Author Websites

Every author should have their own website – even if they haven’t published their first book yet!

Your website is your online business card, your most important marketing tool and your bookshop. Even if you sell your books on Amazon and not on your own site, your readers should be visiting your site prior to or after buying your book.

What are the main components of an author’s site?

Essentials:

  • Bio - Your ‘about you’ is essential. Your readers want to connect with you, identify with you, feel like they know you, so share some information about yourself. Make sure you include at least one image of you – the ‘portrait of the author’ you use on your book/s or another shot.
  • Book/s - A page specifically for your book (or books). You need to include an image of your book cover, the blurb for the book and information about where to buy the book – ideally a link to the online bookshop or your sales processing page. If you have a sales sheet, include this as a downloadable PDF as well.
  • Contact - Include a contact form if you wish to accept direct contact through your site (to avoid spam don’t display your email address on the site). Include your agent’s contact info or your speaking agency as well as, or instead of, a contact form.

Optional:

  • News / Events - Publish a calendar or listing of your past and upcoming book signings, speaking engagements, interviews, etc.
  • Reviews / Testimonials - Publish reviews of your books, both professional and from your readers.
  • Excerpts - Include an excerpt from your book, either published on the site directly or as a downloadable PDF, or provide both options.
  • Speaking - If you are available for speaking engagements have a separate page for this. Include a link to your contact page for booking enquiries or info for contacting your speaking agency.
  • Book Trailer – If you have a video book trailer for your latest book make sure you feature it prominently on your site. Book trailers for other books can be on a separate page but the latest book trailer should be on the home page.
  • Blog - Some authors choose to blog, some don’t. Blogs can help your audience connect with you on a more personal level, keep them coming back to the site to read your fresh content, and enable them to interact directly with you via comments on your posts / articles.

Marketing tools:

  • Social Media – If you are using social media marketing feature your chosen platform icons on the site so people can easily click on them and ‘connect’ with you.
  • Sharing Tools – Tools like Add This or Retweet can be easily added to your site to encourage visitors to share your content.
  • Newsletter Subscription – A sign-up form for a newsletter can help you build up a database list of people interested in your books. When you write your next book you already have a list of people interested in your topic or your style of writing that you can pre-sell your book to.
  • Sell Sheet – A one page sales sheet is generally designed for book distributors, however, it can also be a great marketing tool.
  • Media - A media kit can include the key information and files that a journalist could use to write an article on you or your book, or as background information for an interview. This could include: a sell sheet for your book, print quality portrait image and book cover image and  an extract from your book in one easily downloadable zip file.

Other key points to remember

  • Your site should be well laid out, with clear and easy navigation.
  • It should be attractively designed with a modern look (no 80’s scrolling text, animated clipart gifs).
  • You should be able to access and update your own website.

My recommendations

As a huge WordPress fan I am going to recommend using WordPress for your author site as you might have guessed. WordPress empowers authors (and everyone else too!) to manage their own website enabling them to update it, change it and add to it at any time, from anywhere you have internet access. Once you have the technical and design aspects out of the way it can be as easy as editing a Word document!

You don’t have to incorporate a blog into your site, your can use WorpPress to manage your website ‘pages’ only; or you can use blog posts as well; or you can easily start blogging later if you wish.

If you would like a quote on a WordPress author’s site, please use the contact form or give me a call on 0414 698 343 (International: +61 414 698 343).