|At the Mercy of Her Pleasure|
Some publishers provide authors with a few free copies of their books to give away, and that's it. Let's not even talk about self-published authors getting marketing help. Those of us who are hybrid authors and do both know it can be a huge burden. We are the publisher as well as the marketing department. Authors ask each other all the time, "How can I tell readers about my book?"
One way is to provide a great page to help readers learn about your book. If you're like me, you want to do it yourself. Who better than me to know my book and what needs to be done to tell people about it? Are you a DIY (do it yourself) author? If so, here are a few steps for creating a great page on your website to let readers find out more about your book.
The better the book cover image, the greater the chance of a purchase, so make sure your cover is first-impression worthy. Position it at the top left of your book page. Recommended size will vary depending on the website, but either 200x300 or 500x750 (measured in pixels). For online use, 72 dpi (low resolution) is preferred. But if you don't have that option, share a size that fits the page without filling up all the space. It should be on the left side. That's the top "real estate" online. Readers look from left to right, just like when reading a book, so put the most important info there, and any attention grabbing images as well.
Tagline and Blurb
Near your cover image should be an intriguing tagline and blurb. These should give the concept of the story, without revealing the end. If you ask a question, make sure it does not have a Yes or No answer. (Q: Will Mary learn to trust Johnny and find true love? A: Well, yes, it's a romance!) If the answer is obvious, why would anyone buy the book? Ask open ended questions. (Q: How can Mary and Johnny learn to trust, after the depth of their mutual betrayal? A: No way to tell without reading the book to see!)
List the publisher, genre, and for some genres, the heat level of the book. If it's spicy or erotic, don't be afraid to say so. Likewise, if you write sweet romance, let your readers know. You want to find your target audience, and someone looking for "sweet science fiction romance books" is more likely to find your page if you have listed it that way.
This is also referred to as a Call-to-Action link. Place the links within easy sight of the cover itself, near the top of the page. Don't write "On Amazon". There are millions of books on Amazon. Give the exact URL for your book, and make sure people can click it. If your book is on other sites, include all the links you can. Don't make your readers work to find your book. Give them everything they need to decide to buy your book now.
A banner for the book is a big help on a page like this. Center it if you have room.
Be sure to include a caption for the cover and banners. In addition, add the title of the book and its genre to the alt tag of every image. That's one way search engines find the title. If you have the title listed on the page, mentioned in the body, and in the alt tags, the search engine will give the page more weight when the title is searched for on Google or other sites. It will also give Pinterest something to show if visitors share the image. (Share either of the images on this page to see what I mean.)
|At the Mercy of Her Pleasure|
Give your readers a sneak peek of what they will get when they purchase your book. The length is up to you. You can include it within the page, or attach it as a downloadable PDF.
Social Media Sharing
Include major social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and an email forwarding option.
Newsletter Sign up
Build your email list by offering a link to your newsletter on every book page. You can also link to sites like Authorgraph (providing autographs for eBooks) and Author Alarms (which provides a single email when you release a book on Amazon).
Book trailer video
Reviews for your book
Awards the book has won
Links to your other books
Your sidebars or other areas should also include social media links so people can follow or friend you online. Readers buy from authors they know and like. Be findable, and be friendly.
To see how I used these options, visit my book page for At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. If you use Wordpress and create your own site, there are many simple widgets to help you create a great page. If you have questions, leave them in the comment section below. I'll do my best to answer them. Likewise, if you have an idea to add, feel free to leave a comment.