There is nothing more satisfying—and challenging—than finishing up a novel. Thinking of a topic that you can sustain through thousands of words, creating a world for your characters, and coming up with an intriguing plot (or an intriguing way to present facts in a nonfiction book) is no small feat.
But what happens after you've written your novel? Whether you're a first-time novelist or you've got three or four books under your belt, you're going to need to be able to market your book effectively so that you can sell copies to would-be readers. And in order to market to your audience well, one of the first things you'll need is a high-quality author website.
If you're not sure how to get started or you consider yourself completely clueless when it comes to design, SEO, and marketing, the website Smart Author Sites is here to assist you. On Smart Author Sites, you can learn about goals for your author site, SEO research, blogging, and use their design services to give your page an attractive look and feel.
In addition to all of the available Smart Author Sites services, you can also keep up with all the latest book industry news and effective marketing tools for authors.
I started this blog when I created Smart Author Sites back in 2006. It has undergone many redesigns since then, but the focus of it is the same. It's a place where I can share my learnings about what makes author websites work and what new authors can do to build online presences for themselves that will be worth the time and resources, says site creator Karina.
I offer tips on how to design an author website, common problems and mistakes, myths being bandied about, new online trends that authors should jump on, how to properly optimize a blog for SEO and more. I like sharing my knowledge with all the struggling authors out there who have important stories to share with the world and helping them take their writing to new heights.
In our post today, we'll go over the ins and outs of Smart Author Sites and whether or not it would be a good tool for an up-and-coming author to use.
Services of Smart Author Sites
SmartAuthorSites.com offers a variety of services to writers that save time, money, and offer convenience and guidance throughout the whole launch of your web presence. Here are the services that Smart Author Sites offers:
Before the launch of your website, there's a lot to be done to prepare. First, the professionals at Smart Author Sites will need to gather some information from you on your book and what your goals are for the website. The staff at SmartAuthorSites.com will gather all of the info they need through a 30-minute phone conversation with you. On this phone call, they'll find out, for example, what the site is about, who the intended audience is, what will be unique about it, and what you envision would make it a success. From there, your professional will make recommendations on the following:
- What will be featured on your website
- What you want to promote and where and how to ensure "successful" site visits
- Content tree and organization of your website
- Creative content ideas to accomplish goals you've come up with together
Another area that your professional will help you with is SEO research and implementation. SEO, or search engine optimization, is essentially strategy to help your website get to the top of searches on search engines like Google. One of the best ways to do this is through the usage of strategic keywords. Your team at Smart Author Sites will help you determine which keywords will provide the best success for you and they will recommend a list based on an algorithm of searches and competition. And not only will they identify these keywords, but they'll also recommend how you should implement the keywords in your website pages.
Once you start to write the content for your site, your content will be reviewed and your team at Smart Author Sites will determine if you have enough content (or if you have too much), whether or not it could capture an audience's attention, and deciding if it needs any light editing or if you need help incorporating specific keywords.
Additionally, the team at Smart Author Sites will assist you with blog consultation. They'll help you determine how to come up with a theme, how to get ideas for a regular blogging schedule, how often you should be writing in your blog, how to optimize each post, how to build blog followers, how to turn your traffic into actual fans of your products, and how to use blog features like plug-ins and categorizations.
Design and Development Services
Good content is crucial for a website, but design is equally as important. Smart Author Sites has a partnership with 515 media, who will help you by creating an efficient, user-friendly and mobile-ready website design.
After the website has launched, Smart Author Sites goes one step further than many website building companies, and they'll follow up with you on how your site is doing and provide regular analytics reports and analysis. They'll check the overall site traffic numbers, the days that are the highest traffic (and try to help you figure out why that is), a breakdown of where your traffic is coming from, which pages people are visiting the most, which pages people are leaving quickest, and whether or not any technical issues are slowing down the site and making it less user-friendly.
All of these data points are important to look at when you are trying to convert your visitors to actual customers so you can sell more of your product (your book).
Types of Clientele Who Use SmartAuthorSites.com
Since the start of the website in 2006, Smart Author Sites has helped over 500 authors in several different genres with their websites. They have helped everyone from self-published authors to authors who worked with a traditional publishing house. From thrillers to memoirs to children's books, Smart Author Sites has helped design websites for a variety of authors who write in a wide range of subjects.
Reviews from Real Authors
If you're an author, there's no other higher opinion that you trust more than a fellow author. Luckily, SmartAuthorSites.com has plenty of high praise from authors who have used their services.
Here are just a few of the glowing reviews that are posted on their website:
From start to finish, it was a pleasure working with Smart Author Sites. Karin, the company founder, helped me establish my goals for the website, she made excellent marketing suggestions, and she quickly comprehended the theme of my novel and built the site around that.
I enjoyed working with everyone on (Karin's) staff and was particularly impressed with 1) the ability of their designer to produce an end-result in accordance with my specific ideas, and 2) the responsiveness of their primary coder... Karin has an excellent team. I'm a happy client and proud of my website.
My experience felt personal as well as professional. It was a true pleasure! I would highly recommend Smart Author Sites to anyone who is looking for a top-notch website design partner that really knows their stuff AND cares about you and the results! I look forward to our continued partnership!
What's on the Smart Author Sites Blog?
The Smart Author Sites blog is a useful spot on the website for authors to learn about new tools, apps, and trends in the literary sphere.
Karina, the blog's author and owner of the site, writes on the blog regularly about insights into the industry that she believes would be helpful for authors. Whether you want to know more about the difference between strategic and generic marketing for authors or if you're trying to figure out how to market your latest book on Instagram, Karina's advice is very explanatory and has tons of examples throughout the content for you to follow along easily.
The blog is very general in the fact that she is careful not to tailor it too much to self-publishing authors or authors who are going through a traditional publishing house. She is also explanatory when she needs to be for newer authors, but still has plenty of expert tips available for those who are familiar with the industry and who are looking to get a deeper level of insight into how to better market their books.
A Site You Can Trust for Your Author Platform
All in all, Smart Author Sites has a myriad of expert services and advice for authors of all levels. Once you have completed your novel and are starting to get serious about selling and marketing your books, it can be easy to fall into the trap of a gimmicky company with false promises. However, it appears that this company only has the best interest of the authors that they are working with.
For more information on what Smart Author Sites has to offer, visit their website and fill out their contact form to learn more about how they can help you with your book promotion.