Our own Kelsey Browning stops by to tell us al about the extras on your website that can draw readers in and entice them to grab your book. I’m a music addict and I always put the book playlist on my site . . . I wonder what other great ideas KB has for us?
Who doesn’t love movie extras—the trailers, cut scenes, outtakes, and actor interviews? Have you ever considered that your readers would also enjoy the story behind your stories?
My first reader experience with extra website content was JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. In the early days of the series, she posted interviews with characters like Wrath, Zsadist, and Phury. Now, she’s added a few deleted scenes as well. As a reader, I loved these vignettes because I felt as though I wasn’t leaving behind the world I loved after I finished the books.
Have you considered doing something similar on your own website? And yes, I can already hear you ticking off the reasons you can’t possibly create extra online content. Here are three of the objections you might make:
Objection 1: I’m too busy writing books to write website content.
Absolutely, your main writing projects should always come first. But you have a production schedule for your books and other writing pieces, don’t you? Then create something similar for your website. Tackle one extra piece of content per month.
You may already have content that you’re not using to your best advantage. How about character interviews you did before drafting the book? What about your beloved scenes that were axed because they didn’t move the plot forward? And do you remember the posts you wrote for your last blog tour? It’s all content that already exists. It may take some time to consolidate the content and rearrange it into a usable form. But using a pre-written piece, even if you have to edit it, is a heckuva lot easier than creating new content from the ground up.
Someone else may be able to help create or gather the content. Do you already use a virtual assistant? This could be a perfect job for her. Send her all your files and links and have her sort the whole thing out. And if she’s also able to add the content directly to your site behind the scenes…well, knuckle bump to you.
Objection 2: Do website extras really sell books?
Well, do movie extras sell the movies? Probably not. But they’re the icing on the cake that lingers sweetly in your memory long after you turn off the film. I mean, can anyone who’s ever seen Toy Story forget those hilarious outtakes at the end? You know the ones…where Barbie tours the toys around the toy store and Stinky Pete the Prospector farts inside his box. I haven’t seen Toy Story for years, but just thinking of those clips makes me smile as I’m writing this post.
Website extras are for the people who already love your books. They’re a special treat for your loyal fans, and they’re the kind of tidbits that will encourage those readers to recommend your work to others.
Objection 3: How will my readers even know the extras are out there?
Um…you tell them. Via social media, blog posts, and email newsletter (you don’t have an email newsletter? That’s an entirely different blog post, but get it started now).
In fact, as I was writing this post, I realized that I’ve forgotten to put a link to the Pinterest boards for my Texas Nights books anywhere on my website. Shame on me. I spent time assembling the boards. Early on, for drafting and revising inspiration. But once the book is out, my readers should know where to find all the man candy, settings, and more.
Next time you’re between projects, take a little time to add some reader extras to your website. It’ll be a nice palate cleanser for you, and your readers will be thrilled that they’re getting content from you between book releases.
Do you have fun extras for readers on your website? If so, what do your readers love? If not, will you add them in the future?
Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and cozy Southern mysteries. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a Canine Companions for Independence puppy. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series. Give her a shout at Kelsey@KelseyBrowning.com or drop by www.KelseyBrowning.com. For info on her upcoming releases, subscribe to her Sass Kickin’ News.
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