Which kind of website is preferable for an author wishing to publish many books?
I have seen 'www.author-name.com' and 'www.book-name.com', which is the best for an author presently with many publications and wishing to publish more. In the future, should each of my publications be posted on a different website? Professional advice will be appreciated
You should get ALL related domain names and point them to the one! My books are at DebtSmart.com but you can also get there from my own website (see my profile) and many, many more. Not only does it give people more ways to find you, but it helps protect your branding.
Make a web page for each book with a link to a PDF, or electronic version, with some data on seminars, webinars, atc. That will generate sales for you also.In addition contact Amazon and offer a Kindle version of the book.
I agree with Scott. At the end of the day, you are talking about establishing a domain strategy, and one that might make sense is:
- Main site, domain is your name
- Create sections with the site for each book. Might be one page, might be several.
- Apply vanity URLs by pointing them directly to book pages.
- This is done by point them to your site and editing the htaccess file or the web.config file, so people can go straight to a specific book.
- Ensure that each book cross promotes the other, and have clear navigation to the rest of your content.
This way you can invest in your brand, tied to your name, but promote specific products in different locations that are strategically relevant to each specific book.
There are lots of permutations and ways you can do this, but this is likely what I would recommend to a client who was an author.
Your website is a means to an end in order to sell your books.
You certainly can have one site with everything but you should also consider publishing directly on Amazon (through their branded use of createspace.com) to take advantage of their huge subscriber base and Kindle readership. With enough books, they will give you your own author page when people will find when using the search engines and that will link to all your books.
Individual sites or landing pages also work well when promoting a single book. People side-ways surf the web now as they come into your site through search engines so you can have the best home page in the world but if someone enters through a different page on your site, you might lose them, hence my recommendation for also using landing pages to promote each book.
A good source for creating landing pages easily is at Megaphone (www.megaphoneapp.com). They do a good job of giving you templates and capturing customer leads when you have people sign-up to download a sample of your book. You can link from these pages back to your store or to your author page on Amazon.
Hope that helps and good luck!
Sorry, but I disagree slightly with most of the advice given. If you are writing several books, buy a URL with the title of each book or a shorten version of the title using all the keywords.
Then, have a main website, a hub, that lists all your books with a link to each separate website.
I suggest this because most people do not look for information by looking for an author's name -- they are looking to solve a problem or find information about a pertinent topic.
In my case, I have a book on selling wholesale, one on Finding Sales Reps and a third on Exhibiting at Trade Shows. These are all three different (but related) topics with a sales page for each publication. On my blog, I reference a page with a shortened version of the sales page (with a buy link and a link to the long sales page) for each book. I also have another static site that list all the resources, using a URL that is keyword rich.
Of course, adding links to your other resources on every website is also a good idea.
Anyway, this strategy has worked well for me and gives me extra exposure on the web.
The definitive way is to build a themed content site where each publication would have it's own dedicated primary keyword(s). The individual publication pages would be categorized and structured properly into tiers on the main site as subpages. Done correctly, this is the very best way to generate buyer traffic and great SEO.
Contact me if you want to discuss at length.
If you want to do it right, you need a website (domain with the name of the book) for each book. I would also have an author web page with a page about every book and information about the author and other info, etc.
The individual book webpages need to reference your main website (author site) and point to the "author site" when referencing the author, to purchase the book, advertising other books, and so on. To keep e-commerce simple you make the "author site" the place where visitors would go to purchase the book. You should also offer the book in every available format digitally or in print; through amazon, at books stores, on iTunes, etc.
If you have a publisher, hopefully they would know how to market the book.
Stefan Muirhead already mentioned the word strategy. This is where I would start to determine what you want to accomplish with your online presence.
Do you want to sell yourself? Sell books directly? Create an online user interactive book experience? Ask yourself, what are your immediate and long term goals? Increase Readership? sell more books ? Interactive writing? Introduce yourself to whom? Your goals will determine which approach you want to take. As to domain names.... Consider how difficult it is to remember and then correctly spell your name. Are you generally known already? How complicated are your book titles. Do you have distinct categories or genres of publications which have different site visitors? Why would a user search for your name? What type of user is this? - a publisher, a particular type of reader? Etc. You should get advice concerning correctly tagging your titles so that they appear prominently in people's search results. Finally, consider developing your social and mobile online presence and strategy. Start with what you want to accomplish and what you want readers, publishers, friends - your users to do. This will provide the answers to the how your online presence should best evolve.
You want to promote your name as a brand. Books, unless it becomes a classic, has a short product cycle of 12 - 18 months. You can have a store on your author site to promote your books. You want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to find your books. Unless website design is one of your core competencies, you should have it built by a professional. You only have 7 seconds to capture a viewers interest. Bounce rate is extremely important to Google search. If it is high, Google assumes there is nothing of interest on your site and will penalize you in the searches.
I can't see how it would be beneficial to have many different sites. Surely one site that has a catch-all phrase that relates to your subjects or even your name has got to be better to prevent dilution of your brand.
You may begin with something like www.learnoutloud.com. Each new publication will have a separate page so no need for a new website. Let me know your thoughts.
I would use something like WordPress so that it is easy for you to manage and inexpensive to get started. Once you hit it big and are making millions you can upgrade to a professional (more expensive) site.
Let me know if I can help.
I have to agree with Sandy and Tom.
You either have a franchise of books - i.e. a series and therefore one website... or you have a variety of books (even fiction and nonfiction) therefore as an author or brand. Each requires only one core website that can house multiple tabs for each book.... There is no value to hosting, managing and updating multiple websites.. though pointing various vanity URL's to one single website is fine.
As well, there is power and weight in showing your readers that you are an author with multiple publications.....not sending them to a lot of different places for them to interact with you, the author.
First try to build your followers in Facebook, and Twitter that will help you to find the right publisher for your books. Good Luck!!!
For the purposes of selling literary products, I would use a Blogging Platform, this allows you multiple content structures. Advertise the Book and blog about it and it's author. Post transcripts from the book, but be careful to entitle them as such, and for God's sake don't paraphrase the work. after a brief snippet, hit your sale pitch hard. I would include your thoughts on the book as well, and why you would support your clientele's purchase.
You have had lots of great advice that I agree with and will echo some of it here, start with the end in mind. What is it you want to accomplish at the end of day? Do you want speaking gigs, are you looking to build your credibility and authority or just wanting to sell books? When I was creating my website, I went with book name because I have a series of books with the same name. I also purchased as many domains that were available with my name and redirected them to that book site. Also, the book site is linked to my main business site. I'm big on integrating, so if you do create multiple websites for each book, be sure they are integrated as much as possible.
Try a different approach: Google+
Google+ is the only social network directly linked to the biggest volume of potential readers you can connect to. I would argue your communication strategy is as important if not more important than your Owned spots, for example, if you create a handful of conversation topics that can be linked to themes (or characters) in your book, use Twitter to start conversations and engage with other relevant users, create hashtags around the content (ex. #motherinlaw, #stolenwallet) and create a compelling reason for people to engage with your content, then you can build a following of willing people who will come to you to find your content.
Use a Paid strategy, with some Adwords and Facebook ads, both bought on a CPC basis and driving to your Google+ page, and then have links outward to your Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other accounts where you can continue having the conversations you started elsewhere.
Buy some URLs, but go for something long-tail, like a quote you feel represents you as an author or from your book. This way you can build a story around it and not worry so much about competing with everyone and their grandma for high-cost, generic impossible to rank keywords.
As for a platform, there are literally thousands of fantastic Wordpress themes that you can fairly easily tailor to your needs - developed exactly for people like you who want to publish literature, built to let you add additional books as you publish them.
I'm going to disagree with several of the folks in here.
My suggestion to you is to form an "author hub" similar to what Sandy described. This will ensure the conglomeration of all of your book titles for ease of access for people who come to hear about your books THROUGH you.
Additionally, your individual product domains needn't be much more than an extended landing page with the appropriate amount of keyword saturation placed throughout. From there, you will be able to easily incorporate a free checkout solution (free in the sense that there are no monthly dues....only a small percentage of sales are taken. I'd recommend Stripe, which collects 2.9% from every sale and is easily integrated in to any website).
The majority of your traffic is undoubtedly going to come from Amazon. Make sure you do all you can to leverage your visibility on there. Because many of your visiting customers will already have an Amazon account established, it may be privy of you to simply offer a "checkout with Amazon" solution, which can be found on their website.
To quickly address earlier comments regarding redirects: DON'T DO IT.
While Google used to tolerate multiple URL redirects to point to a single, hosted domain, their newest algorithm update views this kind of tactic as spammy, and thus reduces your page's visibility.
I hope this helps address a few additional points. Good luck!