Hey there, author! This is just one in a series of posts about your author website. I know how easy it is to read a list of 87 things you MUST DO and then promptly get overwhelmed and quit. That’s why I aim to keep my posts short and highly actionable. Maybe you’ve already got this tip in the bag. Great!
I saw a friend of mine pose the question on Facebook, “Why do you visit an author’s website?”
“Reading order” was the answer over and over. As a former library assistant, I second this. When I worked at the customer service desk, patrons would frequently ask me to look up reading order of a series.
But, Mel! My books are all standalone. You can read them in any order.
I hear you! However, why fight reader expectations? Many readers like to read in order. Even if your books aren’t in a series at all, they like to read in publication order.
How can you show reading order on your website?
I highly recommend you have one page that is ALL THE BOOKS! If you want to also have additional pages for each series, that’s fine, but I think it’s most friendly to your reader to let them see everything on one page.
If you know that readers are going to visit your site to find reading order, why not make it as easy as possible for them? The faster a reader can find the info they want, the quicker they’ll one-click to buy.
This is a term readers recognize and a printable list is easy enough to make. You can do it in a word document and upload it to your website that way. Or, if you want to get fancier, you do some graphics or fun fonts, convert the document to a PDF (important if you want your special fonts to show up), and then upload and link to it.
PRO TIP: The printable book list is also a great free download to send to your newsletter subscribers.
If you do write in a series, on each book’s individual page, you can also show the other books in that series in order.
Bottom Line: Many readers like to read in order and those that don’t won’t be hampered by you offering a printable book list or series page to those who want it. When it comes to your website, a visitor will give you about 8 seconds (or less) to hook them. If you know many readers want the reading order, give them what they want!