Another important marketing tool that will add to your credibility as an author will be your author website. This can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but do not sleep on this step. You will need a website.
Here is what you’ll need to get and assemble your author website:
First things first, you’ll need to purchase your domain name. You will want your name to be your URL. If your name is taken, try adding “author”, or “books” into the URL.
Want to see if your desired domain name is taken? Check here: www.instantdomainsearch.com
Expected cost: $10 – $20 per year
Next, purchase hosting. Basically this is the place in cyberspace where your website will live.
Expected cost: $3 – $7 per month.
You can invest thousands of dollars with a web designer and developer if you wish, or you can buy an inexpensive template on a web builder. If you want a simple website, I would recommend the latter.
I started with Wix.com and I think Wix.com is a great tool as it has great templates and is very user friendly with its drag and drop interface. More recently I wanted to build a blog, so I migrated my site to WordPress as they have the best blogging platform.
Use your headshot, biography you Amazon Author Central profile and lay them out here. Also, include the biography – you’ve already done the work so just copy and paste into your website. Include a section of your books with hyperlinks to their Amazon pages. Lastly, add a contact form so people can reach you.
If you can, create an opt-in mailing list with a Mailchimp or Omnisend that have free packages available. If you want to build the list, you’ll need to give them a reason to subscribe – offer those who opt-in to your list something like a free book chapter.
WordPress is another great website builder, but it has a steep learning curve and isn’t for the layperson. If you want to have a blog, I would advise finding someone to help you set up a WordPress site with a template and Elementor – a plugin that turns the interface into drag and drop, as no other platform can compete for WordPress when it comes to blogging.
You can bundle all of your web services, or have your hosting and domain name with one company like Network Solutions or GoDaddy, and then use Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace to build the site. This will leave you open and free to change platforms in the future.
You can use free or paid subscriptions for many of these services, but if you opt for the former, ads will bounce all over your site and detract from a professional look.
Again, what’s the goal of self-publishing? Appear traditionally published!