Jerry Mahoney on Launching a Website For His Books

Yesterday, we interviewed Jerry Mahoney about his new middle grade series for young readers, My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Fairy Tales. To promote his four books, he launched Let’s take a look at this new online home for his series.

What were your needs for a book site?

This site is mainly about promotion, so it wasn’t as important to have a blog front-and-center as it was on my other site, where the blog is the focus. Instead, I had to serve the needs of two likely audiences — readers and what I’ll call promotional helpers.

In the sidebar of Jerry’s pages, he displays the Social Icons Widget and Upcoming Events Widget so readers can follow his social updates and book-related events.

Readers will mostly be kids who are visiting the site because they read and enjoyed one or more of my books. I want to have content they will appreciate, like writing tips and downloads tied into my books (word searches and bookmarks, for example). I also need to let them know what else I’ve written and to give them news on what I have coming out in the future.

Learn how other authors use widgets to promote their books.

Potential helpers, for lack of a better term, are any people who can help me reach my audience. These might include booksellers, teachers, librarians, book bloggers, reviewers, parents, conference hosts, or anyone else who wants to know more about me. For them, I include my press kit (basically just high-res images they’re free to use as well as some blurbs about me), my availability for school visits, signings and speaking engagements, and contact info for me and my agent.

Why did you choose the Gateway theme?

I love that Gateway has a bold, attention-getting banner at the top. It is the perfect place to put my book covers and author headshot, so people will see them as soon as they land on the site and know they are in the right place. I also like that the menu is easy to locate right underneath. I know lots of kids will be coming to my site, so I want something that isn’t too complicated to navigate.

Gateway is a free theme that’s great for author or business websites, landing pages, and more.

One thing I had forgotten was what an ongoing process building a website can be! Even months after launch, I keep tweaking it as I realize what my needs are and what’s working and not working. I expect I’ll make more changes as I have more of a sense of what’s important. Thankfully, Gateway is pretty easy to customize, even for someone with limited skills like me.

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August 2, 2017Authors, Books, Business, , , ,