10 15 2020
Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.
You’ve worked hard on writing and getting your book published. But what do you do next? Do you have a website where potential readers can find you? If not, you need to consider having one. Below I will discuss different types (type names are products of my imagination). Let’s begin!
Many people who’ve never built a website before have to begin somewhere. I call this type a Starter Website because this is probably their first and they will eventually move to more complicated websites.
Basically, a Starter Website consists of about three pages: Home, About, and perhaps a Product Page. The last one may vary according to needs. This type is rarely an Ecommerce site. It most likely is a beginner, but it could also be a site that directs people to a store. This has value for the store because potential customers can learn about them, their location, their hours, and their products.
I call this Next Step because an entrepreneur who wants to succeed will quickly discover that the Starter doesn’t meet the needs. In this phase the entrepreneur may add additional pages such as more product pages, biography of owner, Question & Answer page, and other general information. At this time there is no activity such as eCommerce. In other words, it is still basically an ad.
This is a site that authors should consider.
If you are an Independent Author, but don’t want to be involved with credit card transactions, and such, the Pre-Ecommerce site may fit your needs.
As an example, I will use our website at https://RFrederickRiddleBlog.Com. While I once owned an Ecommerce site for an online store I operated, that store no longer exists. My site is the home of my blog and the home of T&R Independent Books. By the way, I built that website using WordPress and have been very happy with it.
It is a website designed to inform people about our products (books) and services (TR Writing Services). One of our pages is a Catalog which lets readers search through it for our books with the purpose to buy. Here we show all our books, both mine and my wife’s. Each book’s cover is shown with a brief description and a link to their Amazon page where they can purchase the book.
Amazon takes care of all transaction details, including shipping, tracking, and delivery. This relieves the Independent Author of a great deal of stress and work, enabling the author to focus on the writing.
In our case, TR-Writing Services provides the would-be writer the opportunity to contact us and learn more about our services (beyond what they see on the site, which is a lot). If we approve of a request for our services, we will email a link to an order page that links to the PayPal System. Again, just as Amazon above, PayPal handles the order, processing of the payment, and notifies us of the transaction.
This is structured similarly to the Pre-Ecommerce Website. The major difference is that the site provides the means to purchase right there. For you, the author it means you must have an ecommerce financial source.
Shopify, Wix, and others provide you with all the tools you need. You will want to be able to accept major credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, Discovery, and others. You will absolutely need a Privacy Page (good idea for your Pre-Ecommerce site as well).
In this type of website, you will be responsible for the order fulfillment, which includes packaging, shipping, tracking, delivery, as well as returns. When I owned my online bookstore, I was able to handle that, but the financial transactions were handled by a bank. And, most important for a writer, I was still able to have time to write.
So, which Should I have?
I indicated earlier that I think the Pre-Ecommerce site is ideal for an author. You can have unlimited pages (depending on the hosting plan) which allows you to put your products out there to be seen. In fact, you can do everything you feel capable of doing except the Ecommerce.
Grading Your Website
There are a lot of tools available for you to build a website. One tool you might want to check out is a website grader. There are free online graders, such as the one Hubspot.com provides. These will examine your website and grade it. The higher the grade, the better.
I use the one provided by Hubspot.com and it will tell me of any shortcomings my site has. I am then informed how to improve it with or without their help. I find it a helpful tool.
Tip: Check with various hosting plans for the type of website you want. Then go for it.
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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.