Every writer should host a website but, if it’s simply used for self promotion, the site will fail. For a website to be productive, the host must find a method to attract guests. He should provide material that interests the reader and, at the same time, subtly convinces them to purchase his novel.
The first page of this site explains that my purpose is to help budding writers - but that doesn’t stop me from including a large photo of my latest book.
The second page provides background information. Note that it also includes a convenient link to my bookstore. This is not by coincidence.
From then on, I appear to play fair. Every article is designed to assist a novice writer produce his first novel. Of course, my serial novel is often used to explain my advice.
My website provides helpful advice to writers. This is a weak hook; promoting a novel to a writer is like trying to sell shoes to a shoe salesman! What each novelist should do is design his website to match his book. If he writes about cats, the writer should design a website that captivates cat lovers. If his novel revolves around a gunfight in Dawson City, his website could be brimming with informative articles about guns, outlaws or Dawson City, itself.
Blogs can be useful. Because they are updated regularly, visitors frequently return to their favourite sites. Again, the blog must focus on a subject related to the novel being promoted. Some bloggers will post a small section of their new work each week. If the story is good, visitors will return to check out the latest installment and offer suggestions for improvement. In theory, the reader will feel connected to the project and desire to purchase the finished product.