Building the Buzz: Day 1 A Strong Foundation

Welcome to Day 1 of Building the Buzz. Over the next  month, I'll share some insight and a task every day designed to help you build the buzz about your book. Let's get started!

Have you heard the lesson about building your house on a solid foundation? Good, cause marketing isn't any different. Before you start inviting readers in, you need to get your affairs in order. Making sure you are set up to maximize reader interaction is the focus of our first week in the challenge.

Imagine you are opening a new store. You buy billboards, take out a full-page color add in the paper, mail out coupons to every resident in a five mile radius and film the perfect commercial. People get the message and show up on opening day in droves only to discover your shelves are half stocked, none of the associates can answer their questions, and the cash register isn't working.

This is what happens when authors market their book without the right foundation. Those customers won't be coming back because shopping there is a hassle. If readers have to hunt down you or your book, they probably won't bother either. No one wants a hassle.

Every writer needs a home base, and that's the focus of today's task. Get thyself a website. I know lots of you already have blogs and that's great. Obviously, I'm a fan. Blogs can be set up quickly with little to no investment and with a little work, they can be a fantastic way to communicate with your readers. That said, you need a website.

Authors need a place that isn't restricted by the limited options available under a free blogging service. Not only does a dedicated website allow you to have full control over content and design it tells readers that you are serious. Imagine looking up JK Rowling, Dean Koontz or any other big name author only to discover they only have a website. In today's online world, a website is a standard practice for doing business.

I don't expect you to run out today and set up your website. Today's task is to research website services and providers. Look into who other authors have used. Ask them for honest feedback. In addition, it's time to buy your domain name. You can reserve a domain name for as little as $5-$10 a year. This is a tiny investment. Even if you aren't ready to set up your website, you need to reserve your domain name while you can.

I suggest going with your name. Ideally, you'll sell more than one book so maintaining a separate website for each of them can become overwhelming. A single site can host pages for each of your books, making it the perfect place for your readers to find you and discover all your work. 

If you already have a website, share your link in the comments. You get a free day. I'd love for you to share any feedback you have about your experiences with the hosting provider you use. If you aren't set up yet, please share the names of the companies you research as part of today's task.

So get going and come back here tomorrow for the next task.