In a previous article Landing Pages the overall concept of such pages was considered and discussed. One primary conclusion reached was ‘Overall, considering the costs involved, landing pages are most appropriate for those who run regular marketing campaigns and, of course, have the resources to do so. For indie authors, who usually just wish to run infrequent campaigns, the necessity for specific software and the payment of both annual and monthly fees, make them unviable.’ Naturally, many would have found this disappointing.
Before continuing it will be worth clarifying a couple of points:
What a Landing Page is: These are principally standalone pages that contain basic, but informative, details of a book, product or service.
Who this discussion is for: Though Landing Pages may be utilised by anyone who has a product or service for purchase, it is independent (indie) authors who are the primary focus, especially those, probably the majority, who have limited finances.
During the development of their career authors will have come across advice recommending they create a landing page for each of their books. The purpose will be examined in a little more detail in a moment.
Primary advice is to either:
- Create a standalone page. (‘Standalone’ means it is not reliant upon anything else to be understood.); or
- Have individual pages, one for each book, within an existing website or blog. (Again the principle should be to make these effectively standalone and not reliant upon the remainder of the website or blog.)
There are potential drawbacks with each recommendation.
Standalone: As covered in the previous Landing Page article there are two major drawbacks to this solution. 1) Cost: there is usually a monthly fee for utilising third party landing pages. 2) Nature of website: pages from third parties normally require the use of a ‘plug-in’ facility which are only available to self-hosted websites or blogs that come at a premium. (The difference between hosted and self-hosted sites was also looked at in the previous article.)
Within website or blog: Clutter and distraction should always be avoided when trying to concentrate a potential customers thoughts. To have individual pages for each and every book (assuming authors are going to write more than one) can make a website or blog very messy. In these days, when time is frequently stated to be limited, many may find the display of multiple tabs off-putting. Authors should also take into account concentration spans tend to be limited (probably a consequence of the immediacy of internet connectivity). Clarity, conciseness and ease of use are principles that need to be applied across most activities these days no matter where they occur.
The conclusions from the earlier discussion may well have discouraged authors as they initially did the writer. However, the writer decided to carry out further research.
The constraints mentioned with respect to utilising pages provided by third parties still exist however, a FREE alternative has been discovered. The following is based upon experiences with WordPress though there is little doubt other website/blog providers will have similar options available.
Though they may not be as elegant or ‘all-singing’ as those provided, at a cost, by third parties, the free theme options available within most major website software companies provide a reasonably good alternative. To make such a page the author has the option of either setting up an additional site, from within their existing primary website or blog, or creating a completely new account (a different e-mail contact address, to the one used for their primary account, will normally be required).
Whichever provider is utilised authors are recommended to search for ‘One Page’ free themes. Once they find one they like it should be activated. Thereafter:
- The ‘Home (Front Page)’ should be located and kept.
- All ‘Extra’ (e.g. Blog; About; Contact; etc.) content should be deleted.
- Full page option should be chosen. (Usually from the draft page/post properties column.)
The author should then have a clear page into which to enter the information they wish readers to see.
The primary aim of a landing page is to get the ‘visitor’ to take some sort of action. In this case, to purchase the book in either physical or digital format. The following is a carry forward from the previous article:
‘Landing pages should always:
- be clear and concise;
- have a clear ‘Call-to-Action’;
- have only ONE objective;
- contain information that is a logical extension of the advert, search result or link the user has come from;
- present the book/product in a visual format;
- be standalone;
- have no navigation or side bars. (The less distraction the better.)’
It may help readers to see some examples of free, standalone, landing pages. The following are links to ones author T. R. Robinson has created for a variety of different books (memoir; novel; short story):
Readers will note each page contains links to a variety of retail sites. This does not negate the principles of a ‘clear ‘Call-to-Action’ and ‘only ONE objective’. These simply make it easier for customers to access their preferred retail site. Of course, it is not necessary for authors to have their books available from multiple retailers but if they do, this is how to make the purchase process easier.
Book Landing Pages are useful and authors are recommended to create one for each of their books.
Note: This does not mean they should not provide details of their books in their principle website or blog. They should but in limited form e.g. one page with details of all their books rather than separate pages for each.
The ‘free’ website/blog options available from within a provider’s network make good alternatives to the ‘paid for’ options available from third-party providers.
The information provided above has been intentionally kept to basics. If a reader requires more detail they may request it by means of a comment. The writer will do their best to accommodate such a request.
Design of pages (Layout; Colour; Format; etc.) are at author’s discretion and preference within the available pallets of each theme. The principle of clarity, conciseness and ease of use should always be uppermost when formatting a page.
Further information regarding such things as: Types of Page; Content; Use; etc. may be found in the original Landing Pages article.
Disclaimer: Beside being users of, neither T. R. Robinson Publications nor T. R. Robinson have any affiliation with or to WordPress. Nor do either receive any remuneration for mentioning them.