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  1. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Creating websites for books

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Aaron DC, May 19, 2015.

    I searched, honest!!

    Due to my programming and photography experience, the temptation to create a website for my trilogy is strong.

    I could easily add a forum, wiki for enhanced backstory, downloadable content like screen savers or desktop images, etc.

    Is this a good, bad or ugly idea?

    (Phew not sure what I typed then but the screen went blank after I hit escape and I would like to buy the person who implemented autosave on this forum a beer).

    If down the track the most amazing thing ever happened, and someone agreed to publish the books (or I went the self-publishing route) or adapted them to screen play for movie production, would the existence of the website have any potential negative impact on that outcome?

    The reason why I would like to do this:
    * assuming I sell copies of the novels: to get feedback and potentially build a bit of a community
    * for marketing / sales purposes
    * tie-in to the movie idea I have

    Interested to know what people think. Too pretentious? Waste of time? Good, bad or ugly?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    PS. If you thought, "Oh god, not another newbie offering to design a website for us", please say so heheheheheh. Coz that's the furthest thing from my mind :agreed:
     
  3. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    If you have the skills and the time, why not? I would lower your expectations (if any), though. One of my favorite mystery/suspense authors has such a site, with a lot of content, and the last forum post was in May of 2010. He does post often on his blog, though.
     
  4. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Thanks Stacy C. Do you mind linking the website? Would like to see it.

    The wasteland forums are a sad sight, aren't they? And understood that that could look bad, yes. If I add a bunch of other content, the potential to have feedback via forum is always a nice to have, even if it's invisible and provides a FAQ or something to start.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I bought the domaine name of my book title. It's $10/yr. My son will help me with the page once I'm ready.
     
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  6. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    The site is OK, but doesn't seem to get much action, despite Mr. Heywood's popularity.

    http://josephheywood.com
     
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  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Check out the link from this thread - it's an interview of 2 authors, one self-published and the other traditionally published and both are living off their writing, according to the article. Anyway, the two authors give tips on how to market yourself and all - I rather liked it :)

    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/kick-ass-book-launch-tips.139188/
     
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  8. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Ooooh yeah I have some ideas for marketing but am looking forward to researching that aspect down the track in more detail. Thanks for the links.

    So much to learn :D I love it!

    Any thoughts on the question: will a website hurt or help?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Websites are considered pretty standard for authors... so I'd recommend doing a home page for you as an overall author, and then have one of the pages on that site be for your trilogy.

    That is, if you think you might ever write more than these three books. If they're all you're going to write, I guess a website just for them would be fine.

    Just be aware that without the books in publication, there won't be much to drive traffic to your website. How many sites do you visit for unpublished books?
     
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  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, as with everything, that entirely depends on how professional the site is and whether it actually gets any traffic. I think a good website is harder to make than people think - I don't mean userbility, I mean valuable, engaging content that keeps people coming back.

    However, I can't see how having the website could hurt. From your OP it sounds like you are experienced in this area so it'll probably look presentable :D Whether it'll help, however, is a different matter. It won't help just by existing, but it can certainly help if you use it well!
     
  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think an author website, where you can have a section/pages featuring your novels would be better. They will not be all you ever produce and it's better to have one place to go to for potential and loyal readers.

    As for the forum, it's a good idea, but I've also seen it flop. Unless you know ahead of time you will have a core group of say five to ten people that will post on a regular or at least semi-regular basis...then the forum will appear dead and unused and will detract rather than enhance. Also, forums can be a bit of a maintenance issue with spammers and such, and I am sure there are ways around it...but if you're too restrictive, it inhibits impulse participation, but too open and you can get a flood of crap posts.

    Although blogs are sort of old school, you could have one of those where you could post and get readers to respond/engage. There is also twitter, but each has it's strengths and weaknesses, just as a forum.

    Just my two cents, as you move forward.

    Terry
     
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  12. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    It can be a great marketing tool, if done well. Put the URL on your back cover if you're going down the self publishing route with publishers such as CreateSpace.

    The website for my series is still under construction, but hopefully it will encourage new fans who stumble onto it, and maintain the enthusiasm of existing fans.

    If a website about a book or series of books can do that, then it has done its job.
     
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  13. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Thanks ToeKneeBlack - is that the website in your sig?
     
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  14. ToeKneeBlack
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    It is. The domain name is an abbreviated form of the name of the book series, "Legends of the 23rd Century".

    Please don't be too harsh about the splash-screen on the homepage, as it is a work in progress, but the rest of it is very close to being finished.

    If you want any help setting a website up, just le me know.
     
  15. Mattiemae
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    Mattiemae Member

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    I think it's a great idea. You have to stand out from the herd, and I know people are adding music, clothing, and other things as well. I have the same plan for my fiction novel. Although I've been working on it for a few years and still improving and honing my writing skills. It's smart not to put all your eggs in one basket and have different opportunities.
     
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  16. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Thanks @Mattiemae, I appreciate the encouragement. I have a bunch of other ideas but I can't give everything away :D
     
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  17. Mattiemae
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    Mattiemae Member

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    Ah...I think that's the secret key. At least that's what I've learned. lol
     
  18. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a good idea, using your skills to market and keep/draw interest. Give readers something extra.

    But remember, it's the content of the books that will draw folks to the website and make them fans/avid readers. The website bonuses--forum, screen savers, etc. are just icing on the cake for the readers.

    Yes, having a good website with a lot of options and attractions may help get some notice...say a potential reader sees one of your novel's covers or a banner linking to your website. That may help garner interest, but again, it's the novel/books/content that will keep their interest more.

    The website itself might be a one or two time visit, but if they like your works, they will keep reading them and come back. And having a good website is an easy way for readers to communicate with others via links to introduce you and your works :)
     
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  19. ToeKneeBlack
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    I've been developing content for the interactive section on my homepage, and two of the four planned features are now complete.

    The newest one, an interactive purchasing selector, is complete. Prospective readers can click on the "Buy" button on the top right, then choose their platform (Kindle, Nook, Kobo or Paperback).
    Once their format has been selected, they can choose from which continent they wish to purchase their copy, then from which country, before being sent to the relevant sales web page.

    Please let me know if this sounds like a good idea. If it sounds complicated, please visit the site and try it out - hopefully the actions are simpler than the description. The link is in my signature.
     
  20. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Who actually takes their credit card information--you, or is "the relevant sales web page" likely to be a company, like Amazon, that they've used before?

    Because I don't give my credit card info to small web pages. Even if I trust the owner to be honest, I don't trust them to jab web security professional on staff.

    If you do point to known suppliers, it would probably be good to make that clear at the beginning.

    Edited to add: I looked at the page. I'd suggest changing "Buy" to "Where To Buy. "
     
  21. ToeKneeBlack
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    I don't take any payment information directly - all of this is handled by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or Createspace, depending on the customer's chosen format.

    The suggestion to change the label to "Where to Buy" is a good one, thank you for informing me.
     
  22. paul1212
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    paul1212 New Member

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    Website is a very good idea for any author and sometime back I too was thinking of making one for myself, but paucity of time moved me backward from implementing. However, in your case I would suggest to go for it and make it a professional presentation and not just like any usual layman type blog or website. Look-wise it need to be great and engaging.
     
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