(Not sure if I'm posting to the right group or not, and I apologize if I'm not.)

I'm going to take some advice I've frequently heard and set up a website for myself as an author using Weebly (supposedly have a wesbite makes one look more professional to an agent).  However, I don't have anything published yet - I have one complete manuscript I've been sending out query letters for, and various other works in various states of completion.  I'm also waiting to see what happens with some short fiction I've submitted to Everydayfiction.com.

With this in mind, any tips for an author's website if said author hasn't published yet?  Do any of us unpublished authors have a website of their own I could take a look at as an example?  (Or can anyone point me in the direction of one?)


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  • Thanks, Deb. I have been lucky to have an SEO son who got websites, forums, and blogs up for my first book, Sweet Poison. That led to an international presence for my work, which landed book sales in England and Japan. Now that we have facebook, it is much easier to keep that web presence going using the marketing tools on-line. I never really thought about being "ahead of my time" because the work that I do with the diet sweeteners, holistic nutrition, and now, Earth changes seems so "normal" to me, but you are right - I am a trailblazer. The Internet has been my best tool, no doubt. My latest "tool" is Word Press - that is an amazing way to promote your work online.

  • Nathanial, 

    Did you ever get this figured out? It would be easy to set up a digital marketing and social media strategy for you. It is all a part of branding that should happen before you publish. Let me know where you are with this. Deborah@WAENet.com

    Let us know how you are doing with this.

  • You should absolutely have a website as part of an integrated marketing and platform building strategy. Too many authors contact literary agents and tell them that they will market their book after it is published. This is backwards. A book has to be ready to take off before a publishing will want to take it on. The author needs to already have a following. A simple author site is the best way to begin. 

    You can also consider producing your book to build an audience and then seek to "license" to a larger publisher. We are setting up micro publisher(sm) on our WAENet sister site offthebookshelf.com that are complete with blogging and other ways to build a platform. I chose this type of site over many many others because the end result is a site that is also an online catalog that showcases your work. 

    They are customizable. You can even showcase smaller works whenever you have them so people can get to know your writing. This is a way to rise above the noise that writers face on the internet. 

    If you want further info about the sites contact me at Deborah@WAENet.com

    If anything learn about social media marketing. Hope this helps. 

  • I set my website up on Simplesite.com. Looks professional and easy to set up and add to. Has many features and is only nine dollars a month to maitain. Check it out.  Donna L. Walo-Clancy   dwaloclancy.com

    • Thank you for this information Donna, 

      It is always good to have these resources. Are you a self publisher? How is your site traffic? Would love to know how you promote the site. 

      Thanks for being a WAENet member.

  • It might be easier to help if we knew what your fiction was about. Who is your audience? What type of topics do you think would interest them?

    Blogs are great but you'll still need to direct traffic there. If you want people to see your content the keywords, the type of content, and links are important factors.

    One thing I see a number of authors do is to create a blog or site about themselves ,like "Ian Nathaniel Cohen Author" or "Author Ian Nathaniel Cohen's Facebook Page". I think that's a mistake. I don't care about authors, unless they're famous or considered to be an expert in something.

    ...but if you write about something I'm passionate about, like wolves, wolfdogs, and northern breeds, then I would be sure to find you and your content, and if I like your style, I'll find out more about you.

    Branding yourself helps, but unless you're famous (again), I believe your "subject" brand should come first.

    Right now, I'm building the "Wolfer Magic" brand. I started it about 6 months ago.

    I created a free website for my two Wolfer Magic book projects that I will ".com" when I'm ready.

    My Wolfer Magic Facebook fans are awesome, but it's  work. It's a daily process to find new content to entertain my audience and draw new fans. I spend about a 1/2 hour to an hour each night researching and preparing the next day's 2-3 posts. The posts are varied, they can be informative, inspirational or funny. Fans love the weekly caption contests and can submit their pets as a "wolfer or wolfer wannabe of the day". It's fun:)

    I've created so many useful posts that people started asking "where is that article about... ", so I organized the posts and created a Wolfer Magic blog about training, socializing, and living with wolfdogs and their cousins.

    I also produce a "Wolfer Magic" video for my YouTube channel every week or two. YouTube is great for sending people to Facebook because I sign off each video as "Wolfer Magic Facebook" plus I'm getting a YouTube following as myself.

    People are getting to know me by name during the whole process.

    All these sites, blogs, pages, videos, even Twitter (I'm not a Twitter fan) cross pollinate each other.

    There is also the power of social networking. I'm an administrator for Howling Wood's  Facebook page (a local wolfdog rescue) and Wolfer Magic is listed in their brochure  because I'm donating 1/2 the proceeds to the farm.

    I post and comment in the dog and wolfdog communities around the world. Then... I highlight other rescues and their adoptables on my pages to reach out to their fans. I'm not stealing their members, I'm providing a more exposure for their cause.

    I hope to do vlog interviews, podcasts, and webinars in the future.

    As you can probably see, any subject you are passionate and knowledgeable about that ties into your book is a good place to start. This way you never run out of material or inspiration.

    In the Company of Wolves: Wolfer Magic
    The book, Wolfer Magic is a collection of inspirational stories gathered from people who have had healing, moving and spiritual encounters with “wolf…
    • Hi Sangay, 

      What a great reply. You are really "getting" it. I would love for you to consider setting up your own micro publisher imprint unless you are already selling a lot of books. You would be a great candidate for this kind of model. We didn't have this available when we started this site. I am passionate about it as the future of publishing. 

      How are you doing your research for your posts. Perhaps they can be streamlined. I learned a lot of  time saving and effective ways to curate information for SEO and posting during my studies. Once again, thank you for being such a valued member of WAENet. 

      Let me know if you need anything else here. Would love to feature you in a newsletter. 


  • Non-fiction content is easier to put on the social web, I guess, because current events involving the topic are happening everyday. So, good point in that I can easily post daily articles related to my book that might be harder for you. With fiction, you have to create something that draws people to you when they surf social "news."

    Start off with a personal profile page on Facebook or on a WordPress website about YOU. This then spins off to a tab on your website about your work. Then this spins off to a tab about your book query. Talk about how and why you wrote the book; who your characters are modeled after. Make your book real for readers on the web, and this should help get a publisher interested in your "world."

    You are putting up "teaser or trailers"to your book in the form of related articles, news stories, personal experiences that draw web browsers into your book.

  • Hi, Nathaniel. I'll step up to the plate here. I have websites for both books that I've published, and for my newest book that I am trying to get published now. To answer your question: YES, websites and blogs are the way to go these days. 

    I write non-fiction exposes, and I am typically always ahead of the game, so with my newest book, As The World Turns: Preparing For The Biggest Shift In Earth History, I am trying to pioneer a pretty drastic change in awareness. Publishers are having a hard time "seeing" how this "different genre" will sell, so, I'm going to show them - I'm blogging snippets of the book and my new ideas - http://www.extinctiontheory.com/.

    And, it's working for me. I hope it is a tool that my agent can use, too, but it's definitely working, and interactive on Facebook and Twitter.

    I wrote my first book, Sweet Poison exposing the dangers of NutraSweet/Equal in 1997, and it has had long-legs (albeit, not a best-seller). But, I put a website up in 1997, and have a blog/forum/newsletter http://www.janethull.com/healthynews/ with over 50,000 subscribers today. 

    So, yep, this is necessary for you before your book sells. If you love your work and would do it no matter if your book gets picked up or not, create a website and a blog and have fun with your passion.

    I hope this helps.     

    Extinction Theory
    A New View of The Earth
    • Thanks for sharing this Jan. You know I love your work and under the words "passion for her subject" is certainly your picture. You were doing digital marketing before we knew what to call it. Always ahead of your time. Thanks for being a valued member of WAENet.

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