Visual Quill Blog

Four Author Website Essentials

VQ Staff - Monday, June 27, 2016

An author's passion is writing, but having a website for publishers, readers, and everyone else can see is a great way to have a central place to show off your work. An author may have a good website, but what makes a GREAT author website? Here are 4 essentials:

  • Books
This may seem pretty obvious, but an author should have their books readily available on their website, right? An author's website should have every title that they have ever released along with a cover, synopsis, a link to purchase, and reviews. Having a link to purchase is a HUGE element to this component of the website! People are way more likely to buy the book if it is easily available to them, rather than hunting it down online or at the store themselves! Surprisingly, many authors don't have all of their books on their website - which is unfortunate since new readers may not realize there is more for them to read!

  • Social Media Links

If an author has an author Facebook page, GoodReads profile, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. then linking the accounts to the website will make it easier for website users to like or follow them on social media, but it also allows readers to know what the author's official account is - this can be especially useful if the author has a common name or does not have a verified social media account.

  • Blog
As we've mentioned before, an author's passion is writing... and blogs are a great place to show off even more of that passion at any moment the author wants to share! Blogs can help maximize the time users spend on the website, but they also allow users to read updates, learn more about the author's life, hear about upcoming events or book tours, and anything else the author wants to share!

  • About/Contact Page
Readers love learning more about their favorite authors. Chances are, if they like your books, you might share other similar interests! Having a "Contact Me" form or an email address readily available is an important part of this page as well since this will help fellow authors connect for collaboration, publishers and agents if they want to connect, or the media if they want an interview, copies of the book, etc.


Self Publishing: ISBN FAQs

VQ Staff - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You may have heard of the term 'ISBN' and you most definitely have seen the black and white striped code on any book you have read, but what is it for? Here are a few answers to frequently asked ISBN questions to help self publishing authors navigate their way to publication!

  • First off, what is an ISBN?
An ISBN, which stands for International Standard Book Number, is just that. An internationally recognized 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books.

  • Why do books need ISBNs?
ISBNs identify each book that is published, and it also identifies the publisher of the book. The international standard identification is used by libraries, bookstores, wholesalers, and more!

  • Why do I need an ISBN for my book?
If you'd like to sell your book publicly in any way (to a library, at a bookstore, or online), you'll need an ISBN.

  • How do I get an ISBN?
The ISBN website,, is the only company authorized to sell ISBNs in the United States.

  • At what point in the writing process should I buy my ISBN?
You can purchase the ISBN at any point - even before you've started writing!

  • How much do they cost?
Buying one ISBN will cost you $125. However, if you plan on writing multiple editions or more books in the future, you can buy packages of 10, 100, or 1,000 which will ultimately save you money when you buy in bulk!

  • Can I use the same ISBN for the print and ebook editions?
ISBN is there to identify each edition separately, so you'll need separate ISBNs for print and ebook, as well as hardcover and softcover.

  • What information does my ISBN hold?
Once you purchase your ISBN, you will be able to enter all relevant metadata about the book - title, author, price, edition, etc. Keeping the metadata up to date is incredibly important as this information is used by search engines, libraries, and bookstores.

Visual Quill can help you with independent publishing! Whether it be e-book formatting, a formatted interior file, or cover print-on-demand, learn more about our services here and contact us today!

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Click to tweet: What is an #ISBN and why do I need one when #selfpublishing? #VisualQuill


Tip-Of-The-Tongue Syndrome

VQ Staff - Thursday, June 16, 2016

So you're writing, editing, or talking and you can think of the definition of the word you want to use, but you can't think of the actual word... what do you do?

This phenomenon is called Tip-Of-The-Tongue Syndrome and it happens to everyone at one point or another. Precise writing is critical, and using many words to describe something that can be summed up in one word can make your writing less confusing and more engaging!

The OneLook Thesaurus has a Reverse Dictionary feature that "lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be anything at all: a single word, a few words, or even a whole sentence."

 Here's a peek at the depth you can go into to find the word you're looking for!

With this reverse dictionary, your Tip-Of-The-Tongue Syndrome can be cured and you can be well on your way to continue writing without the delay of thinking of the word you're having trouble thinking of!

Want to share? Here is a ready-made tweet:

Click to tweet: Got tip-of-the-tongue syndrome? Here's some tips! @VisualQuill #tipofthetonguetip #amwriting


Authors on Social Media

VQ Staff - Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Nearly every business you know has a website and some sort of social media account today - whether it is a Facebook page, a Twitter or Instagram account, and more, there are SO many options available to connect with consumers! In today's world, a business needs to stay relevant and easily accessible to consumers in order for the best chance of earning sales and gaining loyal customers! Now, as an author, your writing is your business - you are an authorpreneur! Not only is it important to write compelling storylines and characters, but marketing your work and yourself to engage readers is important! After all, you do want your work to be read! Lucky for you, it's easier than it ever has been to connect with your readers by utilizing social media! recently wrote a blog with some ideas on How Successful Authors Use Social Media. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Share a Quote

Posting a quote from your book (either an upcoming release or an older one), can spark excitement and curiosity from fans - both new ones and loyal readers! Don't know which quote to post? Ask your readers! They'll tell you their favorite passages!

2. Answer Fan Questions

Whether you do a Facebook Q&A or answer questions on GoodReads, this is an easy way to let readers read a little more insight into the characters and book, while at the same time engaging with them!

3. Show Off Your Passions

If your fans are interested in your writing, chances are they share your similar hobbies and interests! Share articles, pictures, and videos that interest you and showcase your personality and let your readers get to know you! Learning about the author behind their favorite books is a great way for readers to become more invested in all of your books and future books!

Want to share? Here is a ready-made tweet:

Click to tweet: Why should authors be utilizing social media more? @VisualQuill #authorpreneur #bookmarketing