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Are You Hiding at Your Author Website?

Maybe you’re like me and find the hardest topic to write about is — yourself.  You stare at the screen and wonder what you can write about for your author website that won’t (a) bore others to tears, (b) sound conceited, or (c) get you in trouble with a relative.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

In my case, I’m a private person by nature. This naturally puts me at odds with my desire to share my innermost thoughts openly with the world.  I like to think of myself as a study in contrasts.

The truth is that we’re scared to death that (a) people will forget about us before they can make us famous, (b) remember us all too well, or (c) guess that we’re mortal creatures and stop reading our books. If we can move past our fears, we’ll discover that readers are just like us, flawed creatures in need of a friend.

Are You Hiding at Your Author Website?

This brings us to the point of this post. (Yes, there is one.)  You may find it difficult to decide what to write about at your author website. This can seem like a tough call, but with a little soul searching you can settle on what to offer. This might take the form of feature stories about your books, free short fiction, your author news, guests posts or interviews for authors in your genre, stories about your life as an author, or a nonfiction topic of deep personal interest to you that you plan to write books about.

Okay, many of these topics are about you or making sales, and we all know that people are interested in themselves and turned off by marketing pitches, right? Yes, and no.

When readers visit your website, they are interested in finding out more about you and possibly purchasing your books. Everything at your website should (a) answer their curiosity about you the real person and intriguing person you are or (b) bring them to the awestruck realization that they should buy your books.

There, I’ve said it.

We writers want sales, so why do we shuffle our feet when it’s time to ask for them?  Our books are the value readers want from us. We can offer free excerpts or even entire books, but it should be clear from the start that we expect sales. There’s no need to pound the point home, but we’re either in business or we’re not.

We train people how to treat us.

Final Thoughts from Janalyn

For fun, I went on a tour of websites belonging to highly successful authors. Guess what I found? Authors like James Patterson, Kristin Hannah, and Bella Forrest all have websites that focus on themselves as authors and make it clear that their books are for sale. This is not wrong to do, whether you are mega famous, brand new as an author,  or somewhere in between.

Are You Hiding at Your Author Website via @JanalynVoigt | Live Write Breathe

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

2 thoughts on “Are You Hiding at Your Author Website?”

  1. Hi, David! Nice to hear from you. Thanks for weighing in on this topic. I know what you mean about the lack of response from readers. Many websites have closed comments to avoid spam and because so few were left. People prefer to talk on social media sites these days. However, I do leave comments open at my sites. I’m in favor of letting readers talk to me by whatever avenue is convenient to them.

    I’ve discovered through the response to surveys for subscribers to my websites that they actually are out there paying attention. For those who don’t have a subscriber base, that’s the place to start. I’ll be covering this in a series soon.

    All the best.

    Janalyn

  2. This is a useful area for discussion. I am not necessarily shy but where I struggle is that the Web is faceless in many ways and quite often posts simply get no response. That then makes it hard to engage with folk and makes further posts difficult. I know people lurk, but for me that doesn’t help and I know others who also struggle with this.

    The advice to authors about blogging and websites is always similar or the same. Again that makes you feel as though you are beating your head against a brick wall, especially when you have tried the advice. I have run competitions, written about my life, posted short stories etc and it does become very hard work after a few years of doing this whilst still trying to be fresh.

    My biggest success is my fantasy jokes website which does quite well.

    So to summarise, I do not feel that I am hiding — more than I am shouting into an empty room. Anyone else feel like that?

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