Are You Turning Away Potential Readers?

Part of marketing your books is enticing the reader. You want the reader to be so excited to read your book that he runs out to buy it. Immediately. And then tells all his friends about it.

So given this, why do so many authors have just a picture of their book on their website with a link to buy it?

No matter how compelling your cover art is, I’m not going to hunt down a book just because of how it looks. A fantastic picture on the front cover tells me nothing about the story inside. As a potential reader, I want to know something about the story and the characters, so I can decide if it appeals to me.

Listing a description of the book right next to the cover art on your site gives me the information I need to make a choice about reading it or not.

If you don’t have a description of the book there, I might just click away from your site. Maybe I’ll go look up your book somewhere else. Maybe I’ll forget about your book entirely.

Don’t give the reader any reason to leave your site to find information on your book.

What about including a link to a different page that has a description, you ask. My question back to you is “Why are you making your potential reader work so hard to get info on your books”?

I can understand including a link to a separate page for an excerpt, because an excerpt is typically long. But don’t make your reader click anywhere else to read the description of the book. Put it right there so the reader can’t miss it and gets drawn into the story.

What to Include on a Book Index Page

If you have a page on your site that lists all of your books, then make sure you include the following for each book:

  • Cover art picture
  • Name of the book
  • Series title and the book’s number in the series, if it is part of a series
  • Description of the book (back cover copy)
  • Link to excerpt (if there’s one available)
  • Link to at least one online seller of the book (more is better)
  • Link to page for just that single book with more information about the book

What to Include on Individual Book Pages

If you include a link to a separate page for just that book, you can list more information on that page:

  • Larger cover art picture
  • Longer description of the book with more character detail
  • The full excerpt, if available
  • Links to all online sellers of the book
  • Links to extras for the book (character studies, interviews, short stories related to the book)

You want to entice a reader into your story. Displaying your cover art is the first step, but don’t stop there. Include a description with the cover art so that potential readers can get interested in your story. If you make them hunt for information, they made choose to leave your site instead.

Your Turn

Evaluate your website. Do you have a page that lists all of your books? Do you have a description listed for each one along with the cover art? If not, add the descriptions today and then leave a comment with a link to your book page so we can visit.

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