Sunday, January 30, 2011

If You Build It, They Won’t Come: A Guide to Author Websites — Publishing Trends

How To Boost Book Sales, Win More Fans & Attract Readers

If You Build It, They Won’t Come: A Guide to Author Websites — Publishing Trends

For the fiction author interested in attracting more fans and readers, this article is a must. For any serious author a website presence is an absolute given! Visiting an author's website is the prime method used by book lovers to get to know and appreciate their favorite authors. This holds true regardless of age.

How else are readers going to know your book exists unless there's a web link to who you are, what the book is about, a cover image and any other graphics details, links to purchase sites, links to great reviews, links to book awards ... the list goes on. In addition, website visits translate directly to book sales.

These days readers want to know more about their favorite authors, what makes them tick, what makes them real, accessible and human, what makes them touchable and yet still special. With more and more buyers preferring to browse online, a virtual bookstore may just have become more important that a real one. Fans are more likely to visit an author's website than the author's page on the publisher's website. With such a strong trend as evidence of the reader's thinking, authors would be foolish not to spend that extra bit of time and/or money giving readers and fans something special and worthwhile.

A big plus is giving readers unpublished material. Maybe an extract from a forthcoming book? Letting readers know where you'll be to read from your latest work is also a drawcard. Readers love seeing authors in the flesh, and many relish the opportunity to ask questions about the author's work, get an autograph or a copy of the book personally signed.

So, when designing your book or author website, give some thought to including your voice, your attitude and your unique angle as a writer and a person!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Review: The Secret History of the World

After being nearly three months without regular internet access, it is a wonderful feeling to be 'back in the saddle' so to speak, and able to blog and communicate again. Without the distractions of email, internet etc I managed to catch up on a lot of reading and would like to share my views on a fascinating book.

Secrets and mysteries ... don't we just love them! Well, I do and always bypass the romance or drama for the ultimate adventure or archaeological thriller. I happened upon a book just at the time I was trying to give Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol a second chance. I read it once and got bored about middle to nearly the end. I found myself skimming over the very details that are usually meat and drink to me - mysteries and secrets of the world, the explanations of the unexplained and inexplicable that tease and tickle our minds and imaginations. Browsing the book store, I purchased Jonathan Black's The Secret History of the World. Now, granted, this book is by no means perfect and there are a few spellos that kind of jump out, but for the reader interested in esotercia and world mysteries ... read on!

For anyone interested in esoteric matters, mysteries, legends and many of the "is it true?" questions that haunt the world's myths and legends, this book is a must. From the world's beginnings, back in the mists of time, right through to present day, the author unfolds an ideology that many will find riveting, but equally as many will find either incomprehensible or down right unacceptable. True, some of the ideas tease the imagination and here the author warns sceptical readers to skip certain portions. For my part, I would advise them to press on. The cover copy suggests that Dan Brown may have used this as his reference guide to The Lost Symbol. I would agree, and also say that The Secret History of the World is far more intriguing and exciting than The Lost Symbol. The author delves into Freemason matters, and offers a balanced view of their not-secret secret society. But that's not the main thrust of this work. He also links many of the ideas of the world's superheroes of legend, science, the arts and literature in an incredible way. His ideas on why certain individuals have emerged in world history as charismatic forces either for good or evil are thought provoking. To say more would be to spoil the book for potential readers. My only complaint was that the book could have been double in size. The author tends to skim over areas that really begged for more explanation and I can only think this is because the author assumes the readers already have a knowledge of such matters. Fascinating topic and equally fascinating book!