Your website is your personal bookstore and primary business office.An author website has basic pages and you need to consider each page as a separate room in your office-store.
The HOME PAGE is where the Author Persona shines at first glance and engages the reader. Think of this as the Reception Area of your office-store and the first impression a customer or client has when they walk in the door. How they are greeted will flavor whether they want to step farther into your realm. If you write horror stories your readers want daggers and darkness when they arrive. Don't expect them to be happy with plush ivory couches for a cozy reading experience.
Your Retail Room is your BOOKS PAGE where your amazing covers, with a stellar blurb, are front and center. In this room you personally place your fabulous book into readers trembling hands, and you will accept a variety of payment options. It's best to plan this page so the only way readers can leave is by making an actual purchase. Make sure you have LINKS TO BUY to every Point-Of-Purchase - like the little signs on the doors and by the checkout of your favorite store, or restaurant, listing all the credit cards accepted.
The next room is your ABOUT ME PAGE, however you title it. Access to this page is only through the reception area where the reader, or agent or editor, has entered and you've shaken hands, and toured your Bookstore. Now you take them into your Personal Office. This is your professional BIO expanded into an engaging persona that can interact with both readers and financial backers.
This is the office of your dreams. It's neat and tidy but also reflects the same flavor as your reception area. But it's a flavor here because you are a professional Author Persona. Your novels may be paranormal-historical-alien-thrillers but you write your books on equipment available in the 21st century on Mother Earth. You can have a family portrait behind your desk, and a few framed diplomas on your walls. REMEMBER: This is your virtual office that reflects your Author Persona and Books - not the coffee shop or closet where you really work.
CONTACT PAGE or Schedule or Media or whatever you want to call it is the Conference/News Room and should be updated and reviewed at least once a month. Think of this page as your Most Professional Author Persona. Your Business card and Media Kit is displayed on the table in this room. Publicists, reviewers, editors, and estranged family members, can have an easy to download packet of the most fabulous you. ALSO make sure you have an Email or Contact form that works (send yourself tests through random computers once a month).
Even if you have a full sidebar of every social media graphic, Direct Contact Email is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Professionals at every level are busy and prefer to dash off a quick email if interested in you. Your Media Kit shows you understand the business as a professional. Your Media Kit is a single file that is a brief and complete presentation of your Author Photo, your Bio, your credentials, AND your Books with blurbs and reviews.
Those that enter your Conference/News Room are the people who lease the office-stores around you. You're all part of the same business complex. They are invested in their own office-store and hope your business will bring customers to them as well.
Enhance your website with a Game room or Playhouse that is interactive, like a blog, where you present something engaging on a consistent basis that welcomes audience participation. An avid reader will love interacting with you so here's where your Author Persona shines. Be gracious when you respond to a reader who gushes about how your book helped them survive the hours of agony while their spouse passed a kidney stone.
Your website is your most valuable address so make it work for you by treating it as if you've signed a lease that exceeds your mortgage. If you do good business at your website address you may be able to pay your mortgage by writing novels.
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