What your publisher knows that you don’t about author websites

The next time you talk with your publisher, you might want to ask about what tools you can use to improve your author website.

See, your publisher is in the business of selling books and the web is an increasingly important marketing tool for any author or publisher.   Many publishers are quickly becoming acquainted with what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to selling books online.

Micheal Hyatt was until recently, the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S.   Just prior to a meeting with one of his biggest authors – he decided to run the author’s website through a few online tools he had found which take a look “under the hood” of any website.  In his blog post 4 surprising conclusions about author websites  he writes:

I was reminded again how many authors think that by just hanging a website in cyberspace they are somehow building their brand. As it turns out, not so much.

This blog post is 2 years old and a few of the SPECIFICS in this article are outdated but the basis for his argument remains the same today as it was then.

For example, his first observation about author websites is “Having a really slick, graphically-clever website does not necessarily correlate with more traffic” use to be true all the time but now it’s not some of the time today.

It’s always been true that the most visually attractive websites are designed using flash.  It wasn’t so long ago that most websites designed with flash were virtually invisible to the search engines.  Back in those days – having a beautiful website often meant sacrificing search engine visibility.

Fortunately, those are the “not so good old days” when it comes to author web design.  Today – you can create a stunning, beautiful flash website that is search engine friendly
– and by using this link you can do it for free.

Hyatt’s other observations help to prove a singular point – the best author websites are the ones that are search engine friendly!

If you thought a nationally aired television or radio program would help your author website’s performance – think again.  Hyatt found that one of the authors with the biggest media platforms was dead last during his research.

Think having a large organization behind you will help?  Think again – some authors with large organizations were near the top while others were near the bottom.

In the end- the tool Hyatt shares with readers simply measures the ability of the search engines to index a particular author’s website.   As a publisher, he wants his authors to form a strong internet presence and build their brand online.  Building an author website that can be found by the search engines is an essential part of building that brand- and ultimately selling more books.

Micheal Hyatt ends his blog post with this word of encouragement:

The good news is that it is not that difficult for authors to build a powerful, online presence. Nor does it cost much.

Today – you can not only build your great author website for free – you can build one that looks like you paid tens of thousands of dollars to have it designed!

You can build your author website for free here.

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