I want to take a few moments to talk about websites. This is some general information but it applies directly to your author publisher website, too. And let me say first that EVERY author or publisher with a book to promote should have a website. It is the foundation of your online presence and the focus of your marketing efforts.
These days, the idea that any website will do, or any website is better than no website at all, is no longer true (if it ever was). While there are many things that make up a great website, the website platform is critical to a good start.
We can argue all day about which website platform is "best" and we'll never get 100% agreement. The thing is, market share numbers can give us significant help in choosing correctly. When more people choose one product or service over another there are usually good reasons. Sometimes it's slick sales tactics but more often then not, when the difference is significant, it's because people are finding something better and the word is getting around.
Author Publisher Website: The Numbers
In the case of WordPress, the numbers tell it all. Here is a link to a page that shows market share for content management system (CMS) websites, with both current and historic numbers. Trends can be important too.
With nearly 60%, WordPress is the run-away leader. But even more significant is how far behind the #2 player is. Joomla has just under 7%. The drop off is brutal from there. In #9 position, Squarespace has just over 1%. That's scary for SP users!
If you are not using WordPress you need to ask yourself, "Why not?" And you should have a REALLY good answer.
WordPress CMS Two Flavors
If you are just starting out and you really can't afford to spend any money, a blog on WordPress (dot com) is a good place to start. You can get posting on your blog, be indexed by search engines, and develop organic traffic. Not bad for no cost.
But it's not great either. You may think grabbing one of those free "full-feature" websites is a better way to go. Think again. Later, when you decide it's time for a self-hosted WordPress website (and you will) it's a breeze to transfer your content from a WordPress blog. Not so easy from a free website builder site.
In fact, if you are serious about promoting your new book, creating a buz, establishing yourself in search, drawing traffic, and making sales, then you really want to jump right in and get a self-hosed WordPress site. It will cost you the price of a domain name (about $10 to $15) and a website hosting service (about $65 to $120 per year).
Get your website up NOW. Get it open no later than tomorrow. You don't need it to be perfect or fancy or... well, anything. Just a WordPress site with a default theme and five pages:
- Home Page -- an introduction.
- About Page -- who you are.
- Book Page -- sell your book.
- Blog -- post stuff regularly.
- Contact Page -- how to find you.
Your Author Publisher Website Now
Get the bare bones up. You can work on the details, and the pretty, later. If it's not up, Google (and other search) can't index your pages and posts, and if it's not indexed, you won't be found. Let Google start that process RIGHT NOW. People won't be coming right away anyway so you've got time to get things cleaned up.