9 Reasons to design your own author website
In part 1 of her webinar series, “Designing a Web Presence for Your Book (Beyond the Publisher Website)”, Dr. Katie Linder, creator of The Academic Book Promotion Toolkit, shared valuable tips for considering your options when designing a web presence for your book. Among these tips were questions for consideration on whether your book needs a website, pros and cons of publisher vs. author sites, what to include on a book website, and dos and don’ts of website design.
In this article, we focus on nine reasons you should consider creating your own author website for your book. As presented by Dr. Linder, some of these reasons are disadvantages of having a publisher website, and others are advantages to creating an author website for your book.
1) Your publisher’s website is based on their brand. The publisher is invested in their overall brand, not specifically your book.
2) Your authorship on a publisher’s website may not be connected to your book promotion in the way that you want. For example, you may want to provide ways for readers to connect with you directly or to promote speaking engagements and other things related to you as an author rather than simply the book as their product.
3) Readers may feel disconnected from you as an author. On the publisher’s website, your readers will have less personal connection with you as an author since you may not have the option to include a headshot or a direct contact link.
4) Your publisher may not update the website as frequently as you would like. Depending on the size of the team available to the publisher for maintaining online content, the timeframe for posting information or updating information may be longer than desired.
5) You cannot control the look & feel of your publisher’s website. The look and feel of the publisher’s website will be associated with their branding and style.
6) Your publisher’s website might not include the opportunity to post video & audio files. Although many will provide links to audio or video, many do not support embedding of those resources on the site.
7) On your own website, you can create the look, feel, & content of your book website. Even if you hire this out, you have control over the creative design process associated with building your own author website.
8) On your own website, you can provide a more personalized & direct connection for your readers. You can share contact methods that work for you including social media links and contact forms which bring your readers “one step closer to you as an author”.
9) On your own website, you can update the website as frequently as you want, adding content or bonus resources post-publication on a schedule of your choosing. You can maintain the most up-to-date information on your own site with greater flexibility.
These nine reasons for considering designing a web presence for your book (beyond the publisher website) are only part of the useful information shared by Dr. Linder in this two-part webinar series.