“What’s tonight’s topic?” asked a St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) member, as I was setting up the welcome table. I’m membership chair of SLPA, and I arrive early. It never fails that someone arrives just as early or even before I do! “Tom” (not his real name) was there when I arrived; this was a real conversation.
I answered, “SEO.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Search engine optimization, for your website,” I said.
“Why have a website? ”
(I couldn’t believe this question!)
I answered, “One reason is to sell books. Another reason is blogging.”
“What’s blogging? ”
“Blogging is an online diary or journal of your personal reflections and a way to write about your book.’
Tom had been coming to the meetings for a while, and I was stunned that he was unaware of blogging. I also found out that Tom was a first-time author, and his manuscript was ready to be edited.
After I finished setting up and before other attendees arrived, I showed Tom an author’s website on my iPad. There wasn’t enough time to explain everything. But his question—Why have a website?—stuck with me.
I should have answered: It’s highly recommended that self-published authors have a website. In this age of self-serve information, people will search for you or your book and want to know more. Your website is where they will find that information.
Your website is your most important online tool! It will:
- Build your author platform
- Control your message
- Connect you with your target audience
- Build a fan base
- Tell your story
- Enhance your credibility
- Promote your book
- Become a hub for broadcasting to social media
If you decide to create a website and to blog frequently (add fresh content weekly), this is a great step toward establishing an author platform. In the future, you might be seen by a publisher or an influential blogger who is interested in your topic.
Want to know more? Check out www.StLouisPublishers.org. We have an active website and Facebook page. For those who live in the St. Louis area, we have monthly meetings that empower authors to publish, promote, and sell more books.
I look forward to meeting you!