No two author websites look the same, but they all share a few common characteristics. Generally, author websites have to fill four needs. 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? Readers want to know more about you, which is why you should post a bio on your site. You should include a photo as well as details about how you got into writing, what you do for fun, and other personal info.
- Books – People can’t become your fans if they don’t know about your books, and if you don’t list your books on your site they will never find out That’s why you should create a listing page for each of your books, and while you’re at it a directory page and series summary.
- Mailing list – Your fans will want to hear from you when your next book is out, so you should give them the chance to sign up for your mailing list. Don’t forget to offer a freebie to anyone who signs up.
- Contact page – People need to be able to reach you so organizers can invite you to events, fans tell you they love your books, and bloggers can ask about ARCs. That’s why you should have a contact page with a contact form and your email address.
- 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?
- Home page – Your home page is the first thing new visitors will see, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why your home page should 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