Saturday 24 January 2009

Do websites and book trailers sell books?

Yesterday on Facebook, I launched my new wheeze - web mentoring workshops.

I've been trying out all the different website-creating tools that have emerged online since the advent of Web 2.0 ... and have come to the conclusion that like the dinosaurs, I as a web designer, have finally become extinct.

It's not that people don't need websites anymore, it's just that if you are a small business, a self employed individual or small organisation like most of my clientele it doesn't make sense to shell out a thousand quid for:
  • A website that you don't have the skills to maintain and update.
  • A website that will become obsolete from Day One. Read about it in the Trouble with Websites

  • A website that you can't afford to constantly be contacting your web designer for support and advice (unless of course, you marry one, which is what my husband did).

  • Something you have no idea what to do with. A website is only a tool. Once it's up there you've got to use it. That's something a lot of people who already have websites really ought to understand.
Anyway, I am hoping that a lot of authors will agree with my reasoning and sign up for my workshops. I like authors. I really believe that authors can do a lot more for themselves online.

Interestingly, the New York Times yesterday came up with an essay on whether websites sold books:
A survey released last June by the Codex Group, a research firm that monitors trends in book buying, found that 8 percent of book shoppers had visited author Web sites in a given week. It didn’t, however, say how many clicked on the “buy the book” link. Read it all
With publishers continuing to set new lows for book marketing budgets, the beleaguered author really has no choice but to face up his/her e-fears and engage with the internet. This has prompted the rise of a mini industry ...
Still, a sizable industry has sprung up around persuading them to do so. AuthorBytes, a multimedia company started in 2003, has built sites for more than 200 clients, including Paul Krugman, Chris Bohjalian and Khaled Hosseini. They cost from $3,500 to $35,000 — with writers paying about 85 percent of the time. The staff of 20 even includes three employees whose entire job is updating.
I love the Authorbytes websites. If and when my famous writer friends are ever granted lots of marketing spend, I will urge them to go get an Authorbyte site!

If and when.

Otherwise, I suppose they will just have to settle for cheap old me.

My first workshop is on 3 March 2009 in North London.


  1. Thanks for this post. I have so much to learn.

    BTW I nominated you for the kreativ blogger award.

  2. The problem is from Price War. You can hire someone to build site but price for maintainance is very high. One way to eliminate problem is you must organize you company and deligate a few people for creation/ maintain your websites.

  3. tommy, small organisations and self-employed individuals cannot afford to employ staff to maintain a website. for these people, web 2.0 sites offer a great solution.

  4. Candy Gourlay , For small business, yes you're right. Web 2.0 is efficient if use it right.
    But for the long future, nothing can adapt website to catch the future like the people brain.


Comments are the heart and soul of the Slushpile community, thank you! We may periodically turn on comments approval when trolls appear.

Share buttons bottom