Your book tells authors they must have their own website, and lists a variety of reasons. I want to do everything I can to make my book sell except I do NOT want to create a website. It looks very hard and then I’d have to keep up with it and make updates and I don’t want to.
Other than the “changing links” thing you talk about in your book, are there any other big reasons I should invest the time and money to have my own website?
I could provide 50 reasons if I had all day to write about this but, unfortunately, I don’t. Yes, the book 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online gives advice on scenarios that would make you wish you’d had your own website all along. They include:
1. You need to have your own website where you can publish your own writing, feature your own marketing content, correspond with readers, collect email addresses for your newsletter or blog, and more. This is true whether you are self-published or traditionally published. But, your website can just be a one-page store front for your books and/or your writing services as well. More on that below.
2. Paying your publisher to create and host a website for you makes you vulnerable to losing your entire website if the publisher goes belly-up. When Dog Ear Publishing went out of business, and its owner abandoned his authors, that was just one of the devastating effects.
3. You must have a website with your own website address (“URL” or Uniform Resource Locator) that you own and control. It doesn’t matter whether your website is only one page or several. You must have one. That ensures you will never lose control of YOUR website. Do NOT use anything like yourname.verybigISPcompany.com. It must be yourname.com or yourbooktitle.com or anything you want…as long as YOU own and control it. Period.
4. The most important reason to have your own website is so you can point readers to that URL in ALL of your marketing materials. Why? Imagine your publisher going out of business after you’d spent 5, 10, or more years directing people to the publisher’s website to buy your book. Or, maybe you included an Amazon link in all of those marketing activities. When the publisher goes out of business, all of those links disappear. Anyone happening upon your articles, social media posts, blog posts, interviews, and anything at all posted about your books in the past would not be able to buy your book.
5. And, there’s one more reason to have your own website rather than paying someone else to do it. CANCEL CULTURE. If you let any other person or company host your website, they have the power to “cancel” you if they don’t like something in your book, something you wrote online, or even some of your social media posts.
You may think you’re safe from this garbage right now but you never know which way the politically correct tide is going to move in the future. YouTube “cancels” videos and channels all the time. If you create videos to promote yourself or your book, you should post them to your own website, and direct people there. Use YouTube as a secondary method of video promotion. You might pick up some extra business from people who stumble upon your videos there. But, don’t list YouTube links in your marketing materials and activities. Only send people to your own website to see your videos.
Creating and maintaining a website is not difficult these days. It doesn’t have to be super fancy, or have any bells and whistles. It can simply be a one-page website that features your book’s cover, the description, perhaps and excerpt, and links where people can buy the book.
If those links change in the future, you simply need to change the links on YOUR website. All of the previous posts, articles, etc. appearing online will still be pointing to your website so people will still be able to easily buy your book with the updated links on YOUR website.
You can read far more GREAT advice in:
90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan
- Should Writers/Journalists Let Facebook Host Their Websites and Newsletters? No. Here’s Why.
- How to Instantly Lose Your Entire Website? Buy Website Design/Hosting Services from a Crappy Publisher!
- Does that “Fictitious” Website in Your Novel Already Belong to Somebody Else?
- Promote Your OWN Website, Not Your Publisher’s
- You’re Big Enough For Your Own Website By Eric D. Goodman
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
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