4 (Almost) Effortless Ways For Writers To Meet Their Fans | Web Design Relief

Writing may be a solitary experience, but it’s important to your success as a writer that, at some point, you connect with your readers. While it’s always nice to meet your fans in person at readings, book signings, or conferences, the Internet experts at Web Design Relief know it’s easier than ever to interact with your readers online. And best of all, with just a few clicks, you can answer questions, talk about your writing, and schmooze—all while sitting in your favorite chair and wearing your fuzzy slippers!

Easy, Almost Effortless Ways For Writers To Connect With Fans Online

Create A Facebook Group. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: Social media is vital for promoting yourself and your writing. By creating a Facebook group dedicated to you and your writing, you provide a forum for fans who want to talk about your work and follow your progress. A Group can be open (visible to everyone) or private (visible to members only). For ideas, check out the Stephen King: Constant Reader Fan Club or Midnight, Texas Fans, dedicated to novels written by Charlaine Harris.

Hold A Live Streaming Event. You can also host live streaming chats on Facebook and interact with your fans in real time. And it’s easier than you might think—you can even use your cell phone camera! Your followers will receive a notification of when you’re going live so they can tune in and meet you “in person.” It’s a great way to announce the cover art selection for your new book, the publication of your latest poetry or short story in a literary journal, or your upcoming book signing or presentation.

Open A Book Club On Goodreads. Goodreads is the original online mecca for book nerds: Forums, yearly reading trackers, and book clubs galore can be found in this corner of the Internet. You can create a fan club to discuss your favorite books—including your own! Take a look at Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf or author Colleen Houck’s Book Club for ideas. Be sure to link your author website and social media to your book club page so that new fans can follow all your online author platforms.

Start A Group Chat On Twitter. You can also create a group on Twitter that will allow you to Direct Message the group and have conversations with members. It’s a great way to develop a stronger relationship with your readers and to quickly and easily share updates about your writing. Groups can be public or private—but who wouldn’t want to belong to a secret fan club?


QUESTION: What online forums or groups do you belong to? Tell us in the comment section!

5 Simple Ways Your Author Website Can Give Back | Web Design Relief

Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. —Booker T. Washington

Whether you’re a writer, baker, corporate executive, stay-at-home parent, or professional dog walker, this is the time of year when many people from all walks of life are looking for ways to give back to their communities. If you are a writer with an author website, you’re in luck! The experts at Web Design Relief know you have the means to help spread some holiday cheer—and it’s right at your fingertips.

But just one note of caution: Before you send your hard-earned money—or encourage your fans and visitors to send theirs—first check to ensure a charity is legit and not a scam!

Easy, Creative Ways To Turn Your Author Website Into A Resource For Good

Share your space. Consider adding a page to your author website dedicated to a nonprofit or cause you are passionate about. This page can be a space to share information with your readers who already trust you as a reliable source—so put your craft to good use to create well-written, descriptive, persuasive content. And a page dedicated to a worthy cause is just one of the many ways to give your author website a boost.

Spread the word. Use your writing skills to inspire others to take action. Is there a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or substance abuse program that could use press releases or articles to build awareness and boost donations? The right words can move readers to volunteer or contribute money or services. And you’ll also be getting the message out to those in need that there is help available.

On your website, you can post articles to your blog that shed light on current issues like homelessness, mental illness, and more. Include statistics to encourage your visitors to find ways to take action in their own communities. If nonfiction isn’t your forte, here are some tips and techniques.

Add a button. One of the benefits of having a well-built author website is the ability to add widgets and buttons. Many authors use “Buy Now” buttons on their websites to direct users to where they can purchase books. Why not include a “Donate Now” button for your favorite nonprofit organization?

If all your stories feature the same feisty canine sidekick, you might want to add a donation button for a local agency that helps foster pets. Or, if the detective in your novel is a former soldier, perhaps add a widget to your website to take visitors to an organization that supports veterans. Your followers will be able to support a worthy cause with just one click—and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you helped make it happen!

List some links. You may already have hyperlinks on your website that take visitors to your published works, or to venues where you’ll be reading, or even to writing groups or other resources for writers. You can easily include links to charities or organizations that you want to support so that your readers can learn more.

Donate a portion of your book sale profits. Let your author website visitors know that when they purchase your book, a percentage of the proceeds will be given to a nonprofit organization. You might consider tying this in to a current need for a limited time. For example, after a hurricane or disaster, you might state on your author website: A percentage of all book sales during the month of November will support the hurricane relief efforts of the Red Cross. This philanthropic gesture may even help boost your book sales while raising much-needed funds for those in need.

With just a few clicks and some creative thinking, you can turn your author website into a clever way to give back and support those less fortunate.

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. —Maya Angelou


Question: Do you prefer supporting nonprofit organizations in person or via online donations?

Unpublished Writers: Strategies For Creating An Impressive Author Website | Web Design Relief

If you’re an unpublished writer (or a writer with only a few publishing credits), you may think an author website is an extravagance you don’t need. But you couldn’t be more wrong—an author website is the modern-day equivalent of your business card! If your fans, potential new readers, and literary editors and agents want to know more about you and your writing, the first place they are going to look is the Internet. When they type your name in the search engine, what will they find if you don’t have an author website?

Okay, you say, but I haven’t published a single word, so my author website is going to be pretty sad-looking. Not so! At Web Design Relief, we’ve created websites for well-published authors and newbie writers, so we know the tips and strategies that will make your author website—and you—shine.

How To Have An Impressive Author Website Even If You’re Unpublished

There’s more to a writer bio than just writing. Your experience as a writer is not defined solely by your list of publishing credits. There are many other ways you can pack the author bio on your website with noteworthy accomplishments. Use your website to talk about writing conferences you’ve attended, creative writing classes you’ve taken, or editing and proofreading jobs you’ve had! List any writing groups or organizations that you belong to—this demonstrates an ongoing commitment to improving your craft. Every writing-related experience can help boost your credibility as an emerging writer. Check out the best ways to network at writers conferences.

Use a current, professional-quality headshot. Nothing screams amateur louder than a blurry headshot or an old photo of you wearing a leisure suit or a sweater with giant shoulder pads. If you want to be viewed as an author, dress and look the part. You don’t have to be stodgy and unsmiling in your photo—a little personality is a good thing! But a professional headshot is an investment that shows your website visitors you are serious about writing and boosts your online presence from newbie to “pre-published.” Here’s why a headshot is considered a must-have for any author.

You don’t have to follow the crowd. Resist the urge to use common themes and layouts in your author website—this is your time to shine! Let your design choices speak to your creativity and reflect your genre. Each element of your website, from fonts to color choices, can be used to make an impression on your visitors. Are you a horror writer? Skip a minimalist, modern theme in favor of a creepy typeface and eerie effects. Romance writer? Let visitors swoon over alluring script fonts and come-hither images.

By using design elements, images, widgets, and textures that represent you and your work, you’ll easily make your author website uniquely yours.

Creating an author website that stands out in a crowd doesn’t mean spending tens of thousands of dollars. We get it—you’re just starting out and haven’t signed a big six-figure publishing contract (yet!). But you can still have a quality website on a budget.

Give your visitors a taste. You may not be published, but you certainly have works in progress or pieces that haven’t been scooped up yet. Sharing excerpts of your book, a paragraph of your short story, or a line or two from a poem can give readers a taste of your content and style. So even if your work is not yet published, you can begin to establish a reader base!

Important caveat: Be aware work published on your own author website is still considered previously published. Most editors of literary journals are not interested in previously published work. One solution: Only post pieces that are specifically written for your blog and that you are not going to try to get published elsewhere. Authors publishing book excerpts have a little more leeway, but still tread carefully.

Remember, even the most famous, best-selling authors were once unpublished beginners too! Having an author website will show potential fans and interested agents and editors that you’re serious about your writing career and that you are a writer to watch. And when you DO get that first writing credit…and the next…and the next…you’ll have a website where you can post links and the good news!


Question: Which author website is your favorite? Tell us why in the comments section!

Poets: The Easiest Way To Build An Author Website—Start Here | Web Design Relief

For poets, building an author website doesn’t have to be an arm-twisting exercise in self-promotion. Instead, creating an author website to showcase your poetry should be an opportunity for self-expression—one that just happens to grow your fan base, sell more copies of your poetry collection, and improve your professional networking! And the experts at Web… Continue Reading

How NaNoWriMo Can Boost Your Writing Career In Just 30 Days | Web Design Relief

One of the most highly anticipated racing events of the year happens in November: The New York City Marathon. And for some authors, the high point of the year also happens in November, when writers line up on November 1 to begin the 50,000-word National Novel Writing Month marathon, hoping to reach the finish line… Continue Reading

November Links Roundup | Web Design Relief

Welcome to November’s Links Roundup—and we’re ready to talk turkey about the latest tech news on the Internet for writers! Our Web Design Relief research experts have found something for everyone: how Instagram can improve your writing brand; important tasks to remember when launching a new blog; how CSS Hero can save you time and energy… Continue Reading

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