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SPS-423: Create a Killer Author Website – with Stuart Grant from Digital Authors Toolkit

Join James Blatch and Stuart Grant from Digital Authors Toolkit and also the highest rated web designer on Reedsy, as they discuss the future of Author websites, direct selling, and how you can make your website stand out.

Show Notes

· Show notes:
– WIN Tickets for the SPS Live 2024 show
– Fable Draft 2 Digital
– Vinci Books update
– Sponsoring at the SPS Live shows
– Bookvault Plugin
– Promoting your website and SEO’s
– What is WIX and what can WIX offer
– Direct selling and Shopify
– Animated covers and harnessing AI

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Show’s Patreon page

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Voice Over :
Publishing is changing. No more gatekeepers, no more barriers, no one standing between you and your readers. This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.
James Blatch :
Hello and welcome to the Self-Publishing Show with me, James Blatch. Happy Friday to you if you are listening on a Friday, running on the treadmill, walking the dog, doing the washing up, all the things people tell us that they're doing when they listen. In fact, funnily enough, I did notice a comment on one of our YouTube episodes from 2019 when someone said it was a bit odd. He's listening, going through the series that we were talking about. Oh, I wonder what plans have you got for 2020? Well, turns out we all had some plans for 2020 and didn't see that coming. So you might be listening to this in 2029. In which case, how's the hover car and the silver suit that we were promised in 2020 year 2000, right? Stop waffling. We have a episode today dedicated to the author website. This is going to be a good practical episode.
James Blatch :
Author websites, we used to talk about them being important, and I think they went away a little bit just because other things took over. Social media probably became more important and so on, and then suddenly they're back. And the reason they're back is because of direct sales, I think. So having a website, an author website is critically important today. And having one that can be adapted quickly to direct sell your own products, your print versions, your special editions, your audio books, all of this stuff can be done direct. Now, it's a hot growing area for indie authors, but you need your own bit of real estate, your own domain name. I've got jamesblatch.com as lucky to get that, but you might have, if I didn't have that, I'd have James Blatch author or something like that. So your own domain, your own website, and something like Wix, which is becoming I think the favourite among indie authors.
James Blatch :
It's a modular platform you could drop in the Shopify plugins, the book Vault plugins and so on. So yeah, we're going to be talking to Stuart Grant who does this for a living in a few moments. A couple of things to mention before then we have two tickets to give away to our Self-Publishing Show live. We're going to give away a pair of tickets. Self-Publishing Show Live takes place in London, June 25th and 26th this year we have two days of brilliant talks from industry leaders and leading authors. We've got people like Lucy Score and El James on stage. We'll have people like Stuart Grant. We'll present a session on author websites. But the great thing about being in a show is you could then go and talk to these people afterwards or before or afterwards and make some good contacts. You'll meet fellow authors there as well.
James Blatch :
So if you didn't manage to grab a ticket during the early bird pricing period, and I'm sorry, that has come to an end. So they're now £200 quid. It's £240 with VAT, £40 quid VAT, which we don't get goes to build roads here in the uk, but unfortunately we had to charge VAT this year. So we're out of that period. But if you want a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the show, all you have to do is go to x.com, which is Twitter, formerly known as, find the Post for this podcast episode. I think 423, I think it's 423. And then just give it a retweet. And if you've given it a retweet, you will be automatically entered into the draw. So best if you're following the account as well. But if you give us a retweet of this episode, that will give you a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Self-Publishing Show live.
James Blatch :
We'll see you in the South Bank in sunny June. I was also going to mention that Draft2Digital have announced they have signed a new distribution partner, and that is Fable. So Fable is the book club Social apps, a clever little app fable. You can join a book club or create a book club online using the app, and you all have a little book club discussion about the title. So clearly it's a site in need of content and books and draught to digital who are the aggregator of choice for many people have signed a deal with Fable to enable you to get your books into their hands. So particularly I suppose if you're writing, I dunno, literary fiction, women's fiction as well, they do very well in book clubs. Crime fiction does very well in book clubs as well. Could be Write up your street to make sure that you go back to your draught, a digital account and make sure you find Fable there. Congratulations to D 2D for signing that final thing. I did want to give an update about Vinci books before we hear from Stewart. So people have asked me what's happened to Fuse books, what's happened to Vinci books? I know I've been a bit quiet on it publicly.
James Blatch :
Long story short is that Fuse books was started about four years ago. It's been my pet project to be honest, and we've built some authors up and it's allowed me to be an indie author without necessarily having a huge selling series myself. So I've done it for other people running Facebook ads and Amazon ads. I now have somebody working on Facebook ads with me and Amazon ads, but we've seen some terrific successes and we wanted to expand. We had lots of submissions, I couldn't really get through them. I have help from Tina Gallagher, but between us it was a very slow process onboarding each author and we only got to seven and that's how slow it was. And there were hundreds of people who had submitted and needed proper attention. But at the beginning of last year, a man called Mark Smith, a man behind Welbeck books and quirks books, who has a wealth of experience in publishing, became increasingly interested in indie publishing, felt like lots of us do that.
James Blatch :
Indie publishing is the future of publishing and that's where it is, whether it's self-publishing or hybrid publishing like ours that do a much equitable split and we do a 50 50 profit split with the authors. So he wanted a piece of the action, basically started talking to us about building fuse up, getting investment and expanding it. That all happened finally in February of this year. So that was all signed. I'm very much a part of the company, I'm one of the main owners and I run the whole digital advertising side of it. But the great news is we have really accelerated through all those submissions we've sent out about something like 60 odd rejections to people. But of course there's always going to be rejections. Sorry about that. But we are also reaching out to lots of authors at the moment and having conversations with them.
James Blatch :
So congratulations if you've heard from us positively, and there may be an email from me in your inbox to check if you haven't heard from us. We are having those conversations and we're starting to onboard a new crop of authors and they, as I say, get a fair split. They get digital marketing expertise. They don't have to worry about a lot of the marketing side of things, which I know for some of you is what you want to hear. Personally, I like the marketing. So my books, I'm not going to put them forward even for Vinci, I'm going to market them myself, but I know it's not for everyone. And a lot of people do like the idea of just being able to focus on writing and someone else selling their books for them, and that's what Vinci is about. We've also got a few other deals in the background.
James Blatch :
I can't go into all of them at the moment. We will be announcing them soon, but the main thing I can say is there's a traditional published arm of this company now, which they didn't used to be. So we did print on demand, Amazon Print on Demand, that was basically it. And we use KU extensively. But Vinci Books as it is now, has a whole traditional side distribution is being built up, contracts are being signed. We will be a traditional publisher in every sense. So we'll be able to stick your books in bookshops at airports and the places where people wanted it before. And I know that's going to be attractive to lots of people. So if you would like to be considered for Vinci Books, now is the time to submit as we're going through this onboarding process in these first few months. So if you go to vinci books.com, you'll find there is an author page there and a submission form.
James Blatch :
We don't need too much from you at this stage. We're quite data-driven, so we will look at the data. So numbers of books, numbers of rankings, so give you some sort of idea where we are at the moment, we are looking at series. We are looking at five plus books, ideally a few more. And we're looking at rankings that are probably 4.2, something like that on average across your book. So if you fit into those categories or you're just outside them, there's a possibility definitely that we will be talking to you and come and join the team. It's an international company with people in America, Australia. I'm here in Britain, but it's fun and exciting. And funny enough, there was, I saw a blog post, I'll give it a quick plug. Actually it was [email protected], which was part of publishing weekly from Brooke Warner. And she was really celebrating the rise of indie publishing, not just self-publishing.
James Blatch :
Oh, that's Catherine, I'll get her in a second. Not just self-publishing, but also these indie hybrid authorships like I've got going with Vinci, but there are plenty of them around. As I say, it's the future, it's more equitable, crucially, it's reader and it's author focused readers and authors at the centre of what we do, which hasn't always been the case with traditional publishing. Okay, that's my waffling time to hear from Stuart Grant. As I say, he is the author website expert. He's getting well into all these plugins at the moment to make sure that your sites can sell your books and sell your products as well as advertise who you are. So let's hear from Stuart and I'll be back for a quick chat at the end of the interview.
Voice Over :
This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.
James Blatch :
Stuart Grant, welcome back for Self-Publishing Show. You are one of our speakers at this year's Self-publishing show live, which is exciting. And we are going to be talking author websites.
Stuart Grant :
You say exciting, I say terrifying. No, it is hugely exciting. I'm going to be walking with Giants on stage there, other leaders in the industry and I'm really, really excited. Sad though it may be the SPF conference is one of the highlights of my year. It gets me out of the house and into London, so I really can't wait and to have the privilege of being able to speak at it as well. This year I wasn't sure if I should, but I really decided that I can. So I've done lots of speaking in previous skies of life, so no, it's going to be really, really interesting. I've got loads of clients come in as well already, so I'm really excited about being there and doing the chat. And yes, we'll be talking about my niche, which is author websites. Things are going crazy busy at the moment. I think we've just signed off about the 250th or 300 website. I've got a team person now, Ellie, she's on pretty much full-time with me, although she lives in Auckland, so it makes some interesting,
James Blatch :
It means you're a 24 hour operation though. She's working for the
Stuart Grant :
Night. Yeah, so she picks up all the nighttime stuff. Yeah,
James Blatch :
That's great. Well, we should say for any potential sponsors listening also, you've sponsored for a couple of years now and I think it has paid dividends for you.
Stuart Grant :
Oh yeah, in excess. I mean, yeah, return on investment in that basis has been incredible because it's got such a long afterburn as well. It's not just like the days after the conference, it goes on for months, months and months. In fact, I'm still getting people who say, oh, I saw you at the conference last year and I'd be interested in X, Y, and Z. So no, it's absolutely superb to be a sponsor and be in the foyer and chatting to people. And I'd probably say actually, I mean even maybe as high as 10% of my customers this year came from the conference. So yeah, that's phenomenal and it's such an exciting and interesting session for everybody or two days and it's great to see different types of authors. I get to speak to all kinds of different people and as a sponsor, 100% I said to you, sign me up as soon as we'd done it last year, it was like I'd love to sponsor again.
Stuart Grant :
So yeah, I'm there for the long haul if we do another one hopefully. But anyway, yeah, so no, it's been fantastic. The business has just continued to grow. Lots of customers coming in from the self-publishing, learn, sell, publishing people and we always try and give discounts and stuff to students and what have you. So still working with Wix, but the big thing that we've kind of introduced recently and as a result of SPS last year is we're obviously introducing the book Vault plugin, which enables authors to sell direct on their websites, which does bring it with it another load of questions because obviously when you're selling on Amazon or wherever you get organic traffic, whereas authors can just neglect their website and not do much with it. But if you're selling direct, you've got to force traffic to it because you want to sell books.
Stuart Grant :
So it brings with it that little bit of extra thinking about how you promote your website. And that's probably my biggest frustration at the end of a project is that authors don't often really promote their website enough and dunno how to. That's why, and that's something I'll be touching on I hope at the conference, is ways to promote your website and increase its visibility. Just simple little things like putting your web address at the front and back of your book. It doesn't have to just be back matter, put it at the front as well. Why not put it at the bottom of emails, put it on your Facebook page, make sure you do a post every week on social media that says something. And then underneath, oh, and by the way, if you want to visit my website, click here. You get rewarded for traffic.
Stuart Grant :
So the more busy your site gets, the more Google thinks, oh, what's going on over there? Takes a look, making sure the SEO is all up to date as much as possible. I mean that's a scary phrase for people search engine optimization and it's basically how a search engine reads a website and then presents it as a result for people that have searched those search terms. So in your instance, we want historical military fiction or whatever. So if anyone googles those terms, we want your website to be served to them. So there's lots of things that I'll be touching on hopefully at the conference in terms of promoting websites and especially with the advent of direct selling. Like I say, you want people to visit your site, that's really important, otherwise you're selling them, but no one's visiting it. But that's been a really great journey and I met book vault last year at SPS. It's the kind of evolution that can take pace. You meet someone, you go, oh, right, okay, that works. Brilliant. Let's do it. I hope we're going to do yours at some point so you can sell.
James Blatch :
Yeah, it's on my list too. I get my books on book vault and get my audio books on book funnel. I've taken them out of a CX and I want to really play with the direct sellings. I think it's something we should be teaching as well, but, so let me rewind a little bit just to explain some of the infrastructure that people might not necessarily be familiar with. And I do want to talk about direct selling, but first of all, you mentioned Wix. So Wix is obviously what you are building using to build the websites, but just explain what that is and what the choices are.
Stuart Grant :
So Wix is a website builder. So it comes packaged with tonnes of stuff that I have deemed really useful to authors. And I've worked with Squarespace, WordPress, various other Strikingly, and just for me, in terms of looking at my avatar, my author person, I wanted to find the thing that makes sense for them, it would be completely counterintuitive to choose a product that doesn't work for me and for an author. So with Hand on Heart, I can say it's definitely the best thing. You've got an email service in there that's comparable to mailer light you've got, it's a very easy drag and drop system. So what you see back in the nineties, it used to be called wizzywig, so stands for what you see is what you get. So you're looking at it and it does what it's supposed to do in front of, you don't have to go off and see it somewhere else.
Stuart Grant :
So yeah, I mean I'm not here as an ambassador for Wix, however that is what we use and that's for me the best platform for authors. You can make logos, you can make book trailers, you can do email servicing, email marketing. It is just all the SEO, it's all tied in now with ai, you can create AI images inside Wix. Now you can do all of your metadata for your website using ai. The world is pivoting so much, and to my mind, Wix is one of the forerunners of all of that, or Front Runner should I say. So yeah, it's very exciting. All the authors I have worked with Love it. And so yes, it's a product to enable authors or anyone to have a space on the net. Essentially it gives you a home.
James Blatch :
We were moaning off air about WordPress, which is what we have our existing website on. And I can go into Wix and build a web page and I'm not as talented as you are at this stuff, but I can create a webpage, even drop in, code in, and I can create a landing page and I can go into the redirects. When we go into WordPress and both of you and I colour drains from our face, it's so overly complicated. Although they did get a bit of a boost recently because it turned out when Taylor Swift's website got bombarded one morning because she was dropping a new album, people noticed it came up with a 4 0 1 or something, one of the links and it was WordPress. So her blooming website is WordPress. Oh
Stuart Grant :
Wow.
James Blatch :
And she gets a lot of traffic, so obviously it can cope with traffic. That was a good advert for them. But the truth is we don't need a website that's going to have 5 million people drop on it in the first hour. We are going to have 500 people at a time, and Wix is fantastic for that. I really like it. And it's just intuitive, which is a key thing I think exactly. WordPress is unintuitive. It might be more powerful, I dunno, but it's unintuitive. You also end up with a hundred of plugins, all of which seems to be at their own subscription. You're paying to people
Stuart Grant :
And they've all got their own vulnerabilities as well. If the person that's created the plugin doesn't keep it up to date, it means it's vulnerable to security breaches. So you've got to rely on them doing that. There's 101, I don't like bad mouthing WordPress because it is such a massive sort of had such a massive impact, but things are changing and WordPress, like I've said before, probably on this podcast is just a framework. You do have to add DV or Elementor or plugins or whatever to actually make it work. Whereas something like Wix comes prepackaged with all that stuff. So, and a lot of authors obviously want to have everything in one place. You want your email marketing there, you want your domain there, you want your emails, everything in one place. So that's another kind of plus to it. I'm planning to do a video actually of the kind of things that I love about it, which I'll probably release pretty soon hopefully.
James Blatch :
So we will talk a few years ago we would've said an author website, the essential ingredients, I guess a bit of about the author clearly promoting your books with links to the books and the Amazon pages or wherever they're being sold. But now selling your own stuff directly seems to be a key part of an author website that suddenly happened in the last 18, 24 months, isn't it?
Stuart Grant :
Yeah, I mean, selling direct and AI are the two big discussion points really. And yeah, it's exciting. You can basically make a little bit more money by selling direct. And like I said, there are caveats to that. But yes, ultimately if you want to sell, you don't have to stop selling on Amazon. That's the other key point. You can still sell on Amazon, but you can sell also on your website. And obviously Joe Penn is a massive advocate for selling direct and how it makes her money and all the rest of it. Yeah, I mean it's definitely coming through. There's no avoiding it. All authors are going to probably consider it at some point.
James Blatch :
Yeah, there's a safety involved in that as well because the trouble with using, whether it's Amazon or if you're in the Canada or whatever, Cobo, if all your books are there and they're nowhere else, I mean Amazon obviously with the eBooks, do ask for exclusivity. If you want access to ku, if something goes wrong with that site or goes wrong with your account, which gets shut down or whatever, that's a huge dent. Whereas if you are direct selling, if Shopify goes down tomorrow, it's going to be an afternoon's work to move it to somewhere else. They're your products and wherever you happen to host them, you can just move them, not that Shopify is going to go down. So that is, I mentioned Shopify should explain how that probably works. So people want to sell, basically you can sell eBooks, your physical books and your audio books now on one page on your website, right?
Stuart Grant :
Yeah, yeah. I mean Shopify and Wix are actually very similar products. They both enable you to sell direct. Some people have a website and a Shopify store and some people just build their author website on Shopify, which is possible. They both integrate with lulu and with Book Vault. So direct selling available via those apps. They're very similar products and offer very similar kind of things, but yes, it is down to the author really what platform they prefer or want to use. And if you've got a Shopify store, you can find someone like us who can help you to instal book vault on it. And Lulu say just launched I think a Wix plugin as well. So yeah, I mean everyone in the industry is seeing this coming. These people are not inventing these things because they like authors, they're doing it because they know it's going to make money for them and for the author.
Stuart Grant :
And we've had some teething issues with working it all out and how it all fits together. But we were across it. I had a really good call with Alex Smith from Book Vault this morning and his colleague Louis. No, Curtis. So yeah, it is a great combination of kind of this end of it and their end of it all talking to each other and working out. When I get a question from an author, I go to them and say, oh, somebody's just asked about postage, how does that work? Or whatever. And we've got loads of things coming down the line on top of that. I mean I think there's a big shift in what's going to be possible for an author. I mean I'm looking at animated covers at the moment as a service we want to provide. So adding kind of an overlay to a cover.
Stuart Grant :
So yours for example, we might add some moving clouds or even have the aeroplane kind of sliding through. So it just makes that moment when a reader lands on your website and sees something that's really novel, excuse the pun, but is different and new and they go, wow, this is cool. I think long gone. I always use Apple as my kind of leader if you like. I kind of look to what they're doing and another thing they're doing, which I'm really interested in is ar augmented reality. And I'm at the point where I'm playing around with being able to take your book cover, being able to scan it and it comes up maybe with a video of you as the author saying, Hey, thanks for buying my book, sign up to website. I hope you enjoy it, whatever. Or you could have another piece of content pop up. But that's all incoming. Apple have got their AR glasses, we're all going to get AR as well as ai. Yes, a lot of
James Blatch :
Ads.
Stuart Grant :
I want to be there with authors looking at all those things coming down the line.
James Blatch :
And of course if you add that to, so is it Sora is the new video, generative video from OpenAI and you could have your character talking to somebody using that. So yeah,
Stuart Grant :
Yeah, the possibilities at the moment are endless and I think we talked about it last time, there's going to come a day probably when people can just put in, I want a military fiction website and out its spits, which I think it's been discussed to death, but people are always going to want human impact and touch to it.
James Blatch :
Well enable you to your throughput. I mean someone like you're perfectly positioned to embrace that and use it to speed up the process service more people stick out more invoices. They might be less invoices, but more of them will probably make more sense and
Stuart Grant :
And also add on these other things. I mean Wix also offers an inbuilt link tree, but it syncs up beautifully with your site. So you just put the link tree or hop, it's called hop link in your social media and you can sell all your products all the way through there. So there's all kinds of things that I'm really interested in trying to help authors use loads of tools and we all do it. I mean my website is the one website I haven't updated in about six months. We all leave it sitting there and hope that it just takes care of itself. But we do need to revisit them and look at them and make sure they are doing what we think they're doing. And I think I've said before, my USPI hope unique selling point is to try and create an environment on the net that speaks to the reader. It is not about the author, it's about the reader landing on that website and going, right, I get it, this is a site about science fiction or this is a site about romance or whatever. So long gone are the days of a white background just with the book covers on it doesn't tell you enough. It doesn't give experience or a flavour. So that's where we are going with our kind of designs.
James Blatch :
If an author comes to you, Stu, what options do you present them with for a website?
Stuart Grant :
So we make our pricing decisions at the moment on the number of books basically. So one book website is kind of sitting around the 800, $900 pounds mark, maybe a little bit more. And then obviously as you go up, if somebody comes to us with 20 books, obviously that's a bigger job and we need to factor in more time and more interaction or whatever. So it's, they'll ask for a quote, tell us what they want in terms of how many books they've got, what genre it is, a bit about themselves, whatever. And then we go back and say, okay, it's going to be this amount of money, but I'm hoping actually to move to a position where there'll be purchasable deals on the website so you can, I want a one book website at this price, or I want a five book website or whatever. So we've got our systems down to a T. Now the only delay is me when something happens at home and I've got a 5-year-old and a dog and don't
James Blatch :
Get a dog who eats raisins.
Stuart Grant :
Yes. Yeah, raisins this morning and had to be made sick at the vets. So I'm 200 pound lighter. Thank you Dora for throwing up.
James Blatch :
We've got a Dora as you know.
Stuart Grant :
If anyone wants a free dog, I've got one.
James Blatch :
Yeah. Well anyway, you'll be able to embrace AI soon to speed you up one way or another that will help with these things. And that's funnily enough, we are building Vinci books at the moment and I've been running with six or seven authors for a few years, a couple of years. But we're going to take on many more this year and it will have to be ai. I'm not talking about writing the books or doing this that people get controversial about that. We're talking about processes and systems and I'm currently, everything I'm doing now, I'm currently thinking, well how can we use the new automation to do this? And we started playing with some of those ideas where you just have a spreadsheet connected to a funnel somewhere that AI is looking at and you put in some bare details about a book and it spits out the prompts you need to get the blur done, prompts you need to get the images done. It'll go off and then get the image done, the blur done. It'll then go off and copy check it and proof it and then give it to you as a human to make your decision whether it's good enough or we rewrite it, but that speeds everything up immediately. That's the sort of thing authors can be thinking about doing. We want to keep the writing time to ourselves, but the other stuff, I think we can use the robots.
Stuart Grant :
Yeah, absolutely. And to be fair, we've all been using robots in some form or other since whenever it's not actually really a new thing, whether it be things like Grammarly or pro writing aid or there's been a machine involved. My daughter walks into the lounge and says, Alexa, turn on tv. It's all around us and it is coming more and more. It's kind of exciting and kind of scary. I know we could go around the houses about this, but yeah, I think from a author's point of view, like you say, if you can harness the right tools, it will leave you more time to do the writing, which is what makes the money and sells the books. And that's ultimately the goal, isn't it? It's got to be.
James Blatch :
Tell us how people can get hold of you
Stuart Grant :
So you can Well, it's backwards I think. There we go.
James Blatch :
No, it's nice. It's right way
Stuart Grant :
Up. Digital authors toolkit.com. That's where you'll find us. It does need an update so don't judge me or you can find me on sea still there with friends at Re Sea. Good old Ricardo. I get lots of business through there. You just have to look for my profile under Website Designer. I'm incidentally still the number one website designer on bt. Excellent.
James Blatch :
And if people are thinking, okay, well what can I look at some existing author's websites. I mean you can look at mine actually james black.com, but are there others you'd recommend that you've done that? People get an idea of what the websites look like?
Stuart Grant :
Yeah, I mean we've got a full portfolio page on the website so you can have a good old look. But we've got, I dunno, I knew you were going to ask me this, so I I've prepped for it. So someone like preston antunes.com, it's quite a cool website that's got an animated cover on it as well. Nanette potter.com, thriller author again with a really lovely animated cover on there and lots of background videos and movement and kind of kinetic energy going on. Lots of things moving and dragging your eye to buy the book. So there's a couple there, obviously yours. Who else have we got? Homo? Hi, which is a really, that's our latest one actually. We just launched that one yesterday. Homo Ryder. Yeah, so Homo Space Ryder and I think that's dot com. Yeah. So yeah, I mean there's loads on our websites, but if anyone wants specific examples of anything, let us know. We'll dig them out for you and send them over.
James Blatch :
Yeah, I love Nanette Potter. I'm just looking at that one now. I definitely want some clouds moving on my front cover, Stuart.
Stuart Grant :
Yes, it does make a big difference to how the book's perceived. Definitely. So that's something we're launching very soon. I'm going to get 10 examples up and then launch it officially.
James Blatch :
Great. Finally still, but it's great. Sorry, what are you going to teach at Self-Publishing Show Live in London in June?
Stuart Grant :
Yeah, so I'm going to be looking at lots of ways to promote your website, some of which I've mentioned, but I'll go into more detail and give you some more examples. I'm going to talk about the upside and the downside to selling direct. I know somebody else is talking about it in full, but I'll talk about it from my point of view and how we've dealt with it and just generally how we can improve our website. Look, feel, engagement, success. I just want to make it so that people can take away some things they can probably do and go back and add to their website and just think, oh yeah, I need to think of that.
James Blatch :
Look, feel, engagement, success. I like it. It's a nice mnemonic. I can see a tornado pilot running in at 800 knots. Look, feel engagement, success hit target, but that's because I'm a strange military author. Good.
Stuart Grant :
You can have that for free.
James Blatch :
Thank you. Brilliant, Stuart, always a pleasure. You are part of the learn self-publishing dot com team as well in the background so people should know that. And we are a very valued member of that, so can't wait to be together in June. I know you live in the countryside out there almost off the end of the planet in the North Sea, and so you're going to be in London staring up at all the buildings like this, aren't you going? Wow. Look
Stuart Grant :
At that. A whole new world. Yeah. So no, I'm really excited to be there and please, if you're listening in and you come, come and say hello.
James Blatch :
Yeah, definitely. That goes for both of us. Alright Steve, thank you very much.
Stuart Grant :
My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Voice Over :
This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.
James Blatch :
There we go. There is Stuart Grant and digital authors toolkit.com if you want to check him out and he will be at the show so you can go and have a chat with him. And if you want a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the Self-Publishing Show live in London, simply go to x.com, find our post for this episode, which is at self pub form, the account's called Learn Self-Publishing, and find the episode and just give it a retweet and you will automatically be entered into the drawer. Make sure you're following us as well so that you see the message when we message you if you've won that pair of tickets. Okay, that is it. Thank you very much indeed for listening. Hope the tread milk session went well and the dog walk and the washing I've got done, et cetera. All that remains we'd say is a goodbye from me.

Voice Over :

Get show notes, the podcast archive and free resources to boost your writing career at self-publishing show.com. Join our thriving Facebook group at self-publishing show.com/facebook. Support the [email protected] slash self-publishing show. And join us next week for more help and inspiration so that you can make your mark as a successful indie author. Publishing is changing. So get your words into the world and join the revolution with the Self-Publishing Show.

SPF-136: How To Start That Awesome Author Website – with John Dyer, Stuart Grant and Kraig Mathias


This Week's Handout

AUTHOR WEBSITE CRIB SHEET

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An overview of three of the most popular and easiest website platforms for authors to use to create a beautiful and functional website.

Show Notes

  • Why your author website is important
  • The three website platform types
  • Choosing a website platform that suits your technical abilities
  • The importance of making sure your site looks good on mobile and tablet
  • The costs associated with the different platforms
  • Integrating websites with an email list provider
  • Why all the parts of your website matter, including, as ever, book cover design

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Podcast’s Patreon page

PDF DOWNLOAD: Click here to get the PDF with all the tools and links listed.

SPF FRIEND: Tommy Donbavand’s site about his battle with cancer

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SPF-004: Masterclass – Five Must Do Actions for New Authors – With Mark Dawson

SPF-004-banner-1500px

If you’re thinking of kicking off a career as an indie author, or have already started down that road, listening to Podcast number 4 might save you a lot of time, money and effort as you move forward. Mark and James focus on key elements that are worth getting right at the start of your adventure. Mailing lists, websites, social media presence, company set-up, copyright and using pro services are just some of the topics covered.

Show Notes

  • Action #1: Build your mailing list. What services to use to do this, Advanced Reader Teams.
  • Action #2: Have a website. Your space on the internet, affiliate income, tracking the effectiveness of marketing strategies.
  • Action #3: Social media presence. Focusing on one or two platforms, the ease of setting up a Facebook profile and page and why they matter.
  • Action #4: Setting up a limited company for your author income. Assume you’re going to be successful, the life of your copyrighted books.
  • Action #5: Be professional. Hiring editors, proofreaders, cover designers. The pace of change and not getting caught up in fads.

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