Day 2 of Launch a Bestseller: The Author Website

I paid for an online course by Tim Grahl, a book marketing expert who has helped many different authors sell more books. His courses teach brand new authors, like myself, how to possibly achieve the same success. That's what I hope to do. Call me the

Launch a Bestseller Guinea Pig.

That's me. Newbie Author. Launch a Bestseller Guinea Pig. Let's see if this works on little ol' me with an obscure blog in the shadowy corners of the interwebs.

That's me. Newbie Author. Launch a Bestseller Guinea Pig. Let's see if this works on little ol' me with an obscure blog in the shadowy corners of the interwebs.

On day 1 of my Launch a Bestseller experience, I read through a book marketing checklist from Tim Grahl's website. Let me just tell you, it's a lot. A LOT. However, I'm going to take each section apart, completing each action step by step. My plan is to document each moment with this blog. Yes, I'm taking you on the journey with me. So, to start with the very first topic on the list, let's look at

The Website.

The checklist from Tim Grahl's website. 

The checklist from Tim Grahl's website. 

My website sucks. SUCKS! You know it. I know it. And, I'm not ashamed to admit these things.

Yikes. Attempt to build an email-list but falls short. Readers deserve more, definitely not a a text that won't even make the final cut. #JustSayin

Yikes. Attempt to build an email-list but falls short. Readers deserve more, definitely not a a text that won't even make the final cut. #JustSayin

It is my humble belief that telling yourself the truth is one of the most important steps of achieving self-defined success. Which leads me to my original point: My website is not fit for an author. I can hear the few visitors that come to my blog already:  

  • Who's A. Denefield Jones?

  • Why is this person offering an unedited first chapter? Not sure if that makes sense, but if she likes it...

  • Oh, you're selling a book? Where's the rest of it? Amazon links?

  • What is this blog even about? It's all over the place.

  • Where is the side-bar?

  • Where are the share buttons?

So many reasons why this blog isn't fit for an author. Just take a look at the red. This is where I need to rework.

So many reasons why this blog isn't fit for an author. Just take a look at the red. This is where I need to rework.

I could go on forever, but I want to get to the meat and purpose of this post. 

Grahl gives an amazing resource list for authors wanting to set up an effective author website with the following article: How to build the ultimate author website (In 1 hour). Now, I know for a fact, all that information will not take me an hour. It'll probably take me a few days or even a week. Therefore, it is critical that the first thing I do is PLAN.

In the meantime, here are a couple of author websites I like.

Terry McMillan, an author I grew up reading. Was Waiting to Exhale appropriate for my 10 year old self? Probably not, but I read my granny's books anyways and loved them. 

Terry McMillan, an author I grew up reading. Was Waiting to Exhale appropriate for my 10 year old self? Probably not, but I read my granny's books anyways and loved them. 

What I like about best-selling author Terry McMillan's website:

  • We automatically know this is an author. Her FINISHED book is displayed where you can see it.

  • She has a header that leads you to other parts of her site.

  • It's clean and simple. Not cluttered.

  • There're helpful links to various resources.

*Because I'm a newbie, I'll be more inclined to having an email list front row center. I'm trying to BUILD a platform. She already has one. Next up:

I'm sure you've heard of a little ol' book by Gillian Flynn called Gone Girl. 

I'm sure you've heard of a little ol' book by Gillian Flynn called Gone Girl. 

What I like about best-selling author, Gillian Flynn's website:

  • Branding is evident (the site matches the book cover)

  • Lots of call-to-action buttons

  • Her header contains links to other parts of her site

  • I like how her other books are shown on the main page with descriptions

The next several blog posts will be about getting my site looking decent so I can move toward building a platform. Thus, launching a bestseller. Here we go.