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A Writer’s Must-Haves: An Author Website

Updated on September 29, 2009

 

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

The Web
The Web

Home page

 

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.)

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.

Contact page

 

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.

Email Form.

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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    • profile image

      Fehmettin 

      3 years ago

      hi there, i am thinking about hanvig some boudoir pictures taken for my husband- for our anniversary in october. could you tell me more about pricing packages and if you do them in a studio or in my home?thanks so much!

    • Lydia Jones profile image

      Lydia Jones 

      6 years ago from U.K.

      Good advice. Wish I'd have had access to something like this before setting up my own website www.lydiajones.co.uk.

      Great of you to share. :)

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      8 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Leslie, thanks for another useful post.

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 

      9 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      ...hopefully i can try this in the future! thank you very much ma'am for the idea on what to do! :)..

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Always great information. I'll bear that in mind.

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      9 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for only including novel writing tips and info, but most of my hubs are aimed at aspiring novelists or fiction writers. But you have a good tip as well, Hub Llama. Thank you!

    • Hub Llama profile image

      Hub Llama 

      9 years ago from Denver, CO

      Nice article. I'll whine a little about supporting the stereotype that "writer" means someone who writes books, specifically novels. Otherwise, good tips. For non-novel writers, or for those who ALSO write other things, a writing samples page can go a long way toward helping get other writing gigs. At the risk of seeming too promotional, as an example, mine is here: http://www.arcticllama.com/samples.htm

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      9 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      I think it's never too soon or too late to have an author website. Start getting your name out there! Start branding yourself!

    • profile image

      Crazdwriter 

      9 years ago

      A great informative hub. I still need to do all of this but they said at the conference that you should at least have a story completed before you start this. I have 2 short stories done, does that count? :-)

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      9 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Thanks, I know how it is. Too many hubs to get to. And I really like my new picture too ;)

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 

      9 years ago from Savannah GA.

      You go girl! Great job on the article! I have been so caught up in doing research for my own sites, I have not taken the time to read many hubs..I will take your Suggestions and start working on some of these things right away! By the way, I really like you new picture!

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      9 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Thanks, Gus. I will do that but I need to update my website with the tips I suggested. I have two websites, my author website and my Three's a Crowd story website (for adults only). Naturally, one gets more attention than the other. But if you want to see what I have so far: www.leslieleesanders.com should so it. Thanks again.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      9 years ago from USA

      Good Morning, Leslie Lee...

      Nice Article. If you edit in the URL for your own Web site (easy to do here on Hubpages) we could take a look at what you have done with your Web pages in amplification of your words alone. That is not a criticism - just a suggestion. Have fun today. Gus

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      9 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Thanks, Veronica, I thrive on detail. Bookmark away, Duchess. Brenda, it's never too late to update your site, right? Thank you all for your comments.

    • profile image

      \Brenda Scully 

      9 years ago

      good information..... have none of those pages oops

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      9 years ago

      Great information. Thank you, I will bookmark this one

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Your hubs are very informative! I really appreciate the detail you put in them.

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      9 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Very welcomed. You bet.

    • profile image

      pgrundy 

      9 years ago

      I'm working on one right now! Great hub, thanks. :)

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 

      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      And excellent and informative article. Thanks.

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