A Writer’s Must-Haves: An Author Website
If you are a writer and are eager to promote yourself online, which is also a must-have in today’s day and age, then you must have an author website. An internet presence is essential to your success. A simple website should do as long as it has the basics.
Here are the basics of what your website should consist of.
- A Home page.
- A Book page
- An About the Author page
- A Contact page
- An Events page or Blog
This is your landing page of your website. This is the first page your visitors will visit. It is important to have your author name presented at the top of your page in big letters. That way visitors know immediately whose home they’re visiting. It is easier for visitors to find your home on the Net if your web address includes your name. (Preferably, your author name will be your domain name www.yourauthorname.com) Below your author name is your tagline.
A tagline is needed to provoke a response from your visitors. An effective tagline should clarify what you do, express an important brand attribute and help people recognize and remember you.
On your home page, you should briefly describe yourself and your work and entice visitors into visiting the rest of your website. (Preferably your book page.)
This is the most important page of your website. Here is where you list your books from latest to previous release.
If you have not published yet:
List your current project as “in progress” but treat it as if it is a published book by getting your visitors excited about it by listing the title, and brief description or back cover description (blurb), an excerpt and the possible release date.
If you have a published book:
Place the cover of your book (this can be a huge deciding factor for consumers who are deciding to buy or not). Add the release date, the ISBN, the publisher, the price, formats and a purchase link. Also, add a blurb and an excerpt of the book.
You can also add book or author reviews you received, the full front and back cover, or anything else to help sell your book.
About the Author Page
Sometimes readers would like to know a little more about the author--aka--the website owner. Here, you can list a few relevant facts about yourself. Mention your accomplishments, awards, schools, or acknowledgments you received that pertains to your writing. Also, post a current picture of yourself because most people will recognize your face better than your words.
If published, mention your publishers, how long you have been published, the awards you received, the acknowledgments, your latest writing achievement, etc.
Not published? Talk about when you began writing, what you enjoy writing about, when you plan on publishing, why you want to publish, what schools, courses or classes you took to assist your writing skills or your favorite books and authors.
Talk about yourself but relate it to your writing because this is why you have visitors, they are interested in your work.
Visitors may want to know how to get in touch with you. Maybe they have questions or suggestion or maybe they just want to comment on your book or send you fan mail. Therefore, the contact page is where you tell them how to reach you.
Include an email address, your P.O. Box address and how often you check these addresses. Make sure they know who will respond and how soon they will respond. You can also include an email form or an email-me form which allows visitors to send their message directly from your website. If you choose to have an email form, use one with CAPTCHA to prevent spam from spam bots.
What is CAPTCHA?
CAPTCHA is a security test to determine whether the user is human. It ensures that only human visitors can submit the form, and not spamming bots that are browsing the web from site to site to submit spam where they can.
A good free email form can be found here: Email Me Form. It allows you to add/delete/edit the form to your liking and add the HTML to your website. It is simple, customizable and easy to use, and it provides CAPTCHA.
Events Page or Blog
Here, on your website, is where you can mention your upcoming releases, your current projects, and their progress. Avid readers especially want to know when your next book is coming out and this is where they can find that information. In addition, if you have a book signing tour you can list your tour dates here. You can also list events that you are holding, contests, special offers, or basic news about you and your releases.
A blog is important too. This is how you can provide useful and current content to your site. Your blog is where your visitors can post their comments and how you can attract traffic to your website. People who search a specific topic or use certain keywords during a search will be lead to your site or suggested by search engines. (More on website traffic coming soon)
A website is a definite must-have for every author. You must have an online presence to help sell your books and you must have a home on the Net to display your writing. It is nearly essential to your career. Now I must take my own advice and update my author website. I hope you find this useful.
Leslie Lee Sanders
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