How Three Authors Promote Their Books with Widgets

If you’re an author, promoting your books on your website — and making it easy for people to buy them — is a must. You can use widgets to promote your work in different ways, from clickable book covers to links on Amazon. Need ideas? Take your cue from these three authors.

A quick click to your book’s website

Cathy O’Neil, a mathematician who blogs at Mathbabe, is the author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in the nonfiction category.

Cathy first uploaded the image to her Media Library, then used a bit of HTML in a Text Widget to display the image and turn it into a link. For more, read Widgets 101.

At the top of her sidebar, Cathy displays a book cover image — in a hard-to-miss yellow shade — which, when clicked, goes to her book’s website. To create this image, she used a Text Widget, a handy tool that lets you add text and HTML to your site.

A clickable image in your sidebar or footer is one of the simplest ways to direct readers to buy your book.

Creatively displayed book purchase links

Kory Stamper, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, blogs about words and language on her blog, Harmless Drudgery. She published her first book, Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, this past March.

Add a Text Widget like Kory’s on your own site by going to My Site → Customize → Widgets → Add a Widget, then searching for “Text.”

Kory’s blog design — with its off-white, word-filled background and a header image of alphabetical index tabs — is reminiscent of a dictionary. Her right sidebar plays off this theme: each widget title is formatted like a listing in a dictionary, complete with pronunciation and part of speech. Her top widget, for example, is a simple Text Widget promoting her book, with links to various booksellers.

Kory also has a standalone page for her book — accessible in her main menu — which includes reviews and praise, book tour info, and a contact email for media inquiries.

A featured image and a menu of booksellers

Learn all about Image Widgets (and how to create your own custom images, too).

Author and home renovator Amy Haimerl uses her website to promote her writing and editing as well as her book, Detroit Hustle. She compiles her book press and events under the “Detroit Hustle” tab in her menu, but also promotes the book in her sidebar with a combination of an Image Widget and a Custom Menu Widget.

You first need to create a custom menu to use the Custom Menu Widget. Go to My Site → Customize → Menus.

Below this image, Amy displays links to where you can buy her book, including Indiebound, Amazon, and local bookstores like Parnassus Books in Nashville and Pages Bookshop in Detroit. This simple bullet list is shown via the Custom Menu Widget, which lets you display one of the menus you’ve created.

Need more inspiration? Explore other authors with WordPress sites.


May 22, 2017Authors, Books, , ,