RNA Conference 2008: The Business 3. Kate Walker
Third Part of my Notes from the Conference in Chichester last weekend covering the Business and Publicity Aspects of the Romance Writer’s World.
Kate Walker: “Get Yourself Out there!” – a discussion on keeping an Internet Presence.
Speaker: Kate Walker is the author of over 50 bestselling Harlequin Mills and Boon titles plus very popular non-fiction books on the craft and business of Romance Fiction. You can find her website at http://www.kate-walker.com/ .
All of her comments apply equally to Personal Blogs and Internet Web Sites, but are particularly relevant to published authors who can use their site to promote their books.
Kate Walker’s 20 P Guide to Authors’ Web Sites
*Popular/ Popularity – you can measure the number of page hits using free counter software. Kate uses BABELFISH -to help translate her pages for non-English visitors. On the Front Pages use Specific Keywords so that Search Engines can find your site or your blog and direct traffic to it. [ Hugh Jackman in a towel]
*Pertinent/Particular – the site should be specific to YOU – what makes you different. The Front page should be informative and useful and easy to navigate between links. This is the front page that represents YOU – the author – your brand.
*Personality ( as opposed to Personal) and Professional– the site has to reflect your Persona as an author, and of course your Books. This is your professional writer’s voice, not your personal. [In many ways, the site is your Personal Brand as an author]. If you are using a Pen Name – this is the Persona linked to that Pen Name. Colour Schemes may link to your books, AND the tone of your style.
* Promotion and Promotions – the whole purpose of the site is to tell readers about your books. BUT visitors HATE the hard sell. Give the visitor something EXTRA – Added Value. An Excerpt. Perhaps a section on the Inspiration behind the book. You can run Contests from your website- win a copy of the book at launch etc.
* Protect [ copyright] – of book covers and You. Never give your personal contact details on your web site – you must protect your personal and family information . Only add a contact link if you intend to reply to e-mails. Put the copyright logo on everything you publish.
*Purchase. You can add links to the Amazon site and Harlequin Mills and Boon and even get commission!
* Print URL. You have invested time and energy in your website and/or blog. You should therefore add the Internet address of the site to every piece of correspondence, promotional free gifts and at the bottom of every e-mail that you send out.
* Present – the site must be up to date – link to Forthcoming events, titles, new launch dates.
* Past [ backlist] – Kate suggests one page per book. Excerpts. How to Buy.
* Projecting a Precise Image. The Page Covers for your Books should come before your personal Brand information. These are the books you are promoting through this site. Personal Branding for you, the author who created these books, comes next, through links to other pages.
* People – aiming at. Who is your target audience? Who is the site aimed at? Your readers.
* Pictures. The front page of the site should have good quality pictures of your books. Clear and in Focus. work with your publisher on that one.
* Promote and Posting updates and other sites. If you are visiting and adding comments on other blogs or forum sites, be sure to add your internet URL address at the bottom of the post – makes it easier for readers to follow up.
* Prompt updates are essential.
* Procrastination. Beware. Have your site designed by a professional and focus on creating the wonderful books you will be promoting on it.
* Purpose. Be very clear that the purpose of the site is to promote your work. Blogs – you are selling/ presenting a specific persona to the world. Author sites should be professional and distinct.
* Presentation and Punctuation. Accurate spelling and simple, elegant presentation style that reflects the books that you are presenting and your author persona.
* Pretty – and pussy cats. VALUE ADDED is the key to attracting repeat visitors. We are in Show Bizz and our customers like people and personality. Kate’s cat is a well known feature.
And after all of that terrific info, I noticed this story idea in the Independent yesterday – which is particularly relevant to out current eco awareness culture and alternative energy;
How to harness the energy of bouncing boobs.
Not for me. LOL.