Category Archives: Author Websites

Self-Test: Is Your Author Website Up To Professional Standards? | Web Design Relief

Your author website is a powerful networking tool, essentially acting as your online business card. Since your website represents you as a writer to readers, editors, or literary agents, it should look professional and polished—not like the cheapest option you could find. Take this easy self-test from the experts at Web Design Relief to determine if your author website is functional and informative, or if it’s filled with common mistakes.

Self-Test: Is Your Author Website First Quality…Or Second-Rate?

Are You Using Good-Quality Images?

A: Yes, all of my images have at least a 300dpi resolution.

B: Some images are blurry, but most are clear.

C: Images? What images?

 

Is Your Font Uniform And Legible?

A: I have a dedicated font for headings and a dedicated font for body text.

B: No, but all of my fonts are in the same family (serif or sans serif).

C: The more fonts the merrier!

 

Does Your Author Bio Appear Professional?

A: Yes, my publishing credits and bio have been thoroughly proofread!

B: My author bio is acceptable, but has not been updated in quite a while.

C: I have no author bio on my website.

 

Are You Integrating Your Social Media Feeds?

A: I have icons or widgets for my author Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more!

B: I just post handles to my social media accounts. Or most of them anyway…

C: What’s a social media feed?

 

Do You Offer A Safe “Contact Me” Page?

A: My contact page keeps personal information secure and requires CAPTCHA verification.

B: I give my personal contact information (my email address and phone number) on my site.

C: I don’t want web visitors to contact me!

 

For Book Authors: Are You Including Links To Multiple Booksellers On Your Website?

A: I sure am! I include buttons to Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and more!

B: I post information on where people can buy my book, but don’t have direct links.

C: Google is free! If people want to buy my book, they can find it themselves!

 

If You Are Blogging, Is Your Blog Up To Date?

A: Yes! I update at least once a week and especially if I have new info to share with my readers.

B: Not really. I update my blog every few months.

C: I am just now remembering that I have a blog.

 

How Easy Is Your Website To Navigate?

A: Very easy! I have a menu bar, and a header logo that takes users directly to my homepage.

B: Most of my website’s pages are directly available through my homepage, but some pages are hidden.

C: I can’t even navigate my own website.

 

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

A: Absolutely! Every element on my website is optimized for mobile use.

B: My website opens on mobile, but it is a bit difficult to read.

C: The last time I opened my mobile website, I had to visit the Genius Bar or Geek Squad.

 

ANSWERS:

If you picked mostly A: Congratulations on a stellar website!

Your website works as a first-class, professional platform for your writing career! Display it proudly.

 

If you picked mostly B: Your website is close, but needs a little work before it qualifies as a professional author website.  

You may have great intentions for your website, but they may be executed poorly or need some updates. When it comes to professionalism, there is no cutting corners. Your website may benefit from some much-needed TLC, like a yearly update.

 

If you picked mostly C: There’s no way around it—your website needs help.

Some websites need a complete overhaul. With the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of the Internet, your author website can quickly fall behind in functionality, and this could hurt your writing career. If your website is difficult to navigate or full of broken links, visitors will bounce. And if your author website looks second-rate and is filled with typos or grammar mistakes—readers, editors, and agents will assume it reflects on your writing quality.

If you’re ready for a professional-looking author website, the experts at Web Design Relief can help! Whether you’re just starting out or a best-selling author, Web Design Relief will build you an author website perfectly suited to your needs—and we have a package for every budget! Schedule a free consultation today!

 

Question: What is one thing you want to change about your author website?

5 Fun Web Design Ideas Just For Children’s Book Writers | Web Design Relief

While authors who write for adults may feature minimalist design and a monochrome color palette on their websites, the designs and colors that work for authors of children’s books can be much more expressive and bright. Parents may ultimately be your book buyers, but it’s the kids you have to impress! At Web Design Relief, we recommend children’s book writers should have author websites with intriguing visuals to highlight the tone of their stories. Check out these engaging, fun web design ideas just for children’s book writers.

How Children’s Book Writers Can Make Their Author Websites Pop

Think Color, Color, And More Color 

Websites packed with color are visually intriguing and enticing to young readers. One of the most important decisions you can make in terms of website design is your color scheme. Black, white, and gray websites can seem too mature and not in sync with the tone of your genre. However, if a bright, primary rainbow color scheme seems too glaring, you can choose an array of pastel colors or different tones of the same shade of youthful colors like pink, yellow, and teal.

Bring Storytime Home

A fun way to engage new readers—especially as a children’s book author—is to read to them yourself! Vlogging is a popular promotional method used by authors across many different genres, but storytelling is something unique to children’s book writers. Rather than simply using static images or text as promotional content on your website, a video of you reading your story is an entertaining way for young readers to get to know you and your work. Set up your video camera, cell phone, or webcam, and film yourself reading your book to add your unique voice and attention-grabbing content to your author website.

Add Fun And Games 

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a kid who doesn’t enjoy video games or board games. A smart way to keep visitors staying longer, build your readership, and give your biggest (or in this case, littlest!) fans a reason to come back again and again is to create a game that children can play on your website. If you want to really wow children and parents, hire a game developer to design a simple flash game for your website that features characters from your book.

Don’t have the budget or time for the bells and whistles? Create a word search using words and character names from your book. Or get creative by making games out of the content already on your site! Challenge visitors to count how many times they can find your character throughout the website, or post riddles for your visitors to solve.

Provide Links And Resources

Besides acting as a marketing hub for your book, your author website can also be a source of useful information for your audience. Consider dedicating a page of your website to list links to different games, craft ideas, and learning tools that fit the themes of your books. You may even cross-promote by linking to other authors who write books similar to yours—and ask them to do the same. Many children’s books touch upon serious topics in age-appropriate ways, so you might even include links to official pages for causes you support as a way to use your website to give back.

Utilize Child-Friendly Language And Visual Representation 

Parents, guardians, and teachers may frequent your site, but keep in mind your main audience is young readers. Rather than using grammatically correct but dry language, find ways to sprinkle interesting and age-appropriate vocabulary and elements throughout your site.

For example, rather than a standard website menu bar, children’s book author Tonie Melendez titles her different web pages as chapters. Another option would be to use graphics and icons rather than words to provide access to all of your author resources. Do you have a link to purchase your book? Add a shopping cart icon. Using a contact form for fan mail? Let visitors click on a mailbox graphic. Get creative so your website is user-friendly for all ages! And check out these great author website ideas you can make your own!

Make sure your website is fun, colorful, and packed with entertaining activities and educational resources for your readers. Need more inspiration? Here are some children’s book author websites we love!

Bernard Ashley

Judy Blume

Sandra Boynton

Vashti Harrison

Jeff Kinney

Roger Priddy

Aaron Shepard

April Wayland

 

Question: Which is your favorite children’s author website? Why?

Ready To Launch! 7 Signs Your Website Is All Systems Go | Web Design Relief

Most writers understand the importance of having an author website to act as an online business card and an information hub. But at Web Design Relief, our experts know that before you press the button that launches your website, it’s important to make sure everything is all systems go! You don’t want to make your author website live, only to discover functional or navigational issues and typos that will make your visitors cringe—and bounce.

Start The Countdown! Questions To Ask Before You Launch Your Author Website

Have you proofread your site? Yes, proofreading is as vital to website-building as it is to poetry, prose, or books. Typos will make your website look amateurish. This is especially true if you’re an author! Make sure your Oxford commas are in order and your proper nouns are properly capitalized before launching. Learn how to become a master proofer here.

Do you have something to attract visitors? Your author website should showcase your writing and broaden your readership. Make certain that you have pages featuring excerpts of your book, blog posts, or links to your literary publications. You may also want to have a dedicated page where visitors can purchase your books, or you can include “Buy Now” buttons to third-party sellers to increase book sales.

Is social media integrated into your website? While it is unlikely that visitors would spend several hours a day on your author website, the opposite is true for social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have social media buttons prominently featured on your author website that link to your various social media platforms so visitors can follow you.

Pro Tip: Verify that your social media pages are ready for the public. This means that your social media accounts aren’t set to private and aren’t flooded with personal posts that don’t pertain to your writing. In fact, don’t link to your personal social media—create separate accounts for your author persona, including a Facebook author page!

Do website visitors have a way to contact you? Having a contact page is essential—literary agents or editors may want to get in touch with you! It also gives your fans and followers the opportunity to reach out to you through an easy-to-use form. A contact form is a safe way for you to connect with your audience while limiting spam and protecting your privacy. Which brings us to our next point…

Is your website safe? To protect yourself and your visitors, limit the personal information you share, especially your email address. This can attract unwanted spam from automated bots and leave your site vulnerable to hacking. Make sure you have effective Internet security in place by installing security plugins and captchas.

Did you optimize your website for mobile use? Almost all websites are built via desktop computers, and while it might look perfect on the big screen, your website may not translate well to mobile use. As more people view websites on their mobile devices, it’s important for your website to look good on smartphones and tablets. Be sure to check that your author website is legible and functional on mobile devices before you make your site live.

Does everything work? Perhaps the most important step before launching your website is to check that everything works! And we mean everything. Does your domain lead to your actual website? Are your hyperlinks live? Does your website work on multiple browsers? Do all of your buttons take visitors to the right location? Be your own guinea pig! Test your entire website prior to launch.

Once you’ve confirmed all systems are go, you can rest assured that your readers will enjoy visiting your author website and learning more about you and your writing. Ready to help your writing career take off? 3…2…1…launch!

 

Question: Which item on the checklist do you think is most important?

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

Terrified By Technology, Writer? Here Are 4 Tips For Die-Hard Digiphobes | Web Design Relief

There was a time when all a writer needed was ink, paper, a little bit of candlelight, and, of course, a great idea. While most writers are thankful that we’ve ditched our candles in favor of electric lights and our quills for pens or keyboards, Web Design Relief knows that not all writers are happy… Continue Reading

How To Pick The Right URL Or Domain For Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

At Web Design Relief, we know that choosing the right URL or domain for your new author website is just as important as designing and developing the actual website. Your Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the web address that people will use to find your website on the Internet—it will represent you to your fans,… Continue Reading


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