Your Book and a Great Website
One of the most overlooked and easiest ways to get your book into the hands of the people you wrote it
for, is having a great website. Build a great Website. I can't state this often enough or strongly enough:
you must have an attractive, easy to use Website that lets your visitors do four things:
Buy your book
Register and download sample chapters or get your e-newsletter
E-mail friends about your book
Find out more about you
Your Website should be ground zero for your book business, the place where everyone comes to buy copies,
give you their contact information, communicate with you about media interviews or bulk orders, and just
learn about your book and why they should buy it. It's the single most important aspect of your marketing plan.
Notice that I said, "great" Website. There are thousands of new books coming out every month, and many of
them are amateurish at best. Having a sloppy, clunky, poorly written Website only makes your book look
like one of those amateur-hour productions. Invest the money in a professional Web developer, someone who
can design a classy, beautiful site, build your e-commerce system and give you the means to easily update
your site's content at any time.
Good sites all make the books and their authors appear professional, legitimate, and smart. They're inviting
information centers for people to come to and spend time getting to know both book and writer.
You should have your Website up and running before you begin any PR or sales activities, probably at least
two months before your book hits the streets. Talk to several Web designers or get a referral from someone
you trust. In any case, make sure your site has at least these features:
E-commerce so people can buy your book.
A registration page that asks visitors to give you their contact information before they can download a sample chapter or get your e-newsletter.
A media section where members of the press can download your press kit as a PDF, read other media coverage, and contact you for interviews.
A contact page with all your contact information.
A bio page with your personal story.
A function that allows visitors to e-mail their friends from your site.
Sample your book in print and on the Internet.
If you have a Web site (and you should), it's simple. Just take a chapter from your book, paste it
into its own file with the proper copyright information so it's a self-contained document, turn it into
a PDF (Portable Document Format, a wonderful type of file created by Adobe), and place it on your
Website for free downloading. Then send an e-mail to your entire list offering them an excerpt from your
upcoming book free. A 10 percent or 20 percent response rate is not out of the question.
For print publications, it goes like this:
Pull together a list of target newspapers and magazines.
Contact the editors by e-mail asking if they would be interested in running your excerpt at no cost (editors love content they can get for free).
Send your chapter as a Word file to those who agree. Make sure it's completely clean and free of any typos or grammatical errors, and include an author bio at the end that lists your Web address.
Be sure to get reprints or a PDF of the printed article you can use for publicity purposes.
Start sending e-mails to editors several months before your book comes out. It usually takes a while to hear back, and even longer to actually get your sample in print.
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For a great resource on easily creating an effective and cheap website for your book go to