Author Website Templates

TitlePager offers an author website template that works across phones, tablets, and desktop or laptop screens. This type of template is called a responsive design. Elements of the page flow into different positions as the viewing size of the device they appear on changes. We’ve designed the basic template for TitlePager with an eye towards solving design and UI (user interface) challenges and to give viewers what they need to know about a book.  And we’ve designed TitlePager to help authors build a great marketing site for their book(s) without needing any technical skills. All they need to do is to pick a design and add additional text and links and then pick a URL to make their site into an effective platform for their marketing activities.

TitlePager can make a site for any book that is forthcoming or in print. And it takes just ten minutes to make and publish a site that can be updated at any time. We give you a free sub-domain book-or-author-name.titlepager.com and also support your use of your own URL (you can see an example of that with http://www.justelliot.com/)

TitlePager author website template example

We believe that every book needs a  website and we designed our author website template and product to contain lots of different options that authors can use to customize their sites and share information with potential readers. TitlePage sites could be called landing pages or one-page sites. Landing pages are a widely used marketing tool for a huge number of online businesses and events. They let viewers learn what they need to and also have calls-to-action. The calls-to-action on TitlePager are buttons, add sharing buttons, and the ability to join a mailing list or book giveaway.

Some larger publishers support authors by creating their websites but for most authors are on their own. We made TitlePager to support indie authors, academics, and authors from smaller publishers who need a powerful home-base for their marketing efforts and who want to be thoughtful about their time and resources.

Try TitlePager For Free. Build A Site Today. 

TitlePager Adds Support For Author Mailing Lists and Book GiveAways

Mailing lists and giveaways are a key component to marketing both traditionally published books and self-published books. And now they are easy to add and integrate into your TitlePager book or author website. When an author creates a TitlePager powered website for their book they just add the URL of their mailing list subscription page and the URL of their book giveaway to the admin. It’s as easy as adding the URL for your social links.  We check to see if a URL has been added and if we detect one we then place a button on the book website that links to the service.

Since we think of TitlePager as a central hub from which you can tell people about your title and link them to places to buy and connect with authors, we wanted to keep support for this both very easy and broad since there are so many choices for mailing lists and book giveaways. For mailing lists, there are Mailchimp, ConstantContact, other mail services, or even just link to a google form. Book giveaways can be run one on Amazon, Goodreads, Bookfetti and other sites. The links on the TitlePager admin are easy to change so if you test giveaways on different sites, or go from a google form to mailchimp it’s as easy as just pasting it the new link.

 

WordPress and hidden costs for Author Sites

We are building out a WordPress.com site for a friend’s movie and are struck by, and a bit annoyed by the hidden costs. Yes it is true that for $4 a month you can build a site. But you can’t add plugins, you can only use a sub-domain. For $8 you can have a domain you use own but you can’t really customize a site. It isn’t until you are at $25 a month that you can add plugins or even activate the seo and google analytics pieces of jetpack, WordPress’s built-in jack of all trades plugin. It just keeps coming. Compared to that TitlePager is a bargain. It is focused on providing a tool for authors to promote their books. It is easy to use and simple to create a book focused site. And TitlePager is a very straightforward service. It is $14 a month, there is no set-up fee or hidden extras. If you have your own URL we support it for free.

 

How to build a good author website

An author website is a homebase for an author, and an online marketing hub for books. It is a place that connects potential readers to the author and their books in multiple ways.  Fundamentally potential readers should be able to learn about the author’s book(s) and buy them,  and learn about the author and connect with them in multiple ways.

A good book and author site has the following attributes. It needs a good responsive design so people who see a mention in a tweet, a review, or a facebook post can look at the site on a phone, tablet, or desktop and have a good experience.

Putting together a site these days is really about connecting services and together on a hub. TitlePager lets you pull them all together into a homebase designed specifically for authors. There are a lot of moving parts, videos belong on Netflix or Vimeo and need to be pulled in, blogging should be done on Medium or WattPad and linked to, social channels need to be maintained on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.

Each bookpage needs the cover,  summary, reviews and media mentions, events, video and an excerpt. And it needs links to buy the book online from Amazon, B&N and others. On the author side of things  bio, photo, and connections to social links are key. Lastly, a mailing list signup and links to book giveaways are good and while you can link to them creatively on TitlePager now we are about to make it even easier to add them to the sites.

We’ve built in support for good URLs too. By default, every site can have a unique sub-domain. This could be the book title or the author name. And if a user owns their own URL we will hook that up for them.

When we built TitlePager we tried to simplify the process for authors to create really good marketing sites without spending a lot of time or needing tech skills. We also wanted to give them sites that they own and control as compared to something like Amazon’s Author Central pages or a publisher’s catalog page.  A place to connect in their twitter signatures, to embed on Facebook Pages, and in their email signatures. Something that they could leverage as a tool for their marketing purposes, and we think we have.

 

 

 

Bowker To Supply Data To TitlePager

TitlePager uses Bowker’s API to power some of the data that flows into the sites we make. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, Bowker is the official supplier seller of ISBN’s, the Publisher of Books-In-Print, and other key bibliographic data. They power libraries, bookstores, and Amazon.  They have information on every book in print and also every forthcoming book with an ISBN. In other words, they are the source you want to use when using book related data.  So we naturally turned to them to power parts of TitlePager’s service. When you enter your ISBN we use their API to pull down your cover, your summary, and other bibliographic data that you or your publisher submitted.  And they keep this data up to date. So we were really pleased that the chose to partner with us and also really pleased that they issued a press release about it too. Read their press release here.

Sometimes when we see a list of books we like we just make TitlePages for them

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about Five Books To Make You Less Stupid About The Civil War in The Atlantic. We noticed that the list didn’t have any links to buy or read more about the books so in less than 5 minutes total we made them and gave them all custom sub-domains. You can read more about the books here and buy them from any online store or your local if you like

http://battlecryoffreedom.titlepager.com

http://grant.titlepager.com

http://readingtheman.titlepager.com

http://outofthehouseofbondage.titlepager.com

http://lifeandtimesoffrederickdouglass.titlepager.com

 

Author Stories: Tom Buggy author of Ray Billows, The Cinderella Kid

 In Caddyshack there is a scene in which Bill Murray deadheads flower after flower while having a running commentary of the cinderella story at the Masters. In the 1930’s a real unknown amateur golfer named Ray Billows, was known as the Cinderella Kid.  The author Tom Buggy, chose TitlePager to make a site for his biography of Billows and since it was such a well-done niche title we wanted to ask him some questions about his decision to self-publish and his marketing plan.

Is this your first book?

The Billows book is not the first book I have written, but it’s the first one to be published commercially.  In the late 1990s I authored a centennial history book of Dutchess Golf and Country Club in Poughkeepsie (116 pages).  That book was distributed only to club members and to some golf organizations, although it is now being sold as a used book by Abe Books and on Ebay (it has an ISBN).  I have writing experience dating back to a high school newspaper and I started my post-college days as a technical writer.  I have also had a few magazine articles published.

Why did you take the self-publishing route? 
I decided to self-publish because I did not think a first-time author could get a contract from a traditional publisher for a niche golf book about an amateur golfer from 80+ years ago, and because of cost factors.  I spent only about $500 to publish the Billows book, $300 of which was for a cover design by a professional designer.  I did not hire an editor, but the manuscript was reviewed by Vassar College English professor Bob DeMaria, a fellow golf club member.  The paperback edition of the book is printed by CreateSpace, Amazon’s self-publishing facility; the hardbound edition is printed by IngramSpark (CreateSpace doesn’t do hardbound books).  Both are Print on Demand (POD).  Because of a quality problem with dust jackets produced by IngramSpark, I plan to unpublish the current hardbound edition and publish a casewrapped hardbound edition via Lulu.
 What is your marketing plan?
I am doing my own marketing.  I believe that the niche nature of the book precludes use of traditional book marketing approaches (except for social media).  My major focus has been coverage in the magazines and websites of state and regional golf associations, especially those in New York and Wisconsin.  I have also successfully solicited articles by sportswriters in those states, and coverage in national golf blogs.  I have had articles about the book published in local newspapers, and have used some paid advertising in the Poughkeepsie Journal (which I plan to repeat pre-Christmas).

TitlePager excerpts – easy to read inline chapters from your books

We wanted to make it easy for authors to include excerpts on their sites as a way for readers to sample books. Authors can upload a .pdf and it appears in an in-line reader that enables visitors to read on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Authors can use this for a sample chapter, a recipe, illustrations, graphic novel spreads, or something extra like a reader’s guide. It’s great to see TitlePager users like Clotilde Zehnder taking advantage of this feature for her book Arthur and Kip.

To add an excerpt to a TitlePager site you simply go to the admin and upload a .pdf. in the same area you would link a YouTube or Vimeo movie.