An author website is the best long-term investment you can make for your writing career—it’s an online hub where readers can get to know you, buy your book, and engage with you. At Web Design Relief, we know your author website is where literary agents and press can access your credentials and see more of your writing. And it’s entirely yours to design as you wish!
You might be thinking, I’m a writer, not a tech-savvy website designer! But your creative writing skills can also help you create the perfect author website.
How To Write The Story Of Your Author Website
Stories often are born from daydreams and musings, so take plenty of time to daydream about your website’s story, its “genre,” what you want it to convey. Will it be dark and serious like your gothic novels? Or light and breezy for your beach novels? Modern, romantic, or classically simple? (A dream board might help!)
Now that you have a vision, create an outline of your author website, just as you would a novel or short story. Elements might include a home page, a biography, a blog, writing excerpts, links to journals that have published your poems or short stories, links to social media, a way to purchase your book, news and events, and a press materials page.
Do a little research and visit other author websites to see what works, what doesn’t, and what appeals to you most strongly. Dig a little deeper and learn the best way to choose a domain name and what new features and apps are out there. The more knowledgeable you are about the process, the easier it will be to set some concrete goals. Armed with a detailed outline, you can lay out a to-do list (with deadlines!) and get started.
While it may not be fair, the truth is that a sloppy, unappealing author website screams out to visitors that your writing is probably sloppy and unappealing too. (Read more about how to make a great first impression.) So whether you plan to create your own author website, start to finish, or rely on experts to design (and maintain) it for you, it’s key to reach out to the right people to help you design an easy-to-navigate site that truly reflects your professional, creative side.
And just as you would diligently edit and proof your creative writing before sending it out into the world, each element of your author website should be checked and double-checked before the site goes live. Make sure trusted friends and colleagues have tested it, and listen to their feedback. Is the site hard to use? Frustrating or annoying in any way? You’ll want to fix these problems before the Big Launch.
Brand-new restaurants often hold “soft” openings, when they open the doors but do no promotion. It’s a slow start that allows you time to test , make adjustments, and discover weak areas before the big opening. When your writer website goes live, you’ll have the same benefits of a soft opening—this is your chance to test and tweak. You can slowly let people know about the new site and have a “grand opening” later, when you feel everything’s perfect.
Anxious to get started? Skip the soft opening and make your author website launch a Virtual Event! Use social media to generate excitement, or hold a real-life party with friends, family, and other writers.
Whatever approach you choose, launching your new author website is a big step toward building your author brand. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
To ensure that the story of your website has a great “happily ever after” ending, Web Design Relief can help design, create, and maintain the best author website for you. Learn more: What’s Your Story? Tell It On Your Author Platform!
Question: Did you design your own author website? What was the hardest part?