Confident Reads (8): Social Networking & Having a Professional Looking Site

Hello everyone! Confident Reads is a way to open communication between readers and indie authors.  This  is to help readers feel confident in the books they spend their money on, and for authors to feel confident in the book they publish.  You can find this feature each week (Wednesdays except in September when it will be Tuesdays) discussing a different subjects regarding indie books and authors.

Today I wanted to talk a bit about socializing.  This is relevant to book bloggers and authors.  Everyone wants to promote themselves, right?
First of all,  you need to put yourself out there and make yourself accessible.  This is especially true for authors because when we finish a book we often run to twitter to find them.  That’s the easiest way for us to shout out to them letting them know we love their book.  Don’t find them on twitter?  Well, then we do a search for a blog.  No blog?  Well, if you’re like me you give up.  I don’t want to friend a ton of authors on facebook as I only have a personal account.  But if they don’t have a twitter account or a blog I pretty much count them as inaccessible.  I feel an email is too personal and stalker’y, but maybe if I really love a book I might take that step to email them.  And even then they at least need a website with an email listed.  What I believe every author should have (at the minimum) to make themselves accessible and to market themselves, is:
  • Website (not always necessary if you have a blog)
  • Blog
  • Twitter
  • Facebook fan page
  • Goodreads
What needs to be easily accessible on a website or a blog is:
  • Author bio (It helps if you state where you live for those that feature local authors.)
  • Contact Info (This should include email and twitter and facebook page as well as any other social networking site you are a part of.)
  • Page with all your books listed.  Including cover and description.  If the book isn’t out yet tell us when it will be out.

Another very important thing is to look professional.  I like when I go to a site and it looks clean.  It’s not full of widgets and other clutter.  I like things to look organized and not just thrown together.  It can be simple, or it can be colorful and full of life, but it needs to be easy to read.  I want to be able to find what I need to find with a search bar toward the top, and tabs to find everything I need. I also need the site to load quickly.  Avoid an overabundance of fancy fonts, widgets and scroll thingy’s that might take a long time to load.  This goes for book blogs and author sites. 

I feel like I’m barely touching on things here, but I think that’s enough for today as I don’t want things to get confusing.  Maybe next time we can expand on how we can ‘put ourselves out there’ to promote ourselves (sites or product). 

I’m sure I missed a lot of important points.  Please let us know in the comments and I’ll add them in. 

Today I want to recommend a fantastic Indie read I recently read.  I happen to be booking a tour for it in November and December as well, but it was amazing and I highly recommend it.  It’s called Swell by Julie Rieman Duck.  It’s an edgy YA contemporary book about a teenage girl who becomes an alcoholic and her downward spiral as well as well as her climb back out of the abyss.  It’s an emotional read, but well worth the tears!

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  1. Interesting post!! I do think it’s nice for author’s to have a website or blog. I personally like to email authors…usually in terms of blog things, so it’s nice to have that option to reach out. I think blogs in general are nice though. Like you, I don’t really add too many authors on facebook so that’s not the best option for me personally.

    sorry for my lack of comments. For some reason, my computer doesn’t want to load your blog some days. Sigh. :(

    • I’ve had a few say that they’ve had some problems with my blog. It works fine for me so I have no idea of what the deal is or what I should do. I guess I’ll try to figure it out. I wish I knew more about this kind of thing…

  2. I agree that a blog or website (or both) for an author is essential, especially for indie authors. I like to know when to expect their next book or what they have in the works.
    Since you can’t preorder indie books (yet) I love being able to look at their site and make note of the date.
    I would like to be able to say that I can remember all my favorite authors and when their books are to be released but that just doesn’t happen so being able to look somewhere and see it is fantastic.

    Plus I think posting little teasers and cover reveals really helps generate excitement for new books and helps get the word out there.
    I have noticed Blog Tours getting more and more attention as well and I think it is a fabulous marketing idea.
    I have found so many new authors and series either from looking at other blog posts or being asked to participate in a tour from an author that I didn’t even know existed.

  3. I think seeing my favorite indie authors plugging their books with teasers and contests on FB helps keep them in the forefront for me. I like that I can see Jennifer Armentrout’s books on there constantly. But, then I get email newsletters from other authors that I’ve signed up for like Susan Kay Quinn. I think like you said, being accessible and reminding us, instead of making us hunt for their new releases is the best way to communicate. They definitely need a blog with their books listed on them or a separate website. I really don’t see the need for both but I guess the Website could be informational only. I love to see authors doing reviews of current books. Honest reviews. I don’t hang out on twitter much, I still feel a little like an outside there but I like FB.


    • Yes, websites aren’t always necessary, but they are nice for info only and a clutter free place to get it. Blogs are nice for keeping up on the latest news.
      I guess we’re all different! I’m not real active on twitter as I don’t have the time, but I’m rarely on FB at all.

  4. Great post, Candace. I think it’d be helpful if authors included links to their GoodReads profiles as well if they have one. I always check to see what my friends think of a book first; chances are, if I’m iffy on a book–and I’m iffy on most self-pubbed novels–I’ll be looking there first. I’ve read some AMAZING self-published books in the past year, though.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • Yes! Goodreads needs to be easy to find! I think if they keep their links in plain site it’s very helpful! And goodreads is definitely an important one. I’ll have to add that to the list. Thank you!

      And I’m glad you’ve found some good self published books! You may need to send me a list of some favorites. Maybe I’ll have a couple posts where people can talk about some of their favorite Indie books.

  5. I definitely need an easy way to contact the author. Some authors bury their contact info…or don’t have it at all! And I’d like to suggest having both an email for everyone and a form for bloggers to fill out. It would cut down on email ARC requests and help the author with organization (who’s contacted him/her, when, what they want, etc.).

    Great post!

  6. I can’t agree more…it is beyond frustrating when one can’t find an author’s contact info and even more frustrating when there is no info on the books and where to find them (how is someone going to help promote or buy yur books if they can’t find them!!??)

    I don’t really use facebook and I can understand an author not having time for twitter…but an organized website/blog with current information and a way to contact either by email or a contact for is essential.

  7. Well, I always include website, twitter and facebook links in my post so I need an easy way to get those info. Usually, I start from goodreads and work myself towards getting this info. I’m actually annoyed when I do not find any info…

    And yes I LOVE to shout out my love on twitter, so I think twitter and FB are a must have:)

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