Don’t get me wrong. Social Media is a great innovation. It’s a phenomenal way to communicate. It’s quick, free and easy and gives you good opportunities for feedback. Social Media and book marketing services for authors like the book promotions we do at Book Hub are really important and serve a vital purpose for authors who need to promote their books.
But is an author's social media all you need to promote yourself online?
Many writers and authors run with just a twitter account and Facebook page. Often with the two linked (which in itself is suboptimal). If you promote to publishers you might have added a LinkedIn, some Instagram and perhaps even a periscope and YouTube channel for trailers. But is that enough? Or do you need to think about getting a good, old website to pull your entire online presence together.
Perhaps you want to start a blog, to generate some interest, or draw people’s attention to a new series, or a book magnet?
Then perhaps you need your own online space.
1 – It projects professionalism.
You may or may not already own an author domain. If not, it’s worth getting one because even just the e-mails offer a level of perceived professionalism. email@example.com just looks better than firstname.lastname@example.org. Social media is quick and easy and that holds true both for you and for scammers and cowboys. A permanent online base has an authority that social media can’t offer. It gives an extra feeling of quality to your readers.
2 – It protects your message.
You’ve got a great book, and someone is looking for something to read that evening. Happening upon your Facebook profile it helps them make their decision. Result! Or possibly not, because of the advert on your page for someone else. Social media is run as a platform for advertising. Facebook, for example, follows people’s likes and interests specifically to use as advertising targeting. Facebook is designed so your competitors can promote themselves to your fans, on your page, after you used your content to attract them! Keeping it as part of your book marketing is great, but having it as the only place you can be found online is not ideal.
3 – An author website allows you to be in total control of your online marketing.
It’s your space. You make the rules. You can control comments; you can do whatever you like on there. Want to run a mail-out to your twitter followers? You can’t access that information. You want to run a competition? With your own website, go for it. You won’t expect to get many negative comments, but they do happen, and with social media you have less control over what is visible on your platform.
4 – It will pull everything together.
You’ll have reviews, sample chapters, events, or galleries of cover images. You can host them all over the internet and let your prospective customers hunt around to find you, or have them in one place, and use your social media platforms to drive people there. Your strategy should have several spokes that connect back to one hub in the centre. A website is the hub of your online marketing.
5 – It makes you more visible online, and helps your ‘sell’.
As an author, you want to find readers. And to do that, you need people to realise that they want what you have to offer. A blog is a great way to do that and regular content is also a fantastic way to get you noticed by Google. Your post won’t be vanishing away down people’s timelines the moment it’s posted. It’ll be front and centre. Meanwhile, if you are doing it on Social Media, all you are doing is helping their rankings.
6 – It expands your reach.
Roughly half of the online population are active on Social Media. If you were not familiar with Facebook or Twitter, can you imagine trying to find useful information? But while more than half of the online population aren’t using social media, what they are is online elsewhere, and looking for you.
7 – It’s always there.
You’re not open for business 24/7, but your author website can be. As a one-stop-shop for information on you and your books, that is easy to find and easy to use, it ensures that no matter when someone decides to look for you, they can find everything they need. They might not be able to give you a call, but with well thought-out, accessible content, they wouldn’t need to.
Imagine you were doing this back in the mists of time and put a lot of time and energy into setting up your business profile on Bebo or Myspace? Or Bolt.com (Which was once, apparently a thing). If Facebook decided to change colourscheme to something that clashed horribly with your brand, there’s not much you can do. Your website is yours. Forever.
9 – It’s cheaper than you think.
Book marketing is full of big, bloated media companies who show you their pool tables and juice bars without reminding you who is paying for them. (Clue… It’s you…). But an online presence doesn’t need a team of people with huge overheads and by concentrating all of our efforts on our authors instead of groups of millennials on Segways, Book Hub offers the same exceptional rates for build and design of websites as we do for all of our other offers.
10 – You CAN do it yourself.
The idea of just knocking up your own unique website might make you stare at the screen in silence, blink a couple of times and then shudder. But the landscape has changed. You don’t need to spend thousands at a shiny web design company, charging you extra every time you want them to edit a page title. Or if it is still too daunting, we can not only help you out, but we can teach you how to manage your author website so you can retain full control for ever.
The days of shelling out vast sums on even the most basic of sites are long gone. Or at least they should be. So take a look at what we can offer with our new authors websites and how little we can offer it for.