This is an old blog about your website that I wrote back in 2020, but I have now taken it and refreshed it so that the information is current and helpful.
In today’s business world it is virtually a necessity to have a website. Businesses large and small have a website. These sites can be just the basic few or multiple pages consisting of 20 or more pages. The TR-Indbkstore.com website has multiple pages designed to market both Tess (aka Teresa) and my books.
In this blog we start with just the basic website and then add to it.
But I am ahead of schedule. After the break I will tell you more.
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Now back to the article.
While it is important to use social media to get your name out there, it is also true that your website is or should be the hub. Think of a wheel. In the center of the wheel is a hub with spokes extending outward. Those spokes represent your social media and other marketing efforts. But the hub is your website. It is where you want people to come. That’s true even if all you have is a one-page site that gives your customers the essentials of your business: location, hours of operation, and contact information.
With that in mind, I suggest that the first thing to do is to buy a domain name. Wait, did I say first thing. Well, that’s after you make at least one business decision. You need to have a name in place. I recommend you take my free course which I previously mentioned on It’s Your Business. This will acquaint you with why and how to go about naming your business and, in fact, setting it up. For now, just know this, you are a businessperson the moment you decide to write!
So, discover the name you want to use. Here’s a hint: If you only write one book then the book title may suffice. However, if you plan on writing more or you are a famous writer, then using your author’s name is excellent. My author’s name is R. Frederick Riddle and I still use it for marketing purposes (i.e., business cards and designated webpages).
If you have written or will write multiple books, then you may want to use a different name. We use T&R Independent Books. As you might guess, T stands for Teresa or Tess and R stands for me. In our latest website we will have T&R Independent Bookstore as our website name, but we will also have other pages dedicated to R. Frederick Riddle and to Tess Riddle. The point is that you want your website to reflect you (if it’s just you), or your business (if you’ve written more than one book or there are more than one authors).
Back to the website. There are many good places to purchase your domain, such as BlueHost, Godaddy, SiteGround, and WordPress. And there are others. Do your research and find out which is best for you. I have used Godaddy, and WordPress, and now SiteGround. I recommend that whoever you go with that they support WordPress hosting.
Our website domain is trbookservices.com. It is our new home for the business and we are aggressively setting up our marketing to reflect that fact.
I am assuming that you are serious about your writing and that you have already written more than one or will write more books. Your entire emphasis changes. Before you could emphasize your book title, book cover, and maybe the characters within the book. But the moment you have multiple books you need to have a strategy that fits all your books and not just one. Whether you go with the author name or the business name is your decision. Just remember that it is extremely hard to change names. It can be done. We are examples of doing just that. Our websites have been named: rfrederickriddle.com, T&R-Indbkstore.com, rfrederickriddleblog.com (originally only for my blog), and now trbookservices.com.
(Side note here: trbookservices is not our business name, but it is tied into T&R-indbkstore.com, a Godaddy domain). We use the old Godaddy domain to forward or redirect people to our website. It is an effective way to still use our company name to get people to our store.)
Basic Web Page
Different people will have different ideas about the Basic Web page. Some think only a single page will do, others believe you need at least three pages. I favor the latter. Let’s take a look.
1 – Home Page: This page is where most people will land when they Google your author’s name. Technically they should land there by Googling your author’s name, any of your books (unless you have separate pages for them), your business name (if you have a business), and your picture or book picture that appears elsewhere (for example, your blog).
The Home Page and every page should be clean and not overly crowded. Always keep in mind that viewers on the Internet read from left to write, top down, and finally back up to the right corner. Think of it as a ‘V’.
Your most important information should be ‘Above the Fold’. This term refers to the bottom of the viewable website as the ‘fold’. When a person lands on your site you want them to immediately see your most valuable information.
It’s recommended that you have a picture of yourself in the upper left corner so that potential readers immediately see it. The picture should be linked to your Biography Page or your Amazon Central page.
You could have a brief column in which you highlight moments of your life, books you’ve written, or plans for the future. Don’t use this for your biography; we’ll get to that later.
Depending on size of the pictures you could have a marquee of book covers that rotates cover to cover at the top.
2 – About Page – This page is for the biography of your life as it pertains to being an author. It’s not recommended you talk about growing up, etc. unless that relates to your book(s). Emphasize the information regarding your writing career. If you’ve won awards this is a good time to mention that.
You will also want a picture of yourself. While it can be the same as the one on the Home Page, consider using another picture of yourself. You might want the picture to be less formal than the one on the Home Page.
Don’t forget to link your picture to either another location you’d like the reader to go (such as Amazon Central or to your Book Page).
3 – Book Page – If you only have three pages then I recommend the Book Page be it, otherwise it could be your fourth or fifth page. The name ‘Book Page’ is only used here as an indicator. You might want to name it something else, such as ‘My Books’, ‘Author’s Books’, or something else.
Aside from the Book Cover this is a good time to include a description of the book and its story. Writing your description takes just as much talent and commitment as writing the story itself, just not as long.
The Book Cover and the description Title should be linked to a Sales Page discussed below. You don’t want to miss any opportunity for a possible sale.
These are basics, but your host’s basic package may allow you more that only three pages. WordPress hosted sites allow more menu items or pages than submenu pages for each main menu page. See our website and you’ll see what I mean. The cost of this package is very low, in my opinion, yet allows you plenty of pages to work with. Whenever looking at a possible host be sure to find out how many pages you’re allowed.
It is important that you have a Call-to-Action on your Book Page. I recommend you have it at least twice. The first would be above the description and to the right with a button such as ‘Buy Now’ taking the potential buyer to the Sales Page. The second button would be at the bottom and to the right below the description.
#4 – Store Page. If your site will be an eCommerce website, you’ll need a secure page. Make sure the host offers that. You can use virtually any eCommerce financial institution from banks to PayPal. I originally wanted to have a Sales page right on my site and decided to go with PayPal. Earlier with my rfrederickriddle.com site I’d used a banking service. And now I use WooCommerce on my site that provides the customer with a smooth and secure shopping experience. All these are excellent ways to go. When checking out your preferences ask questions, don’t take anything for granted.
If you choose Amazon or another venue as the point of sale you won’t need a Store Page. Use links from pictures, Titles, etc. It is important that you have a Call-to-Action. We now have multiple point of sale platforms: Amazon, Amazon Author Central, Christian Book Club, Goodreads, and our website.
#5 – Media Page. You want reporters and other media types to visit your website. But they are busy, so a little consideration will go a long way with them. On the Media Page you want a picture of yourself or the book (if only one). You also want to have links to your Social Media sites (FaceBook, Twitter, etc.), Book Page, About Page, and anywhere else you want them to go.
#6 – Privacy Page. If you’re selling products on your website, then it is necessary to have a Privacy Page. Here you can assure them that their information is safe with you. See below for a sample.
#7 – Blog. Do you blog? You should definitely consider it. You can blog on writing, other book related topics, or something altogether different. Whatever you blog make it consistent and informative. The blog should be linked back to your website and to your Social Media.
Moreover, you should have a Blog Page. My blog is associated with trbookservices.com on WordPress. So, my website and blog are now sharing a common home.
#8 – Update your website regularly. The bots that search your website for the search engines love fresh material. I recommend you update your material at least monthly.
Updating is little more than refreshing your site. You don’t have to completely rewrite the posts on the site. Tweak the text, change pictures, add material so that it has a fresh look and feel.
We update our Home Page at least monthly and other pages not quite so often. And whenever a new book is published, we update the website with appropriate information.
#9 – Promote your website wherever possible. Consider having a link on your FaceBook Business Page, your LinkedIn Page, or other social media to the website. You can also link from other Social Media outlets. And if you have a blog have a link from every blog you publish to the website. Plus, use Business Cards.
#10 – Social Media. I’ve mentioned Social Media several times. You have a number of choices:
These are, in alphabetical order: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and others. I will not state which are my favorites simply because every author out there has their own preferences. I would recommend that you only focus on two or three.
I have accounts in all of the Social Media mentioned above but am seriously looking to concentrate on a few like FaceBook, LinkedIn, and YouTube while I may dabble in the others.
For information on our Services, check our website as we will be regularly updating the site. But if you can’t find the answer to your question, there, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.
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T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a change and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.
One thing I promise to do: I will continue to keep you informed and when the new website is ready, I will provide you with a link so that you can check it out. More importantly, following me. I haven’t checked it out yet, but if able I may manually add each one of you as a follower of the new blog site. If that is not allowed, I will strongly encourage you to follow me.