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The Basics of a Good Online Presence

Charlotte Ashlock Posted by Charlotte Ashlock, Executive Editor, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Charlotte Ashlock is a crazy idealist trying to make the world a better place! 

The Basics of a Good Online Presence

Here are some checklists to ensure you've covered the basics of building your online presence.


  • Do you need web design help? Who’s the person taking the lead on your website?
  • Is there a way to get the domain name for your book title? (If the answer is no, that’s okay.)
  • Does your website have a picture of the book cover on the home page?
  • Does your homepage have three short and sweet reasons to buy the book?
  • Is there a good “buy this book” button for them to click?
  • On what different online stores can your reader buy the book? (Recommendation: offer choice of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Berrett-Koehler.)
  • Is your homepage simple and uncluttered, without excess “distractions” for the visitor? (First rule of web design: don’t make your visitor think too hard.)
  • Is there a place on your website for you to blog about topics related to your book?


  • Possible social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Youtube, Wordpress, Squidoo and many more. Which one to pursue? The one where you feel most at home!
  • Pick one or two social media sites that are a good fit for you and your book. Being fully present in one or two places is much better than having a ghost presence in many places.
  • Find ways to have fun on the social media sites you have chosen. If social media isn’t fun, it’s hard to stick with it.
  • Find ways to connect with people on the sites who you think can help out your book. Connect with them by reposting, replying, and commenting on their activity. Do this relationship-building first, before you start pitching yourself.
  • Share snippets from your book in progress. This doesn’t have to be labor-intensive; just grab gems from what you’re already working on. Sharing quotes is always a good idea.
  • Things you end up cutting out of your book, can be repurposed into great social media postings.
  • Be generous with sharing your ideas and promoting others.
  • When you’re ready to start selling your book, don’t make it all sales all the time. Your book promotions should be mixed with other posts that are pure content or pure kindness.