Your book has been published – is there any point in having a website?

A new author asked me recently whether I thought it would be worth her while to set up a website. ‘I like the thought of having a platform out there, but obviously if nobody is going to look at it then there’s no point…’

I would ask, is there any point in NOT having a website? It doesn’t cost anything and with platforms like this one (wordpress) it isn’t difficult to set one up, even for someone as technically challenged as me.

Your website is like your shop window. You can point people towards it via your social networking profiles, email signatures, business cards and any other promos you can think of, such as bookmarks, and show them what you do.

You can install ‘buy now’ buttons, so they can instantly order your book from you if they like what they see (but be careful not to undercut amazon on price, or they’ll delist it).

The job of writing the text and adding images is entirely pleasurable if you love writing – and I’m guessing you must, as you’ve actually managed to complete a whole novel.

You’re trying to convey a sense of you as the author – your style, as well as the style of your book. You want your website visitors to know, from reading your site, what kind of reading experience they might expect to find in your books.

The content you choose to include will also probably reflect the kind of books you write. For example, I’ve got a fair amount of personal information on my website’s ‘About’ page, because I share my own experiences in my non-fiction, and write in a personal kind of voice.

In the separate area on my site for my children’s books, the content and voice is aimed at younger readers, including a second ‘About’ page with different information on.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 17.08.25


Just as with the content and voice of the text, the visual style of your blog should have the same feel as your books. A romantic novelist, for example, needs a style that’s completely different from a lit fic writer.

Setting up your own website makes keeping it updated really easy – you’re not having to send a batch of updates to a web designer every couple of weeks or months – and it evolves like any other kind of creative work.

As well as being a shop window for you and your work, your website can be a hub for all your networks. You can add links to your blog, if you have one, to your social media profiles and also a sign-up button to your mailing list (I use mailchimp for mine – definitely worth checking out).

If you’re new to all this, it can feel daunting setting up a website, but remember no one can see anything until you press ‘publish.’ Even then, you can just publish to a few people if you like, and get their feedback first, rather than going public straight away. So play around and enjoy it!

Rather like when your book is published, when you publish your website it won’t suddenly mean gazillions of people are flocking to read it. For almost everyone, it’s a slow build. But you don’t need gazillions of people to like your work.

If you can get a couple of hundred people who like it enough to tell their friends, with any luck that could set the snowball rolling, and your readership will begin to grow.

So friends, if you liked this post, please tweet, fb or share it. The buttons are all here below, for your convenience!



4 thoughts on “Your book has been published – is there any point in having a website?”

  1. As I’m having trouble finding a reputable AND cost-effective firm to help me self-publish, I’ve considered just publishing it on my own Word Press blog. I could publish a chapter per week or every few days. The blog connects to my Facebook page and Twitter feed anyway, and a number of friends (both real and virtual) have read my stuff through those formats. The marketing part, though, is also the toughest aspect for me. I’m of the introverted mindset and don’t consider salesmanship my best attribute. Then again, I’m passionate about my writing and know it’s one thing about me in which I’m 100% confident.

    All these publishing options are great, but you know the adage about getting what you wish for!

    1. You can publish for nothing in amazon, and for very little in Ingram Spark, Alejandro, if you have the time to work out the formatting, or know someone who does – like blogsites, these self publishing platforms are designed for people with no IT skills and they can be very straightforward to use. I hire in the expertise I need – editing (that’s the most expensive part, but worth it), formatting the interiors, illustration (for children’s) and cover design – so I’ve gathered a team of freelancers from contacts/linkedin/ALLi. It’s an act of faith though, because although it costs far less than a package with one of these firms, it still means paying upfront with the possibility of never recouping your losses. I read, early on in my blogging life, that blogs aren’t a great medium for publishing creative writing, because people come to blogs for different things than the reasons they come to books, though I’m not sure that still pertains. I don’t personally read books online or even ebooks, because the pleasure of books is partly in them as physical objects, for me. As to marketing, I think the modern book scene, which makes it possible for people to spread the word about their books without ever having to go out of the house, or do talks and other events, is quite introvert-friendly. Bottom line with publishing is, whether you publish traditionally or under your own steam, you’re very unlikely to reach loads of readers or make loads of money, that’s just a fact, so I think we all need to understand why we’re doing it and what we hope to gain from it. I might do a blog on the marketing thing at some point!

      1. I hired an independent, professional editor to review it and I’m so glad I did. Although, I had perused it as thoroughly as I could, she found a few errors. I had placed a request for a book editor in one of my writing groups on LinkedIn. I might have to do the same with an artist. I had asked an artist friend and former work colleague to do the artwork, since I’d seen some of the stuff he’d done and liked it. I told him exactly what I wanted, so there’d be no real room for conjecture on his part, and told him I’d pay him whatever he felt was fair. I certainly didn’t expect even him to work for free! Too many artists have died from “exposure.”

        Alas, I never heard back from him about that or anything else for that matter. When my father died in 2016, I had sent out a mass email to several people, including him, as well as posting it to Facebook. But, unlike most everyone else, he never responded to any of it. Therefore, I assumed he just doesn’t want anything to do with me, which is fine. People have their own lives to lead.

        I’ll have to look at Amazon again. The first time I’d contacted them about publishing they had given me an outrageous quote; even without editing and artwork, it was something close to USD 2,000. I guess there was some kind of misunderstanding between us. To quote from a 1967 movie: what we have here is a failure to communicate. But I read recently they were discontinuing their publishing imprint, or something to that effect.

        Thanks, Jenny!

        1. I didn’t realise amazon did a publishing package, Alejandro. If you go to KDP (kindle direct publishing) you’ll see how easy it is to upload cover and interior files and set your price, book description and everything for your ebook. They do paperbacks too now, I believe, but I still use Createspace, amazon’s original paperback publishing platform. I pay to get my interior files done, because I haven’t the time or patience to learn, but they’ve got templates you can use and everything. You don’t pay amazon at all to publish your book, they just take their cut on any sales you make. Check out the Alliance of Inde Authors’ blog for info on self publishing if you’re thinking of going that route.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s