At Web Design Relief, we can’t resist admiring well-made author websites, no matter who created them. After many years of helping writers build their author platforms and decades of being plugged into the publishing industry through Writer’s Relief, we’ve certainly seen more than our fair share of author websites—the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty.
And nothing knocks our socks off more than a great-looking, smartly designed, innovative author website.
We’re always happy to share the beautiful author websites that we’ve designed ourselves over the years, but sometimes it’s nice to give a shout-out to other Web designers’ excellent efforts too.
Here are some of our favorite author websites—and why we think they’re awesome!
Author Website #1: Rainbow Rowell
Perfectly suited for her genre and demographic (primarily YA), Rainbow Rowell’s author website is downright cozy. It has a hand-stitched quality that makes you feel like you just stepped into Rowell’s thoughtful, tenderly curated world. And don’t even get us started on the little knickknacks in the upper right-hand corner that serve as both decoration and social media buttons. Adorable!
Take a look: www.rainbowrowell.com
Author Website #2: R.L. Stine
R.L. Stine’s creepy books for kids are replete with mummies, ghouls, and evil ventriloquist dummies—and his website reflects these unsettling themes. But it’s also wonderfully functional, with plenty of information about Stine’s impressive bibliography, resources for teachers, and fun games for kids (or the kid inside us all!).
Take a look: www.rlstine.com
Author Website #3: Brad Thor
Brad Thor has had a slew of excellent designs over the years that have embodied the themes and branding of his books. But what’s best about his website is the wealth of information you can find on it. Each book has its own set of sub-pages complete with synopses, excerpts, reviews, and audio samples. And the author uses his “Ultimate Readers” section to enrich the reading experience with extra goodies.
Take a look: www.bradthor.com
Author Website #4: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
We often ask our clients to show us websites they like so we can get a sense of their personal tastes and preferences. Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s website comes up time and time again—and we love it too! The crisp, clean minimalism of the site is refreshing, as is the hand-drawn navigation. It’s the perfect balance between Rosenthal’s children’s books and adult endeavors.
Take a look: www.whoisamy.com
Author Website #5: Katherine Center
Simple, clear navigation? Check. Unobtrusive yet bright color scheme? Check. A slideshow full of gorgeous eye candy? Check! Katherine Center’s website has it all, and yet it’s an excellent example of the “less is more” philosophy. There isn’t a whole lot of text on the site, but the graphics and multimedia features make browsing a delight.
Take a look: www.katherinecenter.com
Author Website #6: Kevin Henkes
Talk about branding! Kevin Henkes has a very distinct illustration style that makes his picture books unmistakable and beloved by readers young and old. His signature style is all over his website—which is a great idea from a branding perspective. The site also features resources for teachers, librarians, and parents to inspire little readers (and to encourage visitors to keep coming back for more).
Take a look: www.kevinhenkes.com
Author Website #7: Roxane Gay
The landing page of Roxane Gay’s website features clean navigation, rotating review blurbs, and the book cover—and makes you want to click into the site and learn more about this awesome author. This is technically two sites in one: the core website and a Tumblr blog, with the two sites integrated seamlessly. And, of course, the content is priceless.
Take a look: www.roxanegay.com
Author Website #8: Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver’s website is proof that you don’t have to pile on the bright colors to be visually stunning. The book and branch motif is exciting without being distracting—and we really love the simple little logo at the center of the navigation. The information about each book is neatly organized by audience (adult, young adult, and young readers). And much like Roxane Gay’s site, Oliver’s Tumblr blog is perfectly integrated into the site. Impressive!
Take a look: laurenoliverbooks.com
Do You Want A Beautiful Author Website Without Breaking The Bank?
These sites are just a few examples of how creative and visually appealing an author website can be— and undeniable proof that design and functionality can make a huge impression on readers, editors, and literary agents.
Feeling inspired? Want someone to design a beautiful, functional author website for you? We can help! Check out our Portfolio page, and find a design package that works best for you, your budget, and your needs. And, of course, let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below!
QUESTION: Which author’s website are you most impressed by?