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Writing Tips for Fiction Writers!


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  The Writer's Website - Part 2
by Tina Morgan

In the last issue of Fiction Factor, we covered the reasons for creating a writer's website. This week I will be covering content for your site.

Once you've examined your reasons for wanting a website and you've determined your goals, it's time to begin designing the site.

The first step is to decide on the content. If you're selling a novel, you'll want to include:

Book Cover
Sales Pitch
Links to Purchase sites

Excerpt: Check with your publisher before posting an excerpt to the site. Most publishers will have a word limit on what they will allow to be reprinted. Depending on the type of publisher, you may have an editor who can help you decide on the best excerpt.

A good excerpt will highlight your writing style and give the reader an idea what your plot is about and who your protagonist is.

Book Cover: your book cover is one of your strongest selling tools. Humans are very visual. Many people will remember a cover even if they don't remember the title. - This is one of the reasons publishers change book covers on a multiple print run book. Readers often forget the title. When they see a new cover, they think they haven't read the book and buy another copy.

Sales Pitch: You have an excerpt, why do you need anything more? Because your excerpt isn't going to entice every potential buyer. Some viewers are going to want to know more about your work.

Part of a Series?
Number of published books
Who is the author - a little personal information

This can be the most difficult part of designing your site. Too often as writers we are taught not to 'blow our own horn'. Well, guess what? This is the time to strike up the entire symphony.

If you find you feel too uncomfortable to write your own sales copy and your publisher hasn't provided any, then you're going to have to look for help. Hiring a PR person is expensive and beyond the budget of most writers, but there is an easier and less expensive way to go about acquiring the sales pitch you need.

Ask anyone you've had read the book to point out what they liked best. This is a good time to ask those friends and relatives for their comments…you know, the ones that are afraid of hurting your feelings so they simply gush even when you've shown them a rough draft that you know needs serious work? Collect all those compliments than take a look at some of your favorite writers' websites and cover blurbs. Pay careful attention to the way the larger publishers handle the blurbs and excerpts on books in your genre. Remember, these people make their living from selling books. They often know what works. Just remember to use your own words and don't copy word for word.

In this category, I want to cover personal information about the author. How much is too much? Well, I think most of us know that giving out our home address is not the smartest move we could make, but it's still possible to give out too much information without trying. Are you using your real name? How many people are there in your local phone book with your last name? If you tell your readers your real name and location, then all it takes is a quick internet search on and they know have your address. This might not be a problem but then again, it could become one. While we'd all like to think that all of our readers are sane, rational people, odds are against it.

Sales Link: Some writers get so caught up in the creation of their site that they forget the most important thing of all: a link to where the book can be purchased. Most authors do not handle sales and distribution themselves, so a link to the publisher, Amazon or any other sales outlet is vitally important. DOUBLE CHECK this link. Make certain it works regardless of the viewer's ISP.

Copyright 2002 Tina Morgan. All rights reserved.

Go to Part One of The Writer's Website

Go to Part Three of The Writer's Website

Go to Part Four of The Writer's Website


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