Before you think I’ve lost my marbles, and I may have after the month and a half I’ve had, hear me out. If you are a writer and want to publish your work you need to start your webventure now, before you publish anything, not after you launch your first book into the world.
There are several platforms you will need to have in place to build your audience, gather support, and get your name out there before you publish your first book:
Your Webventure Starts Here!
Your webventure begins with a website. Building a website is a must for every author. It can be easily done with free templates. In fact, my website is a template from WordPress.org that I have hosted on another site. If you can navigate a blog on WordPress.com you can build a website with WordPress.org. It is basically the same platform so everything will look familiar. I suggest purchasing your name as a domain name. For example, if your name is Suzie Q and you plan on using that as your name when you publish, purchase suzieq.com. Readers can then search for your name and find all your titles.
Pages to create on a website include:
- Author bio – it is not wise to give out personal information like your address and phone number. Keep this light and fun (perhaps expand what you have printed in your book.
- Book information – include cover picture, synopsis, reviews, and links to purchase. Create one page per book.
- Contact form – so fans can ask you questions and tell you how much your book changed their life.
- Links to your blog or other social media sites.
The second leg of your webventure is starting a blog. If you are reading this you know what one is and how to navigate one. Start your own and make it your own. Let your voice shine through. Talk about anything you want including: writing highs and lows, information you learn through trial and error, pass on tips from other writers, advertise literary events, ask for advice; give advice. You get my point, I know you do. A blog gets your name known before you publish. You can build anticipation within your blogging community so that when your book is published there is already people who want to read it. As a side note, I highly recommend not sharing your entire book on your blog as you write. Everyone that reads it there will not buy your book because they have already read it on your blog. It is okay to post a small piece of it if you are having trouble with a particular segment and need some advice from fellow bloggers. There are tools available to send your blog out to the other social media accounts you use with the click of one button.
The last leg of your webventure is the social media I lump together; Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Some people insist you should have an author Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a YouTube channel. In my opinion, it is extremely difficult to keep all three social media sites going. In the beginning I would pick one and do it well. By doing it well I mean; post a couple of times a day on Facebook, tweet several times a day on Twitter, and use YouTube to create videos for your books. I recommend creating an author account for each social media site you decide to use. By doing so you will keep your personal activity with friends and family separate from your fan base. Your fans don’t need to know how much you drank Friday night at the bonfire.
Whichever platforms you decide to use, let your style and voice come through and have fun doing it to the best of your ability. You will pick up tips along the way. It may seem foreign at the beginning but it will become second nature quickly.