The Author Website Essentials

So today I saw a retweet of a retweet for a newly released book and it had two of the things I almost always buy, so I followed back to the author’s twitter in an attempt to find out more about the book. Namely where I could buy it. I discovered that the book has actually been out for a week… and that’s it. There was no Bookshelf or Blog or anything to go to where I could discover a blurb or an excerpt.

This really pisses me off.

Before this year, I was a writer with nothing published. I was primarily a reader, and I reviewed at a fairly well established blogging site. I’ve spent a lot of time on author websites, and I learned what to look for. Granted, mine is a little cluttered. I have a lot of stuff I don’t necessarily need, but I like it. It’s mine and if I want to change stuff I can. But there are a few things that should always be on an author website.

Always.

I’m not even kidding.

Some of this will be a no-brainer to people, so please, feel free to go look at yummy pictures of mostly naked men. I’ve provided a sample to the right here. Isn’t he pretty? I bet you were wondering how I tied in a hot, tattooed rugby player into author websites.

There are a handful of things that an author really needs to have a website. Just a few:

  • Bookshelf or some sort of easily identified page that denotes where your books are located.
  • Contact information, email address, twitter, facebook, G+, goodreads, or wherever else you have a social media presence.
  • News or updates.

That’s it. That’s all you really need for an author page. It’s bare bones and wouldn’t require a lot of updating.

Slap some news up on your update page that you’re going to have a book out in six months. This doesn’t have to be a blog, but it can be if you want to use something like Blogger or WordPress. You can even have a plain webpage that you simply update the text on.

Books are what sell you to people. you really want to present them in the best way. Have a bookshelf page. Some people list all their books and blurbs on the same page. I’m not a fan of that, but hey, the information is there and that’s what’s important. I’ve chosen to have a bookshelf page with the covers listed that then link to a whole page that captures all of the book’s information. It’s really in your best interest if you have blurbs, excerpts, book covers and buy links. Don’t list every site that carries your book. Determine the three to four top venues where you make the most from, and list those. For me that’s my publisher’s website, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Some people sell tons at ARe and I totally say list that if you want.

Contact information!!!! Yes I know all writers except me are hermits and don’t want to talk to anyone, but you should have some spot, even if it’s on your news page, where people can email you. If you don’t want to list your email address, there are contact forms you can use to hide your email from people and still get messages. I’ve used a contact plug in to create the contact page on my site. Other information like social media is also important to have in this day and age. No, you don’t have to be everywhere on the web, but if you have one or two places, include those.

Other things you can add on an author web page include:

  • About/Bio section – people like to connect with everyone these days, so a few lines about yourself can sell you to potential readers.
  • Blogs – these are still super popular! You can blog about whatever, I do!
  • I’ve included links on my menu that take people to posts about contests and posts about news type things.
  • Series information.
  • New release features.

It’s easy to get a website these days. Go to the free wordpress site, sign up, and you’re good to go. It doesn’t take a lot of money to have an author website that showcases you to the best of your ability. Make it easy on your readers to find out information about you!!

And this ends this PSA. Happy Friday people!

2 thoughts on “The Author Website Essentials

  1. Kait Nolan says:

    I would add to this list a means of subscribing via email and RSS feed. For blogs this is absolutely imperative. For anything else, a newsletter is totally cool(you can do them free via MailChimp). Give people a means of being NOTIFIED when your new book comes out so we can, you know, go buy it immediately and help with the initial buzz.
    Kait Nolan recently posted..The Power of SublimationMy Profile

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