Dan Alatorre murders people for a living. Not literally, but literarily: His thrilling mystery novels have captivated audiences around the world, landing him on multiple bestseller lists.
Like so many authors of the internet age, Dan started his writing journey with a blog. Back then, his posts were focused more on the day-to-day happenings of his life, and they eventually provided the fodder for his first book: a silly autobiographical tale about a father and his daughter.
Dan has always had many different stories to tell. He published titles in a variety of genres, such as horror, romance, humor, and science fiction, before he tried his hand at murder mysteries. It didn’t take long for his unforgettable characters and unique storytelling to captivate audiences.
“It is great when some stranger you’ve never met picks up your book and reads it. You wrote words down, they read it, and it changed their life.”
For inspiration when writing his novels, Dan looks to what has piqued his interest throughout his life–1950s film noir classics, modern-day crime shows, and mystery authors like Agatha Christie–and then puts his unique spin on things. In his most popular series, Double Blind, he’s found an equation for success: two detectives, with an underlying current of romantic tension, working to solve a murder. Each case is its own self-contained story, so it not only works as part of the series, but it also makes a good standalone novel. “Good ideas were and are everywhere for an author, so I have about twenty additional story ideas for the characters,” he says. “As long as readers enjoy reading them, I’ll keep writing them.”
His creativity unlocked, Dan was able to concentrate on that all-important but oft-ignored aspect of any creative business: marketing. His website, danalatorre.com, was already his personal space on the web but it also gave his fans a VIP entrance to interact with him. With his Readers Club, Dan is able to go above and beyond simply promoting his books, building an active community of engaged readers. That sense of connection—with other murder-mystery fans as well as with him, the author—makes each new novel even more likely to be a success.
“It’s a great way to build that rapport with your fan base. If they’re interacting with their favorite author, they’re a fan for life.”
But don’t just take his word for it. If you’re an active (or aspiring) author, there are many other reasons to carve out a corner of the internet just for yourself and your fans.
Always be writing
Since writing is already something you do, an active blog can help provide insight to your audience about your writing process, upcoming events, story ideas, and so much more. It will position you as a valuable resource for readers and potential collaborators, leaving them eager to hear more from you.
Build your brand
Your website is a distillation of your personal brand, reflecting your unique literary style, voice, and identity. Choosing the right theme for your site—from colors, to fonts, to layout, and more—can help reinforce your work as an author. A good website builds trust, and it can help you stand out like a literary beacon in the vast sea of books.
Control the story
In an age of online reviews and social media commentary, other voices can often shape the narrative. A personal website provides a platform for you to tell your own story, highlighting your work in the way that you want.
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