Platforms – More Than Just Great Shoes

If you're writing a book or about to publish one, you've no doubt heard the words author platform by now. Whether you're going to publish traditionally or independently, fiction or non-fiction, you need to have a well-established platform – in other words, a means to showcase your expertise and a solid strategy to reach your target audience. And every author platform includes a website.

As Craig Shemilt of Printorium Bookworks mentions in our March blog post, a website is a 24/7 sales tool that showcases your credibility, and it's a great way for customers just about anywhere to order your book. Fortunately, your website doesn't have to be costly or complicated to create. In fact, you can do it yourself, and it can be one single page. Check out these inspired one-page websites, built with the Squarespace platform (which is only one of several easy-to-use DIY website building tools, including Wix, Weebly, and WordPress).

Okay, so it doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive to build. But what should it include? According to author and artist coach Gigi Rosenberg, your website should respond to three questions:

  1. Who's my audience?
  2. What do I want people to do and to find easily on the site?
  3. What do I want my visitors to feel?

That will certainly take care of the user experience, but your website should also be a genuine reflection of yourself – both as a person and as an author. Go for authenticity over hard-selling. Show readers who you are, and interest in your book will develop from that. Use your imagination, but come from your heart. Do that, and your website will be a place that you'll be proud to have people visit, as well as an effective sales and marketing tool.