If you are selling anything, you should have a website. If you are selling ebooks, you should consider it mandatory. How many people do you know who read ebooks but don't access Internet? None come to my mind.
The best thing about having a website is that you can quite probably do it free. Later, once you know what you're doing, you can choose to buy a domain name and pay a hosting service if you want.
You can pay someone to design a gorgeous site for you, loaded with graphics, complete with a secure server and option to buy right there, but I didn't. My publisher does selling. Writing a site yourself, loaded with information and a place to click to send someone to your publisher, is simple.
For actual mechanics of web site construction, send a blank email to email@example.com.
So let's talk strategy.
"Hi, I'm Michael LaRocca and these are my books." This approach will guarantee that anyone looking for Michael LaRocca will find my site. But when we consider that no one's heard of Michael LaRocca, how many people will seek out my site?
Here's a possible solution.
Let's say you've written a book where most of action happens on a snowmobile. Put together best damn snowmobile page in history. Everything that anyone wants to know about snowmobiles should be on your site. Make it kind of resource that any snowmobiler will go visit again and again. Then slip a little note in there mentioning your fiction book. People will find your site, and during one of those repeat visits they'll buy that book.
Basically, fill a need. Give folks a reason to keep coming back even if they think they'll never buy your book. And please, put more on there than just your book. In my case, I kept a high- traffic site running for almost a year without a single product to sell. My site is a reference source for readers and writers. More writers than readers, probably, but writers read too. Maybe not most original approach, but I write in so many genres that I haven't come up with anything better yet. I might later on.
Being helpful is my "sales gimmick," but I just so happen to enjoy it. People don't log onto Internet with purpose of spending money. They log on for information or entertainment, then maybe make an impulse buy while they're at it. Give them information and/or entertainment and they'll keep coming back.
If you throw in just a little soft sell, and do it right, they'll eventually make that impulse buy as a favor to you. Hopefully after they read one of your books, you'll hook them and they'll come back specifically to buy rest.
The single most important and effective way to bring traffic to your website is to place it in search engines, in appropriate categories. You want to place it in top ten or twenty slots.
The best way to learn how to do this is to send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll receive a free five-day course by email, over 200 pages long in all, that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.
Also, visit Search Engine Watch and subscribe to free newsletter. http://www.searchenginewatch.com. Useful advice on a monthly basis.
Why do I have a newsletter? To tell you when my books are for sale, of course. To announce each new book as it becomes available. It also comes in handy whenever I change address of my website, as a way to tell folks I've moved.
But of course, almost nobody will subscribe to a newsletter just for that info alone. Just groupies. I've got over 600 subscribers, and certainly they're not all groupies. Nope, I'm actually providing useful info and filling a need again. And slipping in occassional "read my book" message while I'm at it.
If you don't feel you can write a newsletter, you can use "free content" sites to get someone else to do writing. Instead of paying contributors, you simply allow them to include their URL. They'll appreciate free advertising, and you won't have to write for your newsletter unless you feel like it.