Self-Publishing and Web Presence

image purchased from iStock

Since I self-published my first book eight years ago, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of self-published books being released. In 2009, nearly 80 percent of all books released were self-published. And with the e-book revolution, there are even more independently published books released each year. Many authors are choosing this route, so I wanted to focus on web presence in promoting a self-published book. Keep in mind that this assumes the self-published author has hired a competent editor and book designer in order to produce a high quality book. No amount of web presence will help you promote a low quality book.

Having a web presence before you publish is essential, although you can build a web presence after you publish.

Here are a few helpful sites the self-published author should have…below each one are several examples from self-published authors I know.

Author Page
Author pages should list information about the author: books, awards, biography and special interests.
TM Wallace
Gerard Webster

Blog
A blog takes a lot of time. And if you’re only posting to it once a month or less, you are unlikely to gain many followers. Try starting out at once a week. Comment and “like” other bloggers’ posts. There are several free blogging sites an author can use. I use WordPress (first example below). Another option is Blogger (second example).
Plot Line & Sinker
Cause of Our Joy Blog

Book Page
Book pages list reviews, synopsis, excerpts, ordering information and freebies for readers. A web professional can set up a book page or you can do it through a free WordPress site. As well, Vistaprint offers websites (the second site below is a Vistaprint site).
In Name Only Web Page
The Cameo Web Page

Facebook Page for Author and/or Book
A Facebook author page is a great way to let fans and others on Facebook know what’s going on: book signings, freebies etc.
Ann Frailey’s Facebook Page
Ellen Gable, Author’s Facebook Page

Twitter
Twitter is a social networking site where you can post short posts, “retweet” others’ posts and it has the potential of helping you gain a following.
Leticia Velasquez on Twitter
Susi Pittman (Catholic Steward) on Twitter

Goodreads
Whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, Goodreads is one of the best sites for authors and readers. You can become a “Goodreads Author.” Goodreads will also link your blog to your profile page.
Ellen Gable’s Goodreads Author Page
Elena Maria Vidal’s Goodreads Author Page

Linked In
Linked in is a social networking site that connects business and professional contacts. Your contacts can now “endorse” you for various jobs and skills you have.
Gloria Winn’s Linked in Profile
Nancy Carabio Belanger’s Linked In Profile

Amazon Author Page
Amazon Author pages include a biography of the author, along with all the books that have been published and that are available on Amazon. The Amazon Author Page also connects your blog to your page.
Ellen Gable’s Amazon Author Page
Karen Kelly Boyce’s Amazon Author Page

Other “pages” include Google Plus and a You Tube Channel.

Some of these links/pages take time to maintain and keep fresh with material, but some, like the Amazon Author Page, take only a few moments to update every six months or so. All of these links can be very helpful in finding your target audience.

There are many self-published authors I didn’t mention. If you are a self-published author and wish to include your links, please feel free to comment below!

copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach

About Ellen Gable Hrkach

Ellen Gable Hrkach is the president of the Catholic Writers Guild. She recently published her fifth book, A Subtle Grace (O'Donovan Family), which reached #1 in Religious Drama on Amazon Kindle within two weeks of publication and remained there for five weeks. Her third novel, Stealing Jenny, was an Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Religious Drama (June/July 2012) and has been in the top ten of that category since November, 2011. She is also the award-winning author of In Name Only, a Catholic historical romance and the first of the O'Donovan Family books as well as the 2010 IPPY Gold medal winner in Religious Fiction. Her books have been downloaded over 550,000 times on Kindle. Her website is www.ellengable.com. She and her husband are the parents of five sons and they live in Pakenham, ON Canada.
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8 Responses to Self-Publishing and Web Presence

  1. Ellen,

    I could not agree more. It is important to build a readership, and it should be done before trying to publish a book – traditionally or self-published. Recently, I was actually approached by a publisher because of my presence on Facebook. That may not be typical, but it shows that having a strong web presence can truly pay off in more ways than one. I cannot speak from experience as a published author – yet – but this is definitely a great checklist to work from. Thank you.

    • You’re welcome, Chad, and thanks so much for commenting! Your experience reminds me of something I didn’t mention in my post: three bloggers I know were also approached by publishers because of the popularity of their blogs.

  2. Pingback: Self-Publishing and Web Presence « Plot Line and Sinker

  3. Ellen,
    Thanks for hitting all the angles. Social media can get very confusing. Im guessing a lot of authors shy away from it because it all seems a bit overwhelming.
    My bit of blogging advice (I used this myself) is to set up 2 blogs. Use one to practice all the bells and whistles on, and then a “real” site that you can post on. I still have my “lab rat” blog and use it occassionally to try new things (widgets, colors, etc). It has saved me many times on the 5 “real” blogs I author.
    Kassie aka “Mom”

  4. Great idea, Kassie! Thanks for commenting…

  5. Don Mulcare says:

    Ellen,

    Thanks for sharing!

    Wishing you a JOYFUL ADVENT!!!!

    God Bless,

    Don Mulcare

  6. You’re welcome, Don! A joyful Advent to you as well!

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