5 Must-Have Elements of an Author Website in 2021 for Success

As a modern day author, you will need a website for your book to be taken seriously. A good author website is no longer just a portfolio of your work. It’s the hub for all your marketing efforts: building an audience, connecting with influencers, and selling books to potential readers worldwide.

Websites have become staples for many people looking to find the latest in business news, entertainment, or even finding out more about their favorite authors. The non-fiction gurus know this and capitalize on the many opportunities it affords them. Here’s the catch though, currently, you may have to be more creative than the traditional website to stand out. Though the functional elements will always be necessary, the modern website that sells adds flair to capture attention. So, it will be different from what you’re used to seeing now (and we’ll get into why in a minute).

You will need to arm yourself with the following five elements that make up a successful author website today.

1. A blog

A blog or newsletter is a way to publish content on your site and keep subscribers updated on new posts. Keep your website up-to-date. Information is indeed the currency of the internet. And your readers will want not only to buy your book but also to get helpful information.

A great site will be a central location for author news, author interviews, and other author-related content. Don’t forget newsletter signup as a lead magnet to get people’s emails so you can send them information about new releases or tips, guides, and freebies.

Pro Tip: Email marketing helps build a loyal relationship with your readers.

2. A Revamped Author Bio

A bio or about page is a functional element but what is different is the presentation. The modern about page should provide a brief overview of who you are as an author and your background.

It helps your potential readers find out more about you as a person. Make it interesting, informative, and easy for your reader to digest in one page. It’s also about building credibility; include where you appear, awards won, recognitions by notable organizations, etc.

Pro Tip: put your book front and center on your homepage to reinforce your profile. You want readers to tell immediately they visit your website that you are an author.

3. Samples and Reviews

Add samples from the first few pages of the book and reviews from respected sources.
Take readers into the world of your book by teasing a few chapter samples. You want to make sure they get a feel for your author’s voice and style.

Think of it as the hook for your book.

Include some reviews of your book by respected sources such as Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, or Amazon. A word of caution. Avoid posting too many quotes from one review. If you have reviews by more than one respected source, you’ll want to include those quotes here. You can follow the discussions on the book group for all things authors to learn more on how to get your book reviewed by credible outlets.

4. A Social Media Feed

The author’s website in 2021 is where you can engage with your audience using timely social posts to increase brand awareness. Moreover, it is the space that allows current followers to stay up-to-date on all things authored. It will do well to integrate social links to your website.

Looking for website creation help? Get a professional non-fiction author’s website and increase opportunities with the Lead Nicely website package. Many of their packages are inclusive and startup-friendly, therefore ideal for new authors who can’t afford to spend tons on marketing yet.

5. Website Design and Branding

A website is a reflection of your brand, and you should design with that in mind. You must be specific with the book’s voice, tone, style and make it consistent with your website. In 2021, this also means using material design principles to create interface designs optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.

The best author website is a representation of yourself- style and voice.

On design, make sure to use white space effectively. You don’t want to have a website that looks like a textbook.

Pro Tip: You may want to stuff every blank space with words but don’t. A perfect balance of white space with content ensures visitors see exactly what you want them to.


You have put a lot of time and effort into your book. It would be such a shame not to get the sales you deserve for all that hard work! The key is to invest in website marketing resources from day one to build an optimized site with features like blog content that will keep readers coming back for more.

We recommend these five elements as must-haves when designing your website-a responsive design, iconic bio, chapter samples, social media integration, and blogging.

Even if you already have a website, it’s always good practice to ask professionals about optimization. To find out how we can help optimize yours, contact us here.


How to Get Your eBook into the Hands of Your Readers: Understanding Your Distribution Options

You have your eBook ready for publication, but you still have one more vital decision to make; getting it into the hands of your readers.
Knowing exactly how you will sell your book before getting it published is an essential step in your authorship journey because it saves you a lot of time.

Earlier, we looked at how to write your ebook.

In this post, we’ll share a few distribution channels available and how to decide the ones to use. First, it is necessary to point out that your distribution strategies can be as complex or as simple as the time and effort you invest.

For the purpose of this article, we will consider these options:

  • Amazon exclusive
  • Individual Retailers
  • Using an aggregator
  • Sell directly on your website

What is ebook Distribution?

eBook distribution is providing it to online retailers for selling. These retailers are of two types- self-service and aggregators.

Before getting your book published in online stores, you must have an appropriate ebook format and cover design. Online distributors use two types; the EPUB and.MOBI formats. So, consider which one is acceptable by the retailer you choose. Since 2020, Amazon can only accept EPUB formats which they convert into a.MOBI. The latter is exclusively an Amazon feature, while the rest use EPUB.

You also need a professional book cover which you will need to find out from the distributor the dimensions for the file to upload. That implies finding a pro designer who will also not break the bank.

Lastly, an ISBN. It’s not a necessity for most retailers because they will offer a free one when you publish. You can still purchase yours. And the advantage is if you do, your book will show up with you as the publisher instead of the publishing platform.

Assessing Your Ebook Distribution Options

Amazon Exclusive
Due to its popularity, the first logical step in your publishing journey is a stop at the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing(KDP) store. That is whether you want to be exclusive with them or not. Currently, Amazon controls 80% of the ebook market in the US and UK. So should you go exclusive or not?

When you get to upload your book through KDP, you will have an option of KDP select.
The ‘KDP Select’ is an option for authors to list their books only with them for at least three months. That means if you go this route, you can not publish anywhere else(including promotions or selling on your website). And Amazon, of course, will try to entice you into an exclusive deal.

So, in exchange, this is what they offer:

Countdown deals
Every 90 days, you have an opportunity to discount your book, and Amazon will promote it among its customers during the period. And, you get 70% royalty even on books below 2.99 dollar selling price.

Free promotions
The free promotion means every 90 days, you can list your book as a free giveaway in the free books section. On these five days, your book can become quite visible in the free store.

Kindle unlimited and kindle owner’s library
As a KDP select client, Amazon will automatically enroll your book into these two services. The kindle unlimited and owner’s library are highly popular subscriptions with readers, meaning more visibility. Additionally, authors in these services get a percentage of the KDP global fund according to the number of pages that people read of their book.

Higher royalties in territories that usually have a low royalty percentage.
As a KDP select author, your book will earn 70% royalty in Japan, India, Brazil, and Mexico, where non-KDP select members get 35%.

The Downside
All these are great benefits accompanying distributing your ebook exclusively on Amazon, but there are limitations to expect like:

  • Because of the restriction to sell through other channels, you will not reach readers in other areas.
  • You can’t sell directly on your website.
    The good news is your restriction is for 90 days, after which if the shoe doesn’t fit, you can always review your options.

Individual Retailers
Aside from publishing on Amazon, other retailers with a substantial audience you can upload your eBook include; iBooks from Apple, Kobo, Google books on google play, etc. When you choose to work with individual online retailers, you have to use their sole publishing platforms.

The benefit of publishing directly to individual retailers is getting a higher percentage in royalties.

The downside is:

  • You will have to upload the eBook to each site separately and repeat the process on all the others. That includes the metadata, descriptions/book blurb, discounts and promotions, and any changes- a process that takes time and effort.
  • Not to mention the separate sales report that can be hard to track.

Using Aggregators
As the name suggests, aggregators combine different retailers in one platform to ease the process of publishing on several platforms. The aggregators are facilitating your book distribution at a cost. And the charges for this service vary between a share of the royalties(sales) or a flat-rate fee.

Some of the known aggregators are Bookbaby, draft2digital, eBook Partnership, Smashwords, and PublishDrive.

All these aggregators service a particular region, so it may be better to research your book’s target audience before settling on one. Draft2digital, Smashwords, and Bookbaby sell primarily to English-speaking areas. eBook Partnership is UK-based, while publishDrive is international, reaching other global markets.

The advantage of aggregators
They consolidate all information for the book in one platform to post across the online retailers. The same goes for the sales reports.

The downside is:
Aggregators can be uneconomical for new authors.

Selling Directly on Your Website
A website is a simpler alternative, especially if you have an online presence and have already built regular followers.

The benefit of using your website to distribute your ebook:

  • You have control and flexibility you can’t find with online retailers
  • You can use your book to grow and build your audience further.
  • It can be the most profitable option since you don’t have to split royalties.
  • Because of the flexibility, you can experiment with different marketing and promotion strategies by learning a few digital marketing tricks.

Ultimately selling your ebook through your website is the cheapest and most flexible distribution option. The only downside is you have to invest a little more in building traffic and an audience before experiencing sales numbers that matter.

The Verdict

Which option should you consider for distributing your eBook? We say, spread your wings.
List your eBook in as many places as your pocket allows. But, at the same time, be careful of a few factors such as the market reach for individual retailers, the cost for aggregators, and the popularity of your genre readership on Amazon.

Whatever you choose, research first.


7 Habits that Make a Successful Indie (Amazon) Author: Advice for New Writers

The message most writers get even before venturing into the field is that authors don’t make money. The notion may be partly true. But like any other business or venture, you have to invest to gain returns. That includes investing in your time, money, and effort.

I am here to show you that you can still make money from your writing. You are a small business owner using your blog to share knowledge on running a business or a business leader trying to share your expertise in a book. It doesn’t matter. You can still make money from your writing. And this post shares crucial habits that will ensure you get there. These are habits that successful indie(self-publishing) writers have that give them an advantage.

1.They Focus on Quality

Not to state the obvious but, All business people know that a quality product sells itself. The same rule applies in writing. Whether it is freelancing for others, writing your blog, or a book, quality content boosts credibility. Authors that maintain top chart positions and generate a sustainable income from their writing offer quality products. They invest in making every element of the book excellent. From the cover design, writing, editing, proofreading, blurb, and logo. All these aspects of book writing need attention to make a book readers can’t put down. So, it requires professional technical assistance. It calls for investing in content creation, production, and marketing of the book.

Get this complete business package for your author platform from Lead Nicely. It is an inclusive combo of tools and training in building and maintaining an online presence at a reasonable price.

2.They Publish Under Many Categories

The world of book publishing is highly competitive. Successful authors know this and boost the selling odds by mastering genres to list their books in stores. Amazon has over 16,000 categories, so it is helpful to go through and identify relevant ones for your book.

Successful publishing is about targeting the right audience with your book. It is more than non-fiction or biography. The author must know the specific subgenres and niches that fit the content. For example, look at two of the categories of Limitless Success on Amazon:

  • Books> Political & Social Sciences>Philosophy>Methodology
  • Kindle Store> Kindle ebook>Health Fitness and Dieting>Counselling and Psychology>Mental Health>Emotions

Today, authors can publish to as many as ten categories on Amazon, and not just three as many do. So, if you are going to list, know exactly where your readers will be hanging out.

3.They Create a Series

If you look at most successful Amazon indie authors, they usually develop a series around a topic or niche of their expertise. Some of the reasons are; It helps with backlist sales. It helps build an author brand that helps readers identify with the niche. It is a better way to develop goals for an authorship career. As a business and leadership coach, my expertise is helping build talent and products, so my books focus on providing helpful knowledge for business and personal growth. Here are examples of a series of my books in this field.

4.The Build a Mailing List

Most marketers are talking about the falling value of email marketing, but if you know how to use this tool correctly, that isn’t the case. Top digital marketers like Neil Patel say that email marketing will be here for a long time. However, instead of fake personalization that often comes with email marketing, the trend will be depersonalization (dial back on the phony relation and write like an actual, live person).

Successful authors build a list relevant to their niche and treat them with respect. For an author, an email list can be one of their most valuable assets. Emails help keep in touch with readers, send updates and also sell more in the long run. You can learn how to start building a mailing list with this resource.

5.They Make Use of Ebooks

Most people shy away from becoming authors because of the cost of producing a book through traditional publishing. It’s every writer’s dream to see their book on physical store bookshelves, but as an indie author, the best bet is to spend on ebooks. Ebooks are economical for self-publishing authors. They have no printing and shipping fees, so that means they make more return on investment. Instead of printing and spending on paper, shipping, distribution, why not focus on marketing the electronic copies first.

6.They Explore Publishing Options

Successful indie authors also diversify. They are not comfortable with few options. So, they keep experimenting with various online book platforms to see what works. They can publish on Amazon, iBooks, Nook, and other platforms out there.

7. They Use Promotion Services Wisely

Unlike traditional publishing, where an author has an agent to promote their book, self-publishing authors have to shoulder the weight of book promotion. Definitely, not an easy feat. That is why indie authors have to get affordable marketing resources. With the number of online tools, it is easy to throw cash at the first available option and hope it works. But, successful indie authors have the habit of carefully researching their marketing options. They consider factors like:

  •  Testimonials
  •  Suitability to their niche
  •  What value does the resource offer
  •  The price and return on investment.
  •  Promotional tools should not exceed your budget

There you go, these are among the top habits that successful indie authors on Amazon employ. If you are a new writer, start implementing these ideas and keep up with upcoming trends.

Subscribe to this blog to stay updated on what’s new in the writing world and free resources to aid your authorship career.


How to Develop a Writing Habit in Days for Your New Book

Writing of any kind is effort and time-consuming. Writing a book is a long and tedious process. If you are an entrepreneur or business leader, the thought of adding writing to your schedule is even unimaginable. Yet, you want to become a published author. What are your options?

Well, you can outsource writing help. However, realize for people who are writers at heart, the experience of putting their ideas into words is what counts and a satisfying experience. Writing services are good, especially for business and website content, and can save precious time but may not capture the essence of what the author wants to communicate.

So, even if you wish to go this route with your books, I’ll still suggest creating the skeleton for your paid writer.

If you, however, are passionate about writing and want to learn how to develop a consistent writing habit for your next book, this article is for you.

What you will learn:

  • The writing habits of famous authors
  • The science behind developing writing as a habit
  • My productivity tips for juggling work and writing

The Writing Habits of Famous Authors

How do great authors manage to produce quality books regularly and still live a balanced life? The secret is in the writing habits. And that’s why we want to explore some of the practices of famous authors.

Maya Angelou- find your creative space
The writing habits of prolific writer Maya Angelou involved leaving the house to a new space to inspire creativity. Whenever she started on a new book, she would rent a hotel room and commute to and from her home for her writing for six months.

Ray Bradbury- the more you practice, the more writing comes to you naturally.
For this pioneer of modern fiction, developing a writing habit is simple. You write a lot.

Here is a quote from one of his interviews in a writer’s symposium in 2001;
“The best hygiene for beginning writers or intermediate writers is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you can write one short story a week-it doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing, and at the end of the year, you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can’t be done. At the end of 30 weeks or 40 weeks or the end of the year, all of a sudden, a story will come that’s just wonderful.”

J.K Rowlings- write any chance and time you get.
She is known for her monumental writing success in fantasy novels. But, before fame, J.K Rowlings was an ordinary single mother juggling a lot. So, when starting a writing routine was not an option she had. She managed to squeeze writing in between the hustles of the day.

Haruki Murakami Repetition and physical fitness launch you into a deeper state of mind necessary for effective writing.
The best-selling Japanese author develops his writing habit by repeating his routine exactly every day and ensures to take care of his health to ensure the mind is well-prepared for the intensity of the writing.

He describes his process as follows:
“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m.
I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”

Kurt Vonnegut – set time aside for writing in your workday, then achieve balance by infusing a bit of relaxation.

His writing habit involved rising early and getting his writing in before taking breakfast, exercising, and later heading to work. He taught in the afternoon, after which he relaxed at a bar.

Although each of these master authors has a unique routine, there are underlying effective writing habits we can pick from them. I call them the three Cs for developing a writing habit.

The Three Cs for Developing a Writing Habit in a Matter of Days

Find a space that spurs creativity. Writing needs a creative mind, and science says changing the environment is one way to inspire creative ideas. If you want to develop a writing habit, find a way to keep your creative juices flowing.

One indispensable aspect of becoming a writer who writes is to be consistent. Any habit can only form by practicing it.
So, if you want writing to become a habit, put down a few words daily for at least two consecutive weeks. I have written a book on success habits that delve into the practicality of breaking self-destructive behaviors and building consistency.

Writing requires a lot of brainpower, and the intensity to keep it up daily needs mental health. As Haruki Murakami says, taking time off helps to build mental fitness. So, as a writer, relaxation is what will help maintain your habit.

What Science Says About Developing the Writing Habit

Here is the gist. Many prolific writers in history have a particular daily routine and strange creative rituals.

It turns out there is a science behind it. There is evidence that routines, rituals, and environments can change and rewire the writing process to boost performance.

These strategies encourage flow instead of boredom, alleviate attentional overload, and boost the retrieval of ideas from memory.

My Tips for Staying Productive and Still Getting Time to Write

It is possible to write your book as a busy entrepreneur and business leader. These are my favorite go-to tips that help me stay productive and slot my writing needs in a day.

Design your power morning
My mornings are very crucial because they set the tone for the day. So, I ensure to start them by boosting my mental agility. You can design your power morning around activities that energize you.

Create Boundaries
When you set a schedule, stick to it. Setting boundaries on what you can and can not do gives you more time to write each day.

Set the ultimate goal and create an action plan with smaller actionable goals

Never work without goals. That includes your writing. If you want to incorporate a writing habit in your day, set a weekly target (ultimate goal) and the daily number of words to write (actionable goals).

Create a reward system
Reward yourself for every time you hit your daily writing milestone.

Developing a habit is the key to productivity. If you want to write and publish a book, you must start by creating your writing habit.


How Using Amazon Categories Boosts Your Chance to Become a Bestselling Author

For any writer, finding what to write about is the first and most crucial step in their journey because the idea determines the book’s worth. That’s why a best-selling book isn’t just an idea in writing. It has to be original, value-adding, and most importantly, be able to sell.

Where can one find such an idea? Amazon is an excellent place to start, especially for new writers.

A statistic by WebRetailer ranks Amazon as the number one marketplace with 5.7 billion visitors, followed by eBay with 1.6 billion and then Walmart(456 million). So, if you are looking for ideas for creating the next best-seller, Amazon can give you a lot of insight on which topics are popular with buyers. The categories you choose affect whether your book becomes a best-seller when you publish or not.

Today’s article will show you how Amazon categories can help your success rate as an author and boost your chance of making it to the best-seller list.

How to Pick a Book Category That is Both Profitable and Popular on Amazon

Well Ranked
Amazon ranks books based on their popularity among readers. The rank numbers usually indicate the overall performance history of a book. If you are a new writer, you want to consider categories that draw readers. That is, they have more buyers but less competition. With that said, consider the next point as well.

Low Sales Threshold
Highly competitive categories have a large readership. However, this may also mean they have many authors competing for the same market. If you are a new writer, that will prove almost impossible to make this best-seller list. So, go for categories with a low sales threshold- fewer books you have to sell to beat the top dog.

Just like any product, price matters to customers. When starting, you can begin by writing shorter books on a single topic to list on the Kindle version. According to the trend, Amazon Kindle books that fall between the 2.99 to 9.99 dollars range generate the most amount from sales per book.

Look at the number of sales ranks necessary to hit the best-seller list under each category. The sales rank will tell you how many books the top sellers are selling per day. Highly competitive genres will have a higher number to beat and also a high threshold for you.

Marrying Price and Sales
Although pricing and sales affect ranking, a profit-making book doesn’t necessarily have to be one with the most sales. Different genres have different expectations from the readers. That means a genre may sell fewer books but still make more depending on the value derived by readers. Consider this scenario. A book in the romance category goes at 2.99 dollars and sells only 100 copies. And another on project management that sells two copies at 60 dollars. It is, therefore, essential to pick a genre that achieves a perfect balance between the price and the number of sales.

If you are a new writer, meaning you are not a celebrity or have a million followers, then get ready, this post is for you.

How Amazon Selects a Best-selling Book

Every book on the Amazon store is assigned a best-seller rank. It is a number relative to the number one best-seller overall. The ranking depends on the number of copies a book has sold or downloaded over time compared to all other books on the store. Since these sales fluctuate, the position of a book may also fluctuate.

The book shown has an Amazon Best-seller rank of 15,042. A total of 15,041 books are selling more on Amazon than this one. But, it is also a best-seller in other categories. In this case, it is performing better in its specific genres- number one in sports medicine and nutrition and number two in medical nutrition. That’s a win.

Choose a Category that Boosts Your Potential to Be a Best-selling Author

Now that you know this, what must you do? There are two solutions.

Be Intentional in Your Genres
Use the knowledge to write a book in the category that checks off the boxes discussed above. If you want to be successful, it’s no use writing in a niche that will not sell, even if that’s where your interest lies.

List in Appropriate Categories
The second is, list your book in relevant categories but also those with a low sales threshold. In this way, you will be able to make it on the front page of that genre section.

Here is an illustration;
If you pick a category where the number one book has a best-seller rank of 3000, you will need to be number 2,999 to top the list. On the other hand, if you pick a category where the best-seller is number 82,000, you will only need to be at 81,999 to top the list. The logic is simple. The lower the overall Amazon market rank, the higher the number of sales you have to make per day to beat the competition.

Before and after writing your book, take time to browse Amazon categories for insight. After all, this is going to be your number one marketplace for listing. However, don’t stop there. You can drive traffic to your Amazon store using other marketing strategies. I have a comprehensive guide for online marketing that covers the A, B, Cs of outselling your competitors.

If you want more assistance to become an author, I currently have a one-on-one coaching program that helps new writers put their ideas together. Some of the people I am coaching are part of my new book project Thrudemic: Hidden Nurse Pandemic Stories.


5 Simple Steps to Come Up with a Perfect Title for Your Non-Fiction Book

Non-Fiction books are a great way to share your expertise and knowledge with the world. But before you can do that, you have to come up with an attention-grabbing title! Most authors know that the title is key to the success of their book. It’s what draws readers in and helps them decide whether or not they want to buy your book.

A good title will not only help readers find your book on Amazon or other sites, but it can also work as keywords for SEO purposes. In this blog post, we will discuss five simple steps to creating the perfect title.

The following five steps will help you come up with a perfect non-fiction book title for your next project:

Step One: Know Your Genre and Theme

The first step to creating a good title is knowing the type of book you are writing. For example, if your non-fiction work falls under the business or self-improvement category, then that will help determine what kind of tone to use in your book’s title.

The easiest way to identify a genre for your book is to research popular niches. For this step, consider the world’s most extensive online book library- Amazon. You can check out what popular titles are in your category of interest.

Step Two: Tailor Your Title to the Book's Audience

Once you have determined your book’s genre, think about who will be reading it. It may sound simple, but it is one of the more essential steps in creating an attention-grabbing title.

For fiction books, this can be easy – readers know that Harry Potter and Twilight are for a teen audience because of the tone and writing style.

In non-fiction writing, it can be more complicated, but you can do the same by identifying the category of people that will most benefit from the solution you provide with your book.

Step Three: Make Your Reader Curious

Another way to make your reader curious is by asking them a question. You can do this in the title or even within the book itself as part of an exercise. Asking questions that will generate curiosity and interest about the problem you seek to solve, how it works, or why they should care will help to craft a perfect title that will sell.

Step Four: Keep it Short

You want to keep your title short and sweet so that people will not lose interest. Like, if writing a how-to book, short is always the better. Try using powerful words when coming up with ideas for titles because they have a high impact.

Step Five: Brainstorm Potential Titles and Subtitles

It’s not enough to come with a single title idea at this stage. With your genre, audience, and intrigue nailed down, it is time to play around with potential title ideas. You want to come up with a list of at least ten possible titles.

Next, write down five subtitles that go along with the title you choose for your book.


To create a perfect non-fiction book title, you need to account for the three factors that will make it successful.

First and foremost, your potential audience must find worth in what you are writing about, so consider a topic in high demand or that solves a prevailing problem. Second, the title should reflect the niche so people know what they can expect from reading it. Finally, it needs to be specific for readers to see why this particular book is worth their time and money.