They might not realise that “Shelf Space“ is your Books section,  “Inside Secrets” means  “About Me” and “Out and About” contains information on your speaking events. The situation gets even worse if you decide to use pictures instead of words.  Remember that the visitors to your site are just one click away from going elsewhere, and that’s what they will do if you ask them to play a guessing game in order to find their way around. Continue reading

Planning your author website

This is the second in a series of posts about author websites. If you have never had a website before, you may want to read Author websites – the basics first.

Before you or your web designer start to create your site, you need to plan what will be in it. The bare minimum is

  • A page about you
  • A page about your books.
  • Contact details, either on a separate page or as a clickable link on the other pages.

Of course, we’re talking about web pages here which can be as long or as short as you like. In theory, you could put the whole of War and Peace on one page, but no one would be likely to read it.

You may also like to have

  • A blog
  • Information about speaking events
  • Extra book pages if you’ve written several books or write in different genres
  • Sample chapters
  • Information about the topics you write about. This is especially useful if you write non-fiction as it can help establish you as an expert in your field.

So let’s look at all of those in more detail. Continue reading

Author websites – the basics

An author website is an essential part of your marketing campaign. It makes it easy for readers and reviewers to find you online and gives you somewhere to send people for information about you and your books. So how can you make your site as effective as possible without spending a fortune. Continue reading