Campaign microsites created with Divi

Welcome to our proposal page for campaign microsites. These are small websites used for promoting individual books, campaigns, competitions or events. They often take the form of a single long, multi-section page consisting of different elements.

We used to send out proposals as PDFs – but we have decided that we should use the technology we know best, and we’ve put everything you need to know about creating a microsite with Bookswarm on this page – including details of scope, process, timing and cost. Explore our portfolio, hear from past clients and decide if we’re the web agency for you.

The Bookswarm Promise

Bookswarm will design and build a WordPress-based microsite for your title, series, competition, campaign or company The design will be completely unique to you – not based on a template or pre-existing design

You can choose from a range of modules to get the content and functionality appropriate for your needs

Why do I need a microsite?

Among the reasons you might want a site like this:

To run a book- or author-related competition
To provide supporting content for a series or imprint
To give you a target destination that can be included in a social media campaign
To provide book buyers with access to downloadable assets and supporting material relating to their purchase
To gather User-Generated Content (UGC)
To have an entry-level web presence for an author, agency or published-related business

How much do you charge?

We charge £1,200 (excluding VAT), with six months of free hosting, support and maintenance included

Why choose Bookswarm?

We have unrivalled experience of delivering websites for publishers, authors and others in the world of books

We are WordPress specialists who love books

We’re nice people and our clients enjoy working with us

Who else have you worked with?

Many publishers and authors have entrusted us with their microsite projects – from well-known publishers like Headline, Faber and Walker Books, to authors both traditionally- and self-published.

Why a microsite?

There are a number of reasons why you may require a microsite, including:

  • To run a book- or author-related competition
  • To provide supporting content for a series or imprint
  • To give you a target destination that can be included in a social media campaign
  • To provide book buyers with access to downloadable assets and supporting material relating to their purchase
  • To gather User-Generated Content (UGC)

This proposal explains how this can be accomplished quickly and cost-effectively using WordPress and Bookswarm’s extensive publishing know-how.

Agree with us? Read on…

Why Bookswarm?

Bookswarm is the only digital agency in the UK dedicated to delivering projects for publishers, authors and others in the world of books. We specialise in WordPress development.

We have unrivalled experience in meeting the communications needs of publishers and authors in a way that is both excellent value for money and very easy to use.

Don’t just take our word for it – here are some happy clients to tell you about working with us!

“I really enjoyed working with Bookswarm. [They were] great at explaining how the website would be designed and built, and [were] very helpful throughout the entire process. We’re really pleased with the end result. Thanks, Bookswarm!”

Daisy Jellicoe

Editor, Walker Books

“The team at Bookswarm were brilliant and totally understood what we needed out of The Hunger Games website. Simon was quick to point out things that could work better even from the first chat and was tweaking and fixing things even after the job was complete. The whole process couldn’t have been smoother and that’s all down to Bookswarm’s attention to detail, great ideas and endless patience.”

Fi Evans

Marketing Manager, Scholastic UK

Developing microsites

Based on our experience of building and operating websites for numerous clients, we have been able to put together a standard package designed to meet all of your key needs while also providing a bespoke design that will impress your site visitors – all for a fixed price!

We think that every website that we build should meet some core criteria, and yours is no exception. It should be:

  • Cost-effective to both create and manage
  • Open and non-proprietary (no lock-in factor)
  • Easy to manage and upload content

It should look beautiful and reflect the qualities of your books. It should also support your approach to building your brand online.

Need something more?

We also offer a larger and more full-featured proposal for author websites.

Need something specific?

If you have a specific brief you’d like to discuss with us, and you’re not sure if this proposal fits the bill, just get in touch.

The wonders of WordPress

The author websites that we build use WordPress. WordPress is an Open Source, free blogging platform which has developed over time in to a full-blown Content Management System (CMS). It’s estimated WordPress now runs at least half of all websites that have a Content Management System (CMS).

Bookswarm uses WordPress for almost all its website needs. We have developed numerous client websites using WordPress, from simple author blogs to publisher extranets.

Here’s why we love WordPress:

  • There are tens of thousands of plugins, almost all of which are free – these plugins extend the functionality of the site in almost any useful way that can be imagined. And if a plug-in doesn’t exist, it can be created. Plugins make WordPress development very cost-effective
  • WordPress uses themes to apply the design to a site. While there are many good-looking off-the-shelf themes available, it’s also easy to develop bespoke themes. A WordPress site can therefore look like anything that you want, from a simple, stripped-down blog to a rich magazine or a full-featured shop. This proposal is based on creating a bespoke theme for your website, designed to your brief and exclusive to you
  • There is an extensive community of WordPress designers and developers all around the world – so you don’t need to feel that you’re locked in to working with Bookswarm for ever
  • WordPress is easy to use and is deployed by everyone from small bloggers to major new organisations and other high traffic websites

Once you’ve used WordPress, we think you’ll love it too.

“Simon and his group have a great system for authors to express their creativity and passion through their website. If you are an author in need of a site to highlight your writing and other work, Simon is the right guy for you!”

Matthew S. Bennett

Speaker, trainer, author of Connecting Paradigms

“I find Simon and Bookswarm to be responsive, creative, easy to work with, eager to interpret my vision in an appropriate way, and above all prompt.  I am in safe hands. Bottom line – the page they created helped secure the signing of Lap Of Honour.”

Kim Slater

Tim Hain, author, Lap of Honour

Managing content with WordPress – the basics

Thanks to WordPress, almost every aspect of the site’s content will be controllable by you – from creating blog posts to approving comments, editing pages and adding new sections of content. Managing the content also includes uploading images, uploading files (such as PDFs), and creating links.

By adding support for different types of content we can make the management of that content as efficient as possible for you. For example, we can set up specific sections for managing books, overseas editions, and reviews. Each of these special content types can have its own set of custom fields (for example a book could have publication date, ISBN, sub-title and so on), and its own templates to display them exactly according to your needs.

WordPress has a feature called ‘widgets’ that allows you to manage additional site elements yourself – for example Twitter feeds, Facebook plugins, links to other websites, events listings or almost anything else you can imagine. WordPress is very search-engine friendly too.

All our sites also come with these essential features:

  • Google Analytics so you can track site usage
  • Automated nightly backups
  • A form builder plugin to allow easy creation of contact forms and competitions
  • Enhanced hacking protection with WordFence Firewall

WordPress and the Divi Builder

Divi is a website building platform that replaces the standard WordPress post editor with a vastly superior visual editor.

Users can add, delete and move elements around on the page – without needing any specific technical knowledge.

Divi supports over 40 different modules, including sliders, buttons, videos and image galleries.

Our Project Process

Projects start with a ‘discovery’ phase in which we discuss:

  • Your stated brief and requirements
  • What content you want for the site
  • The main audiences you want to communicate with
  • Anything you do or don’t want the website to do
  • What you want it to look like and how you want it to feel to the user
  • Other sites you like that may provide design and functionality references for us
  • Your social media presence and how you present yourself online

We will then produce a creative brief, which will define a starting site structure and the design parameters for the website.

We then progress to creation of wireframes – these are a set of images which display the functional elements of a website or page, without showing the graphic design of the page. These are an excellent way to define and arrange the elements required, before progressing to the design stage. We have included some examples of wireframes from previous projects on this page so you can see what we’re talking about.

When wireframes have been signed off, we then progress to creative design, based on the agreed creative brief and branding. This is of course an iterative process, respecting and showcasing your brand identity while delivering a clear user experience that’s appropriate for the site’s intended audiences and objectives.

When visuals have been approved, we will proceed to site implementation: creating a WordPress theme and applying that theme to a WordPress site on which all the relevant functionality will be installed and implemented.

We will make the site responsive. Responsive web design is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of mobile and tablet devices.

This site is where you will be able to upload content, books and reviews, experience the user journeys for yourself and provide additional input to the completion of the website. A training session and subsequent support are provided as part of the project cost.

Wireframe examples

What’s included?

At the end of the process we will have delivered a single-page microsite with multiple content sections. The website will be responsive (optimised for mobile and tablet use).

There will be support within the theme for all of the formatting options offered by WordPress and the Divi Builder.

All microsites include the following features as standard.

A bespoke, mobile-friendly WordPress theme that’s unique to you (not based on a template)

Integration of up to three social networks of your choice (e.g. Facebook widget, Instagram widget, Twitter feed)

The ability to manage the site’s navigation – this means you can change how your users access pages, and add access to new pages

The ability to submit questions and support requests to Bookswarm through our Bookswarm Support plugin

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Support within the theme for all the formatting options offered by WordPress and the Divi Builder, including headings, blockquotes, lists, links, images with captions, and media embedding

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Integration of a mailing list signup mechanism e.g. for MailChimp, Campaign Monitor

The ability to manage and display ‘widgets’ in a sidebar area, footer area or both. Widgets can be blocks or text, imagery, or many other types of functionality

A contact form through which visitors can send you a message

The ability to create additional forms – for example, for competitions, questions or content submissions

The ability to manage links to all your social media presences and other key networks e.g. Goodreads, Amazon

The ability to view your site’s traffic, through the integration of Google Analytics tracking

The ability to add additional information for the benefit of search engines (meta-data), using Yoast’s SEO plugin

The ability to exclude unauthorised login attempts and malicious attempts to access the site, through the WordFence Firewall plugin

Automatic nightly backups

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Free SSL certificates (ensuring all data between the site and visitors is encrypted)

You can then select up to THREE of the features below for inclusion in your microsite:

A Books section listing a selection of books, configured according to your needs. Books can be displayed as a grid or a carousel, and can include Buy buttons with links to your choice of retailer(s) A User-Generated Content upload mechanism, along with a gallery of uploaded content (which can be moderated by you before it appears on the microsite)

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A simple blog, news or events section, in which blog posts link through to their own page

Embedded video, either singly or in the form of a gallery

An image gallery, through which users can navigate a number of images and click on them to enlarge them

A User-Generated Content upload mechanism, along with a gallery of uploaded content (which can be moderated by you before it appears on the microsite)

A game, puzzle or quiz developed by a third party (this may be premium or Open Source). We will help you research available options

The ability to manage and display one additional type of custom content (if required) – for example, Frequently Asked Questions, Resources, Activity Sheets

Need something extra?

If the features you think you need are not listed above, or if you require more than three features, please call us to discuss your requirements and we will provide you with a quote.

If anything we discuss during our preliminary discussions or at our kick-off meeting is not covered by the above, we promise we will tell you and determine the most cost-effective way to achieve it.

Authors - need something more?

We also offer a larger and more full-featured proposal for author websites.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the website cost?

We have a fixed price for author websites, based on our experience of what’s involved – the cost is £1,200 ex VAT. That’s £1,440 including VAT, which we do have to add on top for clients in the UK.

That cost includes everything you should need – we will even provide the six months of hosting the website, plus a domain name registered on your behalf (.com or .co.uk) if you don’t already have one that you want to use.

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Who uploads the content to the website?

We assume that you, once you have had suitable training, will be creating and uploading the content to the website. We will provide you with lots of support during this process, of course. Most people get the hang of WordPress quickly, and it means you’re in proper control of your website from the start.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to upload the content, we can do it for you. Content uploading is charged at £30 per hour (ex VAT). The amount of work varies from website to website, based on what content is needed and how it is supplied, so it’s not possible to predict how long it would take to upload the content to your website.

 

Do you provide support?

Absolutely! As well as an initial training session, the Bookswarm Support plugin means that you will be able to ask questions and report problems from within your new website.

You will see a ‘Bookswarm Support’ tab at the bottom of every page, and submitting a ticket automatically gathers information to send to Bookswarm, including:

  • The page that you were on when you noticed the issue
  • The browser, operating system and screen resolution of your system
  • On supported browsers, the option to automatically add a screenshot

You can also attach files, so you can send your own screenshots or supply new assets that might be needed to make a change or fix a bug. Bookswarm will be notified immediately about each new ticket, and we will follow up via e-mail.

Do you provide hosting?

We certainly do! WordPress websites require PHP hosting with a MySQL database. Bookswarm can provide this facility on its cloud-based hosting facility, and will do so for the six months as part of the project cost. This includes nightly backups, as well as support and maintenance (keeping everything up to date).

In subsequent years, this will cost up to £300 per year (ex VAT), which covers hosting, maintenance and support. You can pay that annually, quarterly or monthly.

If you prefer to organise hosting independently, that’s fine too.

Can I get a discount?

The following clients are entitled to a discount on our standard pricing:

  • Members of Byte The Book
  • Members of The Empowered Author
  • Members of Clean Prose
  • Authors represented by our literary agency clients

Just identify yourself when you get in touch!

How long will it take?

Typically, author websites take around four to six weeks (possibly less, but it partly depends on the speed at which you can review what we deliver, and partly on the number of times we must refine things before we’re all happy). If you have a specific deadline in mind, please contact us.

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What should I do to prepare my content for the website?

Having your content ready to go before you brief us can really speed up the project.

Assembling this on your computer, as Word documents or text files, can be a real time-saver and can also help you think about what content you would like the site to include.

Are there any additional costs?

We don’t charge for travel time, but that’s on the assumption that any meetings and training sessions we attend will be in London. If that’s not practical for face-to-face meetings, we can use Skype or Google Hangouts instead.

We are always happy to host meetings at the wonderful Union Club in Soho.

If we must purchase any design assets (for example, stock photography or fonts), this expense would be passed on to you – but we won’t spend any additional budget without talking to you first.

When do I have to pay for my website?

Bookswarm invoice 50% of the total cost when you give the go-ahead for the project, and 50% when the website is live and you’ve signed it off. These invoices are issued on 30 day terms. The project commences when the first invoice is issued.

What payment methods do you accept?

You can pay our invoices by bank transfer, PayPal or cheque.

Do I have to pay UK Value Added Tax (VAT)?

We will add UK VAT to our invoices if you’re a UK business or a UK individual resident in the UK for tax purposes. VAT registered businesses can reclaim the VAT paid.

If you’re outside the UK, we will not charge VAT on our invoices.

Power-ups

Direct digital sales with Erudition Digital

Bookswarm have partnered with Erudition Digital to offer a direct digital sales add-on for our clients. This allows clients to make specific titles available for customers to purchase directly through their site, including the option to sell single copy eBooks or audio downloads, or multiple title bundles.

It also allows clients to generate vouchers for free eBook / audiobook copies (e.g. for reviewers, as competition prizes or tied in to social media and e-mail marketing campaigns) and print eBook tokens that can be given out at events.

Titles that are distributed in this way can have the price set by you, are compatible with all major e-readers including Amazon Kindle and are protected by Erudition’s Custos DRM system. Based on a patented technology used to protect screener copies of movies, it uses Bitcoin and the blockchain to provide a more robust means of protection than watermarking, in a reader-friendly manner.

Social media and advertising services from Kelly Weekes

Kelly Weekes is a social media expert and Facebook ads strategist specialising in the book industry.

Social Media offers so many opportunities to authors, publishers and businesses to engage and build relationships with their readers and other relevant audiences. Kelly offers a range of services to help you succeed on social media whether you are just starting out or have an established presence already but want to build on it to make it even more effective for you.

For publishers, authors and book businesses wanting to use the power of Facebook and Instagram advertising to reach their audiences in an impactful and targeted way, Kelly offers Facebook advertising strategy and campaign management. For those wanting to be more hands on she also offers Facebook ad power hours and ad surgeries.

Free access to London's co-working space that's just for writers

Clean Prose is co-working space designed specifically for writers, which offers "a quiet and inspiring workspace for authors and creatives". It's situated on Charlotte Road in London's Shoreditch, a short walk from Liverpool Street and Old Street tubes. We've been there for a look around, and it's really a splendid, purpose-built space.

Bookswarm clients are entitled to a FREE 5x Writer’s Pass, worth £100. This is a package of 5 Day Passes, which can be used over a period of two months. So if you would like to see if Clean Prose is for you, you can – and it won’t cost you a penny.

Whether you need somewhere to 'hole up' for a distraction-free day of writing, a quiet nook for a few hours when you're in London for the day for meetings, or fancy taking advantage of the programme of events and workshops, there are lots of different ways writers can take advantage of Clean Prose.

Get started today

Have we convinced you? Are you ready to get started? You won’t regret it.

To get the ball rolling, please complete the form, and we will contact you to arrange the next steps.

Still have questions?

Contact us whichever way suits you best and we’ll be glad to answer any queries.