It has been my belief for a very long time that authors need to develop a marketing plan as soon as they have an outline for their book. Why? Because building an author platform takes time. Authors should have their platform in place BEFORE they do a cover reveal and/or launch their book.
One thing every author needs is a website. This is the center of your web of influence on the internet. The author’s website holds static information (things not likely to change) such as a bio, photograph, book cover graphic, synopsis of the book, one-sheet, and press releases along with various links to all the other social media networks and marketing connections.
So you need a domain name first. Do you opt for your author or pen name or do you get your book title? I would suggest both but please start with your author or pen name. You would be surprised how many authors write their book and don’t even check to see if “their name” is available. If an author has a common name like “John Smith” this could cause lots of confusion. Even if you have a fairly uncommon name like “Cheryl Callighan” you would be surprised to know there is another “Cheryl Callighan” out there. However her middle initial is “L” and mine is “K”. A simple but important detail.
And a book title URL? That can be tricky. If you’re going to buy your book title in URL form check before you finalize your book and print it. You might need to tweak the name a little if your title isn’t available for a URL.
Here are some Domain Name tips:
1. Never let anyone else purchase your domain for you. Buy it yourself so you own it and can directly manage it. You can give a web designer or assistant permission and access to your domain but please buy it yourself. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.
2. If you’re purchasing your book title domain please make it compact, memorable and easy to type.
*Avoid hyphenated domain names. They are hard to remember and hard to type.
3. Purchase a .com extension.
4. If at all possible, use keywords in your domain name. Keywords that relate to your book’s title.
5. Make sure your domain name is also available as a user name on other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google and Yahoo email ID.