Here’s all about Heather’s great new website; https://www.booksforhorselovers.com
How did you get the idea for the website?
I have been lucky to have found an equestrian author community that believes in supporting each other. At a recent event a few of us discussed how we could work together to benefit all of us, potentially a pop-up author event at Equine Affaire or Equitana. But this involved a lot of coordination, work, and of course Covid-19 hit. While putting together ideas for a webinar on 8 Virtual Book Marketing Ideas for Authors (https://youtu.be/YNDsT5NouDM) I came up with a virtual way to unite authors in one place. We are a small community and it is so easy to get lost in the depths of search engines and big sites like Amazon.
In our “new normal” so many things are becoming virtual so I thought, why not a virtual bookstore?
My goal is to promote authors of horse books whether traditionally or independently-published, attract new readers, and have promotions and giveaways. One day I’d love to have a pop-up event or even a book contest!
Are you an expert, did you create it yourself or use a service?
I’ve built a number of websites over the years and have a background as a Managing Editor in a traditional publishing house. I created it myself and wanted it to be as clear and concise as possible so it would be easy to focus on the authors.
Tell us a little about the process of creating it and now running it.
I created a beta version which launched in time for the webinar I mentioned above. As such, I invited many author friends to contribute. Word spread like wildfire! I had no idea there would be so much interest and I’m so happy to be filling a need.
Right now, I am managing the site on my own so tried to make the submission process as streamlined as possible with the submission form for authors. The number of readers subscribing to the site is growing every day. Each author that contributes is asked to promote it as well so we can reach as many people as possible.
I didn’t realize just how popular it would be and many authors have already seen an increase in website hits and sales from it, so I couldn’t be happier. This has only been live a few weeks! I can’t wait to see how it grows and we progress. Soon, I have no doubt I will need to have someone assist me in the day-to-day management.
What are your long term goals?
Ultimately I would love this site to be THE place to find horse books and promote two things I care deeply about- horses and books. I’d like to further dive down into genre types, announce book launches, provide promotions and giveaways, have a book contest, and create a physical pop-up event. The possibilities are endless but I know I won’t be able to do it on my own!
What ways are you going to build your market?
I’ve worked hard in the last several years to network and make connections through my blog. I’ve written for a number of publications like Horse Illustrated, Chrome Magazine, Sidelines Magazine and more. Already, the bookstore has received a lot of interest from the media. In addition, I will be interviewing some authors on the podcast I cohost with fellow bloggers, called Equestrian Pulse, on topics that may benefit other bloggers and equestrians globally. And of course, there is that every important social media and word of mouth. The more buzz we create for the website the more our authors benefit!
A lot of talk is that the future is in audio books, do you agree?
Ah, audiobooks. I confess I don’t listen to them myself but I just completed both my books, Confessions of a Timid Rider and Girl Forward in audiobook format, which are awaiting release. The nice thing about the Bookstore for Horse Lovers is we feature the author and link to their purchase sites. So as they release audiobooks and multiple formats on their end our site is automatically updated as well.
We live such busy lives and most people don’t have the time to sit and read anymore. Sad but true. As the world evolves, so will technology and I love that the written word can be accessible in many different ways. I just hope print doesn’t die out completely.