Foundation and Basics
Book/Author Website or Web Pages
Learn more at: General Marketing | Press Releases | Book/Author Events | Other Tips
Basic Site Design Packages
Don't already have your material digitized? We offer that service!
Before actually getting started, consider the scope of what you will be doing online: Look to your web presence as a living part of your communication with the world. Don’t just pay someone to put up a static website (or do it yourself) and call it done. This may continue to be effective for new visitors, but you will not get many repeat visitors or generate much word of mouth recommendation. The easiest way to change things up for the novice is social networking or blogging and, for genealogy and can be as simple as updates on further research. Don’t turn your presence into a circus, but consider items like the following to keep growing traffic: bonus material, short term book snippets, weekly (you choose frequency) column, contests, discounts or giveaways, hints or tips you’ve found useful dealing with subject matter, wild (or not so wild) guesses, links of interest (be sure to submit or request exchange links in return), other’s submitted information – if released to you, etc.
Do you already rent space?
What does it cost to have a website? You are probably already paying for web space and don't even know it. Most dial up and high speed providers package web space into their fees. While the address (domain) may not be www.mynewbook.com or www.ImaAuthor.com, what do we expect for free? There are also several free service providers such as Bravenet, Webspace, and Angelfire, as well as blog and social networking services, but they dictate your address (based on user name) and commonly add extra ads to the site as well as may restrict you from actually selling anything through their service. An address (Universal Research Locator or URL) provided by your internet service provider (ISP) or at a free server, are generally their address with your username added in such as:
(Old Grand Lake, OK area provider - now defunct address)
(geocities was a free service provider that discontinued service October, 2009)
At a bit more cost, you can hand pick your very own web address. This is called a domain and is a separate fee from your ISP page space. An example for the same site found at the above addresses (URL) would be:
Addresses can be important if people are looking for you or your book and don't remember a lot about it. Even the best efforts to get into search engines are not foolproof. If the decision to purchase the domain, and keep up it's "rent" is made, you'll also need to decide on one author domain (generally your name) or a separate domain for each book.
To Recap: A webpage, or web site needs both online space (hosting) for the pages and an address. The address may be provided by your ISP for no additional charge, or you can buy (Annually) a domain of your own for your web page(s).
Basic Website Design
Try to keep your page size down - size means load time. Remember that not everyone has high speed connections - there are those who still exist on dial up, or public access computers. Yes, you could put the entire text of "War and Peace" on a single web page, but it's not recommended. Think of each page as a separate element or "chapter" of your site. Some basic page ideas (any category may be multiple pages) include:
About the author, publisher, etc.
About the book(s)
Press room (tip sheet, sell sheet, press releases/articles, etc.)
Press Kit (can be done with a press room, or in place of one)
Reviews and reader comments (could be guestbook or forum)
Physical details, i.e. number of pages, point size, cover type, etc.
Ordering process (information, shopping cart, etc.)
FAQ - frequently asked questions
Book content -
table of contents
excerpts or chapters (on page or PDF, etc. format)
thumbnails of cover or select pages
New and updated information about book
Event calendar (book signings, lectures, school visits, etc.)
Bonus content or special features not included in printed book -
Color photos to supplement black and white in book
Unpublished photos, documents and artwork/graphics
Deeper back story
More biographical or statistical information
Unproven genealogy "guesses"
Forum or Elist about the book content
Updated from author
Book buyer special offers
As your site grows you may wish to add:
Book/author specific calendar
As the site grows in page count, remember to build a good hyperlink structure - the way visitors move from one page to the next. The best site in the world can be frustrating if no one can get around (navigate) in it. A on-site search engine can be helpful, but don't depend on it for all navigation. Take a look at how websites you enjoy are laid out and plan accordingly.
For more suggestions
on this subject and more, order our book:
G550-$20.00 WRITING Family History Or Genealogy For Pleasure and Profit Complete edition, by Gregath Company, Inc., *updated* 2015. ISBN: 0-944619-00-2, 8½x11", softbound book, 126 pages, suggestions & examples of all facets of your project for the typist and/or computer user. Also available on disk.
Also we suggest:
Guerrilla Marketing for Writers - 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work
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Page Last Updated: December 23, 2016
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