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I'm looking to put together a small microsite to accompany a book being written by a friend. The website will both serve to advertise the book, encourage people to buy it, and contains additional content for those who've purchased the book which is better presented in an interactive form.

I don't have much experience of putting together a site like this, so can anyone suggest some things the site should have/do or point me in the direction of similar sites for books you've read.

Thanks,

Tom

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This should be community wiki since it doesn't have a straightforward answer. And whatever you do, if you make the content exclusive to the website, you should keep the website up as long as the book remains in circulation, otherwise you'll be screwing over a lot of customers. This is one of my biggest pet peeves that pretty much every book author/publisher breaks. That's why I don't buy books that have "companion websites" anymore. –  Lèse majesté Oct 24 '10 at 12:13
    
I agree this question should be community wiki but there isn't an option to set this when creating a question like there is on stack overflow - maybe I don't have enough reputation to set this? –  Loftx Oct 24 '10 at 12:39

2 Answers 2

  • Include a synopsis of the book so anyone who stumbles upon it who isn't a book owner yet knows what the book and site is all about

  • Includes an errata page where you can include corrections for the book. This can be misspellings, grammar, and sample coding errors.

  • Let users be able to download the sample code. You may want to prevent people who don't own the book from downloading it so implementing some sort of check might be a good idea. One I've seen once was to have the users enter a specific word on a random page.

  • Obviously include a place where someone who doesn't own the book can purchase it. You can sell the book directly or link to the amazon.com page for it (maybe even with an affiliate id so you make a little extra $$$).

  • A table of content is good to show prospective buyers what topics the book covers

  • A sample chapter, or part of one, is a good way to show the reader what the content is like.

  • A biography of the author

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Great suggestions. +1 –  Pekka 웃 Oct 25 '10 at 23:13
    
Welcome to pro webmasters! If you bring half of what you bring to SO we'll be better off for it. :) –  John Conde Oct 25 '10 at 23:24

Have look at http://www.scottberkun.com/. It's probably more than what you're looking for but Scott writes a lot about his books. You may find some valuable ideas on getting potential readers involved during all stages (prior and after the publication).

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