How to create a website for your children's book
Published: July 1, 2010
Q: What makes a good website for promoting my children’s book?
Nancy I. Sanders
A: Promoting a children’s book takes teamwork. You can help promote your book by creating an Internet presence for it, and this can start by creating your very own website.
If you do not yet have a website or blog, the first thing to do is set one up. Some authors put out the big bucks and hire a Web designer to create a website with all the bells and whistles, but until you’re making enough money from your books to do this, you can create your own!
Your author’s website should be about you, your life as an author, and an overview of what you write. Once you have your author’s website set up, create a specific site for your children’s book. This can be a page or link within your own author’s website, or it can be a website all its own.
Unlike my author’s website, www.nancyisanders.com, for which I pay a small fee to have a domain with my name as the URL, I like to use free sites to create websites for my books. WordPress.com provides free blog software, and I like it because it has a variety of templates to choose from.
For my newest book, America’s Black Founders, my publicist sent me a packet with suggestions on how to create a website. I also explored websites for other children’s books for ideas. I set up a free URL on WordPress with my book’s title within the URL, so that it would be easy to find: http://americasblackfounders.wordpress.com.
A question to ask yourself is, Who will be reading this website? If you’ve written a picture book, then parents, teachers and librarians will be visiting the site. Also, children who are too young to read might visit. If you’ve written a middle-grade or young-adult novel, teens might be your biggest audience.
If kids will be reading your website, give them things such as crafts, activities, games, recipes or trivia that are related to the theme of your book. These can all be items that you post on your website and forget about if you want your website to be low maintenance. If you want to devote more time to your book’s website, you can create an interactive club for kids to join or have the characters from your book write a blog that kids can read and post comments on. For more ideas on how to target your book’s website to kids, explore Mo Willems’ website and the website for the Magic Tree House series.
Be sure to include information about the book, the publisher, and yourself as the author. Post reviews so readers can see what others are saying about your book. Provide a link to an online bookstore so people can purchase your book with the click of a button. Create a free teacher’s guide to download that provides worksheets or activities for teachers to use with your book in the classroom. The more you can give your readers on your website, both kids and adults alike, the more interest you’ll spark in your book. And more interest means more exposure and more sales, which is what promoting a book is all about.
On the faculty of The National Writing for Children Center, award-winning and bestselling author Nancy I. Sanders teaches monthly teleseminars about being a successful children’s writer. Web: www.nancyisanders.com.