Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Website and Blog Musts

blog73 An author, or aspiring author, website or blog plays a lot of important roles.

We can entice new readers, sell books, and generally offer a professional image of ourselves to people in the industry or readers.

Also—we can give people a way to contact us. These people could be agents, editors, journalists, book bloggers…or other people who would like to get in touch with us.

Over the last week, I’ve noticed that while many people have Facebook pages and Twitter feeds linked in their sidebar, they don’t have a “contact me” with an email address.

And sometimes, you just don’t want to get in touch with someone on a Facebook wall where their 1200 friends can read your message. Or maybe you don’t want to sign into your Facebook account and go through several steps to email the person’s Facebook inbox (if they’re even on Facebook.) And you don’t want to tweet your message to them, where you have to think in terms of 140 characters.

You want to send an email (says Elizabeth, with some degree of frustration.)

Believe me, I know that if you post an email address that you can get spammed like crazy. I’d be a rich, rich woman right now if all those Nigerian lottery spams were telling me the truth.

But still, y’all—an email address. You can get one for free if you’d like a separate one from your family account. I’m using Gmail, which I’ve been happy with so far. Yahoo and Hotmail both offer free emails.

You can download free “contact me” widgets (which offer a form service) for both Blogger and WordPress. Just Google “contact me widget.”

Or, if you like, you can type this into your sidebar: “Contact Me at elizabethspanncraig (at)” People know that they’ll put an @ symbol in the place of the “at".” Or they should know that, anyway. And the spammer spiders won’t pick up on it as an email address.

What other things should go on our blogs or websites?

The Book Publicity blog recommends (for published authors) your publishing house, agent and publicist info, contact info, and press kit.

The Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room blog recommends that we have a domain name that makes sense, buy links, buzz words, clear headers, and organized pages.

I’d say book covers, bio, interviews, headshots, list of appearances, news on upcoming releases, and review snippets.

And an email address. :)