As an author, chances are you love the print form. You are not alone! However, by creating an online presence you are enabling yourself to reach a much broader audience. In fact, building and maintaining your online presence can be the key to landing speaking gigs, boosting book sales, and establishing you as an expert in your field.
The Benefits of a Professional Website: Why Do It
As you are planning your marketing strategy, do not underestimate the value of having a functional and engaging author website. As Patti Jefferson points out in her book, “365 Bright Ideas to Market Your Indie Books,” “A large number of readers get information about individual authors through their websites. . . When a potential reader searches the internet for you and finds your website rather than just your listing in an online book catalog, you have their undivided attention.”
Jefferson also reminds authors that when it comes to making decisions about the design of your website, you get to make all of the decisions, as opposed to social media websites where important layout and graphic design parameters cannot be changed.
Elements of a Successful Author Website
There are a few components that should be a part of your author page.
- Include a section or page with information about the author and your author photo. Let the people who come to visit your page know who you are. You can include the About the Author section of your book or another, longer version of your personal or professional bio.
- Have a section that is dedicated to your book. A book synopsis lets readers know what the book is about and why they should be interested in reading it.
- Update your website with author events; a calendar is a clear way to let your readers know when they can come see you and where.
- It seems obvious, but a good website can also be a store. Include links where your visitors can find your book and buy it online: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, goodreads, Books A Million, just to name a few. If your book is available for sale in a physical bookstore, include this information as well.
Extra Credit for including the following:
- Include a book trailer, if you have one. A website is powerful in part because it allows you to incorporate the audio and visual storytelling components that a good book trailer should feature. This is your platform so that you can use all of the tools at your disposal to increase your visitors’ interest in your book.
- Include links to your writing, whether you have an author’s blog or other published articles online. If you don’t have any other writing online, consider this your motivation to get started pitching guest posts or launch your blog!
How to Do it
There are several hosting websites where you can set up a basic layout for a website. I recommend that you research your options online. Some hosting services for you to consider include: Squarespace, BlueHost, GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly and, WordPress. There are many tutorials available online directly from these websites that can assist you in setting up your page.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
If technology is not your forte, there are many website-literate professionals who can help to bring your vision to life. Here are some sample websites designed by our experienced production team. These author sites incorporate all of the key elements mentioned in this article for our authors, Bill Kalnes and Kevin O’Dell.