Category Archives: Author Website Design

How To Make It Easy For People To Read Your Writing On Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Your author website is the hub for your online presence. It’s where literary editors, agents, and readers go to learn more about you and your writing. So it makes sense that you’d like to use your author website to showcase your best work! But how much of your poetry, short stories, or novels should you display? And how can you make the reading experience the best it can possibly be?

Smart Tips For Sharing Your Writing On Your Author Website

For Novelists:

Novelists have a lot of material to work with. They also have many good reasons to share excerpts of their work on their websites:

  • The first chapter of an upcoming release can be a great tease, whetting readers’ appetites for the completed and encouraging pre-orders.
  • Deleted scenes of an already published book can draw avid fans to your website, where you can encourage them to join your mailing list.
  • A short book excerpt of a yet-to-be-published novel can keep readers interested and engaged between publication dates.
  • A book excerpt from an uncontracted novel may attract the interest of editors and agents when the URL is shared with certain hashtags on social media.

Adding images to the excerpt page to illustrate setting and character, or posting a set list of music that you listened to while writing can offer new, multimedia dimensions to the story.

For Short Story Writers:

A short story writer may want to offer a free story on his or her website in order to:

  • Sell a collection of short stories that contains the freebie.
  • Attract the attention of editors of literary magazines or agents and editors who may be interested in other works.
  • Build a mailing list by attracting lovers of short stories and encouraging them to subscribe.

Rather than post a previously published short story, you might want to show off all previous publications in a hot-linked list to the actual publications.

For Poets:

Poets have to be the most careful of all when it comes to sharing work on their author websites. Here’s how to showcase your poetry wisely:

  • Only upload previously published poems, once you get the rights back from the literary journal that licensed them.
  • Write new poems to be used exclusively on your website for promotion and marketing purposes.
  • Share one poem from your self-published poetry collection to entice people to purchase the whole collection.

And whether you’re posting an excerpt or an entire poem or story, keep in mind this important caveat: The work will be considered previously published by literary journal editors. Removing an original piece from your author website doesn’t always work—old versions of webpages are still visible to a search engine. If an editor finds your “unpublished” poem cached online, you’ll look unprofessional and probably kill your chance at publication.

Don’t publish anything on your author website that you might want to submit to literary journals.

Author Website Design That Offers The Best Reading Experience

People stare at screens all day, so you want to make the online reading experience as pleasant and easy as possible:

  • Use a simple, easily legible typeface in a large enough font size.
  • Don’t blast black print against a neon yellow background just for contrast’s sake—simple black print against a gentle off-white is boring but often works best.
  • Add images if they enhance the text, but use them wisely to avoid making the background distracting or too busy.
  • Include lots of paragraph breaks—readers are intimidated by large blocks of print.

 

Question: How much of your writing do you share on your author website?

Author Website Tips For Writers Who Don’t Want To Deal With Having An Author Website | Web Design Relief

Sure, having a well-maintained, active author website is a vital element in your author platform and social media support—but who has the time to deal with that? You have your day job, appointments to keep, groceries to buy, children to drop off and pick up, and your writing time to squeeze in. You may wonder why you should worry about building an author website if you haven’t even written a book yet!

Fortunately, the experts at Web Design Relief have a trick or two up their sleeves for hassle-free author website prep.

Tips For Planning An Author Website With A Minimum Of Cost And Fuss

Claim your domain name for your author website. Author websites aren’t created in a day. There are multiple steps before you actually build the site itself. And the most important step is to claim your domain name, i.e., your “URL.”

If you have a relatively common name (like John Doe), you may find that a simple domain URL using your name, such as www.JohnDoe.com, or even a more elaborate one like www.JohnDoeBooks.com or www.AuthorJohnDoe.com, may already be taken. That means you’ll have to think up some creative domain names so your future fans can find you—a job best done when you’re not under pressure.

Decide on your web hosting company. After you’ve registered your domain name, you need to decide which company will “host” your website. Web hosting companies allow your site to be stored on their servers as they provide the technology that allows it to be viewed on the Internet. Check prices and fees carefully to make sure you find the best hosting company for your website. Remember, a bargain isn’t always a bargain: Make sure the hosting company offers the best security and regularly scheduled backups. For the most hassle-free, dependable hosting, talk to Web Design Relief!

Prepare your content. Sooner or later, you’ll have to write an author bio. You may also have to write a back-of-the-book blurb about your story or nonfiction project. You certainly will need an author-dedicated email address. An author photo wouldn’t hurt, either. When it comes to these marketing and promotion basics, you might as well start now.

Build an author website, or have one built for you. Even if you don’t have plans for a book, or it won’t be released for over a year, people interested in you and your writing will be searching for you on the Internet. What will they find?

A single page with info about your project, yourself, and your contact information is all you need to make yourself “searchable” on Google and other search engines. You don’t want to miss out on any opportunities!

Some authors build their own websites using drag-and-drop builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Jimdo. Tech-savvy authors may use WordPress. But if you want to avoid handling all the technical complexities yourself, consider hiring someone to build your author website for you. You may be surprised at how stress-free and inexpensive it can be to have Web Design Relief do all the work for you.

While your author website is the hub of all marketing and promotion efforts and the best first step to creating a platform, you should also act now to claim your social media profiles as well. By having all your foundation elements in place, you’ll be ready to market and promote your writing when the moment arrives.

 

Question: When you go to an author website, what’s the first thing you look for? A bio? Book list? Contact information? Upcoming events? Breaking news?

Say Cheese! 8 Modeling Tips For A More Flattering Author Portrait Or Headshot | Web Design Relief

Whether you’re hiring a professional photographer or relying on a friend to hold the camera, you can make the most of your author headshot photo shoot by following these simple tips from the design experts at Web Design Relief. Looking good never looked so easy!

Steal These Modeling Tips To Take A Great Headshot Or Portrait

Wear solid colors or small prints. Loud prints can clutter an image and draw viewers’ eyes away from your face. If you want to wear big, bold prints, go for it—we won’t stop you! But smaller prints may be easier on the eyes of your author website visitors. And if you go too far in the monochromatic direction, keep in mind that black or white clothing may also present problems in portraiture: White can blow out, and black can lose definition and disappear. Learn what colors look best on you.

Know your good angles. Spend some time looking at your face in the mirror. When you tilt your chin down slightly, your eyes will look bigger, giving an impression of approachability. Tilting your chin up slightly can convey a strong bearing. Turning your head to the side, but keeping your eyes on the camera, might give the impression of a writer who has a secret to tell. Play with your expressions and angles so you capture the expression that best represents you as a writer.

Lean forward, just a smidge. Leaning forward elongates the neck, emphasizes the jawline, minimizes a soft chin, and puts the emphasis on your eyes. It may feel weird, but it can have great results!

Turn your shoulders. Staring straight into the camera can resemble a mugshot and make you look wide. Instead, move one shoulder to a 45-degree angle to your camera lens—you’ll look more approachable and natural.

Smile, smile, smile. A single face can wear a thousand smiles—from toothy and unrestrained to subtle and subdued. Try them out in a mirror and then try them out during your photo shoot. Hopefully you have a photographer who can help you “craft” a natural subdued smile but who can also crack a joke and make you laugh in order to catch that gleam in your eye.

Squint. One of the best kept secrets for an intriguing headshot? The squint. A subtle squint with a smile lends authenticity to a grin or thoughtfulness to a serious look. Practice a little in the mirror to see what you think. But if looking like you’re trying to see Jupiter without a telescope feels overwhelmingly uncomfortable to you, don’t do it. Better to be relaxed and natural overall.

Ask for some headshots AND for some portraits. Unlike the up-close-and-personal style of a headshot, a portrait pulls back the lens for a wider view of you and your surroundings. Use your background to help show who you are as a writer. Write romances? Have your photo shoot in a rose garden. Mysteries? Maybe stand in front of an abandoned building. Or you can simply show another side of your personality: Maybe you’re lying in a field of wildflowers or getting a smooch from your dog. Ask your photographer for a mix of both headshots and portraits. They’ll come in handy at different times.

Request black-and-white versions of your photos. Why ask for black-and-white versions of your color portraits? Good photographers know that there’s more to a flattering black-and-white image than simply removing rainbow colors. There’s a whole spectrum of black-and-white possibilities. And your black-and-white photos will look better if they were designed to be shown that way from the get-go (as opposed to having the color stripped by a copy machine).

Make yourself comfortable. A relaxed, self-assured vibe can make the difference between a flattering headshot and one that’s bound for the circular file. Consider: What can you do to make yourself comfortable in front of the camera? Bring along a loved one? Make some goofy faces to loosen up before getting serious? Maybe listening to music would help? When you feel good, you look good!

 

Question: Getting your picture taken—love it or hate it?

 

How To Monetize Your Author Website (Without Annoying People) | Web Design Relief

By the time you factor in expenses like Web hosting, site design, updates, headshots, registration fees, etc.—maintaining an author website can take a big bite out of your budget. But with a little creative thinking, you might be able to get some of that money back by turning your author website into a source of… Continue Reading

6 New Ways To Get People To Visit Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Ideally, you’ve designed your author website to project your unique author brand. You’ve maximized your bio, included a list of books with blurbs and reviews, started a blog or newsletter, and provided the necessary contact information. Since your author website was launched, you’ve been driving as much Web traffic as possible to this hub of… Continue Reading

Author Website Spring Cleaning: Don’t Skip These Yearly Updates | Web Design Relief

When was the last time you checked on your own author website? Hmmmm…that long ago? Then it’s time to take a look and determine if your site is still delivering a pleasant, informative, efficient experience for your visitors. Or has it become static, outdated, and just plain dull? The experts at Web Design Relief know… Continue Reading


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