Videos in This Series (so far)
The first kind of reader who visits author websites is someone I would like to call Curious Cathy.
She has a lot of questions and she’s come to your website for the answers.
She’s most likely come from Google first. She did a Google search and that brought her to your website.
If you write fiction, the number one thing she’s probably looking for is your story.
This is why I recommend that you add Kindle Instant Preview to your website. This is a really good Google service from Amazon that allows people to preview your book right on your web page without leaving to go to a different website or downloading a PDF or anything else that adds friction to the experience.
No outbound clicks, just reading your story.
To add this to your website you just go to your book page on Amazon, grab the embed code, and paste it into your website.
The other thing Curious Cathy is looking for is answers to her specific questions.
- If you’re writing nonfiction, she may have questions about your area of expertise.
- If you’re writing fiction, she probably has questions about your story.
This is why it’s so important to have a contact form, so you can know what those questions are, so you know what questions to answer.
If you’re not getting a lot of contact form submissions there are some common questions that a lot of readers ask, like “Where did the ideas for your book come from?
“What are you reading right now?”
Don’t be a dead-end author.
Recommend the books you’re reading to your readers so that they can go on and see you as an expert in reading and books.
This is great for making friends with other authors and it’s also something that your readers would like to see.
Another common question that your readers are asking is “When does your next book come out?”
They really want to know the answer to this. And so make sure the answer is somewhere on your website.
A temptation is to write about writing. If your readers are not writers themselves, they don’t care about the nitty-gritty of the writing process.
So don’t write about writing, write about something that’s interesting to your readers.
What that is, depends on what kind of book you’re writing.
There are some other places you can go to find the kinds of questions that Curious Cathy is asking.
One of those is Twitter. Go to Twitter, do a search for your name and a question mark, and it will show you tweets with your name and question marks.
This will bring up a lot of questions. Also, you can do a search for your Twitter handle if you have a common name. So just your Twitter username.
These are people who’ve tweeted their questions to you specifically.
And you can also find questions on Goodreads. Goodreads has a Q&A section on every book.
You can take the questions that Curious Cathy has asked on Goodreads and answer them on your blog.
Not everyone uses Goodreads, this way those answers are available for everyone using Google.
Go to Amazon, and search your book reviews for question words like who, what, when, where, and why.
Then you can search that results page for a question mark to find the questions people are asking in their book reviews.
A little hack: press Control + F (CMD + F on Mac) to search that page and then when you type the question mark add a space after it, and that way you’ll only get the questions that your readers are asking.
So with this, you can thrill Curious Cathy, which will make her more likely to:
- buy your book
- like your website
- spread the word about your writing.
Thomas Umstattd Jr.
CEO, Author Media
Co-Host, Novel Marketing Podcast