Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why Your Web Presence Could Cost You Readers

By Camryn Rhys

I spent many years as a reviewer and a reader before I became an author, so I’m going to take a few moments to speak to some future authors out there, or new authors.

As a reader, after I read your book, whether I like it or not, I’m probably going to check out your website. So make sure it doesn’t suck. There have been several great blog posts written recently about how to make good author websites. My favorite is Roni Loren’s. Check it out.

But think of it from the perspective of your readers. A couple of times, I read some marginally good books and went to author websites looking to connect with them, talk to them, or ask questions, only to be so disappointed with the level of professionalism, which reflects on my desire to read their books again. If you don’t take yourself seriously enough to run a good website, I probably won’t take you seriously enough to read your next book.

When I get connected to your books and your characters, chances are, I’m going to want to see something about them when I go to your website. Assume I will like them. Put something up that entices me to get to know them better. Maybe write a little story that happens after your book and bury it somewhere for me to find. Give me some more information. Reward me.

Also, if your only web presence is going to be your blog (or your main web presence), you’d better make that blog full of content I want to read. I don’t particularly care what kind of coffee you had for breakfast this morning, nor do I want to read a rant about your mother-in-law / boss. I do care about what you think about the writing profession, about your meetings with fellow authors or your agent, and where your inspiration comes from. Think of your audience, and write a compelling blog. Or don’t blog. You don’t need one, so don’t do it unless you’re going to do it well.

Things I care about: your characters, your writing habits, the books you’re reading and what you think of them, the new cover art you just got, what you listen to while you write, what you’re currently working on, and when your next book is coming out. There’s plenty to blog about. Make it count.

Speaking of next books, mine is out now. It’s called Misbegotten Gaines and it’s part of the Decadent Western Escapes series set in Freewill, Wyoming. Kyle is a chef, Jamie a cowgirl. They’re like oil and water at first. If you like Romance So Good You Can Taste It, you’ll love this book.

Also, I have a Cowboys & Corsets & Cocktails release party going on right now. Everyone who comments on or tweets about the books or the release party will be entered to win an e-reader and a grand prize package of my favorite western romances, or my favorite Steampunk romances.

Stop by my blog or my Twitter feed to win.
Thanks for having me!


Jennifer Mathis said...

great point about websites and also I find that e-mail address or contact button of some sort is something i look for on websites

Camryn Rhys said...

Good point, Jennifer! I don't have one of those, either. I need to get one.

books4me said...

So true, Camryn! If I read a book that I love, the first thing I do is see if they have a website. If they do, then I want to sign up for their newsletters and if they don't have that, then I tend to forget to read their next books! SO many great authors and I can't always keep up with next books although I do try!

books4me67 at ymail dot com

bn100 said...

Very good points. Thanks for sharing.