Author Archives: Web Design Relief Staff

The Surprising Things You Need To Know To Launch Your First Author Website | Web Design Relief

Creating an author website might initially strike you as a pretty straightforward process: 1) Find an author Web design company, 2) fork over some money, 3) get your website. But there are a few “hidden” facts about the specialized website design elements required for an author website that you should definitely keep in mind before you sign with a Web design company.

Web Design Relief Reveals The Unexpected Things You MUST Know Before Launching Your Author Website

There’s a difference between an artist and a Web designer. While many website designers do have an artistic eye and lots of talent, they are not always artists who create artwork from scratch. Website designers can create beautiful websites for you using existing stock artwork, but they won’t necessarily create that artwork for you. Help your Web designer help you by having a clear idea of your artistic preferences.

Web hosting costs extra. Most writers expect to pay for the creation of a website. But some are surprised when they discover that they also have to pay for that website to actually appear on the Internet. For your website to exist, the data has to be stored somewhere—and that storage is provided by a Web host. Learn more about how to make sure you have a great Web host for your author website.

You might have to regularly update your website. Websites that are built using popular CMS (content management system) interfaces often need regular updates—not just to text and pictures, but to the hidden structure that makes a website possible. These updates keep you (and your visitors) safe from malware and viruses, and also ensure that your website doesn’t “break” as Internet protocols change.

The tricky part is that, occasionally, installing the necessary updates to your website can cause it to malfunction (or even totally crash). Unless you’re comfortable taking a DIY approach to Web fixes, it’s important to connect with a Web host that will manage your updates and create regular backups for your website.

It can be dangerous to post your creative writing on your website for all to see if it’s unpublished. While excerpts of poems, books, stories, and essays are generally safe to share on an author website, posting full versions may hinder your ability to find a publisher later on. Learn more about the issue by reading this detailed article: What Is Considered Previously Published Writing?

Make Sure You’ve Taken All The Right Steps Before Launching Your Author Website

You could spend ages becoming an expert on the subtleties of creating an effective author website. OR you could reach out and work with people who are already experts. The team of website designers here at Web Design Relief work specifically with creative writers. With close ties to our sister company Writer’s Relief, we combine technical know-how with effective marketing and publishing strategies. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you!

 

Question: Our team is standing by to answer your questions about creating an author website. Feel free to share your thoughts in our comments section!

 

55 Social Media Hashtags For Book Authors (And How To Use Them) | Web Design Relief

Unless you’ve been living in a remote cave (or buried under a giant pile of writing research), you know hashtags serve a very valuable purpose on social media. Those clickable words or strings of words can help you follow ongoing conversations, sort posts according to interests, and expand the reach of your musings beyond your own friends and followers. Furthermore, tweets with hashtags get retweeted 55% more than tweets without them.

Boost your social media efforts and effectiveness by following—and using—this list of hashtags for writers from Web Design Relief:

Enjoy The Writer’s Journey

These “share the journey” hashtags bring the active writing community together by sharing the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the writing life.

  • #amwriting
  • #amediting
  • #writerslife
  • #WriterWednesday

Write The Words

Every writer needs a creative boost now and then. Follow these hashtag prompts to nudge yourself and others into getting the words onto the page.

  • #1K1H (1,000 words in one hour)
  • #WritingPrompt
  • #StoryStarter
  • #wordcount
  • #writingsprint
  • #NaNoWriMo (for the November marathon)

Pose A Question To A Pro

Need guidance from a professional? Pose a question or peruse the hashtag to pick up tips and tricks from the experts.

  • #AskEditor
  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor

Gather Your Genre Group

No list of hashtags for writers is complete without a list of genre-related hashtags. Following these keywords can keep you up to date about what’s going on in the industry as well as connect you to fellow lovers of your genre.

  • #RomanceWriter
  • #Horror
  • #YA
  • #KidLit
  • #LitFic
  • #Crime
  • #Thriller
  • #Suspense
  • #DarkFantasy
  • #SciFiChat
  • #MGLit (middle grade literature)
  • #ShortReads
  • #flashfiction
  • #ChickLit
  • #WomensFiction
  • #HistFic
  • #RWA
  • #NINC
  • #SCBWI
  • #SFWA

Peruse Publication

Trying to get published can be bewildering. Follow one or more of these hashtags so you’ll be in the know.

  • #PubTip
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #SelfPub
  • #QueryTip
  • #Publishing
  • #GetPublished
  • #IndiePub

Seek A Slot

#MSWL is short for “Manuscript Wish List.” Editors and agents post the kinds of manuscripts they would most like to see cross their desks right now. For authors on the hunt for a new agent or a new house, #MSWL gives you a chance to strike while the iron is hot.

Augment Your Audience

Grow your tribe by sharing your writing with readers using the following hashtags:

  • #TeaserTuesday
  • #FridayReads
  • #MustRead
  • #LitChat
  • #SampleSunday
  • #novelines

Move The Merchandise

Hashtags are fabulous for book marketing, especially if you have a launch or a free or discounted book.

  • #freebook
  • #freebie
  • #freedownload
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #99c
  • #booklaunch
  • #BookBuzz
  • #NewBook

Harnessing Hashtags—The Right Way

Since hashtags are essentially keywords that help folks find what they’re looking for, it’s important to use them correctly. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Use hashtags specific to your message
  • Try to take advantage of the important keywords in your post’s text
  • Or, add hashtags at the end of the post
  • Don’t use too many hashtags, except on Instagram, where it doesn’t seem to matter

Check out these examples from @WritersRelief on Twitter:

  • “Want to use your #author website to build #book sales? Here’s how:”
  • “Here are some tips on #writing a cover letter for your #poetry, stories, or #essays.”
  • “#Writers: Think big! Retweet and find out how to use pay-to-play mass mailings to promote your #selfpublished book:”

Once you get the hang of including hashtags in your social media posts, you’ll find that it’s an effortless way to expand your reach. Keep in mind: With the exception of Instagram, you should keep the number of your hashtags down to one or two. A Tweet or Facebook post riddled with hashtags, or followed by a river of them, looks a lot like spam.

 

Question: What are your favorite hashtags, and on what social media platforms do you use them?

Is Your Author Website Sending The Right Message? | Web Design Relief

Visitors to your author website make instant judgments about you—who you are, what you write, and whether they are interested in reading it. You only have a few seconds to snare their attention and convince them to stay awhile. Improve the odds by making sure your writer website creates an immediate, distinct impression.

Web Design Relief Asks: Does Your Author Website Send A Strong, Clear Message?

When was the last time you updated your website? If the front page of your author website announces that your book is “coming soon in 2003,” it may be time to refresh your website. A strong author platform is vibrant, relevant, and current. Plus, regularly updating your text encourages visitors to look you up more often—and that can increase your search engine rankings. Fresh text says: I’m here, I’m meaningful, let’s connect!

Is your text designed for online reading? Writing copy that’s going to appear online is different than writing for a literary journal or future book. Why? People expect a different kind of reading experience when web browsing than they do when sitting down with a book or literary magazine. Here’s an important primer on writing for the web .

 Is your text error free? We shouldn’t have to point out the value of proofreading your website! Send the message that you’re an expert wordsmith with clean copywriting.

Does your author website work in tandem with your larger author brand? When your website works in conjunction with the other elements of your author platform (cover art, social media feeds, marketing materials), you send readers a consistent, memorable message about who you are. But when your website design conjures one mood and your cover art another, readers will receive mixed messages. Learn more about how your brand is supported by your platform.

Is your author headshot clear and unique? While you don’t necessarily need a professional portrait session to create a nice headshot, it is important that the image you use supports the same message as your website. For example: Are you going for “funny and lighthearted” or “moody and thoughtful”? Also, be sure that your image is appropriate for the Internet (fast-loading and not pixelated, etc.). Here’s how to create a great author headshot on a budget.

Does your website design encourage a single, powerful call to action? A call to action is, essentially, a directive to visitors to perform a task of your choosing (buy a book, join a mailing list, etc.). Too many calls to action and your visitor will be confused and take no action at all. Send a clear message about the BEST thing your author website is offering them (and learn more about creating a call to action here).

And The Most Important Message Your Author Website Can Send Is…

The story you tell about who you are as a writer might just be the lynchpin on which the rest of your author platform hangs—after all, everything about your writing career stems from you. Who you are as a writer—your interests, hobbies, passions, and goals—informs every choice you make, from font style to website layout to supportive text. So before you begin tinkering with text and images, zero in on the core story that makes you the writer you are! That’s the foundation you’ll need to send a strong, consistent, memorable, unique message across your entire author platform.

Pull Up A Chair: How To Get Author Website Visitors To Stay Awhile | Web Design Relief

Since your author website functions as the hub of your marketing activity, it’s important to focus on branding, design, SEO, and content to improve the website’s visibility and discoverability. Yet, Web Design Relief knows the average bounce rate for an author website is about 56%. That means more than half the visitors who check out… Continue Reading

Use Your Author Website To Make Readers Care About You As A Writer | Web Design Relief

As a writer, your job is to create a narrative that hooks the reader, raises curiosity, elicits empathy, and leaves the reader satisfied. But have you ever considered how these fundamentals of storytelling can be harnessed to improve your author website? Web Design Relief outlines the simple steps to create a website that will make… Continue Reading

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