Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Indie Author Series: Author Page (Basics and Bonuses)

This week, the YA Author Club sponsors will share with you everything you ever wanted to know about the all important author page. We will talk about what's good to include while reminding you what you should probably keep to yourself. Interestingly enough, this particular topic has suddenly reminded me of how many author pages I have and how exhausting it would be to maintain all of them if I didn't keep the information on them consistent. 

Believe it or not, I actually have more than the ones I'm listing below, but these are the most important. Take a few minutes and see what advice I can give you for each. Then, go to the other sponsors' sites and see what they have to say.

T. R. Graves Author Blog - This is one of the best way for readers/fans/followers to get to know you, the author. It's free and worth every minute you spend building, sharing, and loaning. It is extremely important that you treat this like the advertising tool it is. By this, I mean that you must post frequently... and those posts should be interesting/relevant/well thought out. If you think you are going to be able to periodically go out there and post a few sentences that are boring even to you, you will find that you will have a hard time attracting followers. Without followers, your important book notices will not be heard or shared. 

I should also mention that neatness counts when it comes to your blog. Take the time to make it neat and make extra sure the information is easy to read (too much clutter makes it hard to see the important facts). I'll be the first to say that there is a fine line. You want to include enough to interest your visitors without overwhelming them and preventing them from remembering the reason they came to visit. 

Amazon's Author Page - This is another great place to attract fans/friends/followers. In order to do that, you much link your books so your visitors will know which are yours without being forced to search each one out separately (which they will not do). Link your blog and your Twitter account so this visitor can get a one-stop-shop. Again, they will not go out and find these sites on their own. If it exists right in front of them and it interests them, you have succeeded. Don't forget to drive them to your blog... your Facebook Fan Page... etc.

Facebook Fan Page - This is extremely, extremely important. It's one of the first places readers to go to search you out. I get more comments from new readers on my Facebook Fan Page than any of my other author pages. 

Just like with your blog, you will need to post frequently and keep it relevant. Making things as simple as possible, I've got my blog and my twitter account linked to my Facebook Fan Page. This keeps me from having to manually post (periodically it fails) anything related to my blog.  A few minutes after I hit publish on my blog, it shows up on Facebook. Anything that saves time is worth it so don't forget to link... link... link. 

I should also mention that I have two views for my Facebook Fan Page (courtesy of Wix). With Wix, I've created another way for fans/friends/followers to connect. Wix's Facebook Fan Page view is interactive and leads people straight to all of the places they can connect with me, buy my books, or keep up with my updates. 

Goodreads Author Page - There is all kinds of important information you can include on Goodreads. For me, the most important thing I can tell authors is to make sure you create one AND designate yourself as an author. I have people who contact me all the time and tell me they've written a book. When I go to their Goodreads account, I find that they have not designated themselves as an author or taken the time to get their books posted there or linked to them. 

If you have committed yourself to being an author, then you should shout it from the rooftops or designate yourself an author on Goodreads (which ever feels most natural for you). Don't forget to link your Facebook page, your Twitter account, and your blog. Remember let technology work for you. 

Twitter Profile - Of course, this is the author page for you if you have a Twitter account so treat it like it is just that important. Add your latest book as the wallpaper and the website where you'd like your followers to go. For me, I've added my site (I'll talk about that next). Just like with your blog and your Facebook page, you must post. I'll be the first to say that I don't post constantly, but I do post consistently (with the publishing of my weekly blog post and periodically more often). And, the recurring theme is link. Link Twitter to your blog, your Facebook page, and your Goodreads account. Dashboard - is basically a virtual business card. Again, I've used my book covers as the wallpaper while updating the site with any and every way possible to contact me or keep up with what I'm doing.  

In just one screenshot, people can find out who you are, what you do, what your upcoming works look like, where you live, who you are affiliated with,  etc. 

I want to take a few minutes to remind you to get - or make - yourself an author picture. No one in the world hates a picture more than me, but you must have one. It should not be one where you are duck-lipping (Urban Dictionary says it is a word) and standing in front of a mirror... unless your books are about teenage girls who stand in front of their mirror taking duck-lip pictures. 

YOUR Book Cover/Flap - I've saved the best for last. Your book cover/flap should be a great place for your readers to get to know you, find out where they can get to know you better, and have a link where they can buy more books. 

It's okay to advertise/market your other books. Take advantage of the work you've put into writing the best book ever and give your readers the tiny nudge they need to go straight to your other books. 

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