No two author websites look the same, but they all share a few common characteristics. Generally, author websites have to fill four needs.
I would describe author sites as a type of business websites (you do want visitors to buy your books, after all). As such, an author site needs to tell visitors:
- what an author has written,
- who the author is,
- how to contact the author, and
- what the author is writing next.
Before you launch your author site, here’s a quick checklist to make sure you have all the parts you need.
- Author bio - Have you posted a bio on your site, and does it include a photo?
- Books - Have you set up a listing page for each of your books? With cover images? And do you have a directory page for your books? What about a series summary?
- Mailing list - Do you have a sign up form for your mailing list? Do you offer a freebie to anyone who signs up?
- SEO – Have you installed an SEO plugin like Yoast? Is it fully set up?
- Contact – Do you have a contact page? Does it include a contact form, and mention your email? What about your agent’s email?
- Social media – Have you added links to all your social media accounts? (It’s okay if you don’t have any, but you should link to the ones you do have.)
- Events – Have you added a calendar or some other way for fans to know when and where they can meet you?
- Menu – Do you have a menu bar that visitors can use to help navigate? Is it easy to understand, and well organized?
- Home page - Do you have a home page (one that doesn't show your blog's latest posts)? Does it tell visitors who you are, and include either a call to action or the cover of your most recent book? (or both?)
You don’t need to check off all the items on this list, although it would be a good idea to include all the details you think will be useful or important to your site’s visitors.
image by Amy Guth