Building Your Website: Building Relationships with the Reader

by Gail Z. Martin

As an author, you have a vested interest in turning the transaction of buying a book into an ongoing and longstanding relationship between you and the reader. Your website is one of the most important ways you can develop and nurture this relationship, but you need to understand what makes readers reach out to authors so that you can keep them coming back for more.

What Readers Really Want

When a reader finds a book that is really special, the reader wants to continue the experience. A non-fiction book may be so helpful that readers want more tips, more information, or help in applying the book’s content to their own situation. A fiction book might build such a pleasant or interesting make-believe world with characters that have become real to the reader that readers don’t want to leave. They want more details, inside information, and hints about what happens next.

Readers also want to feel that they have gotten to know you better as a person. Maybe they are interested in knowing why you chose to write about your topic, or how you came to be an expert. Often, they want to know what kinds of books you read, who you look up to as experts, and what you’ll be doing next.

To the extent that your website can meet these needs and answer these questions, you’ll be building a relationship with the people who keep you in business as an author.

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