Friday, October 11, 2013

How to Build an Author Website

How to Build Your Author Website

Does your website have a good design with easy navigation? This is a must in today’s world in order to keep your viewers on your site. Uniformity and conformity help your viewers quickly discover what it is your all about without having to continuously search around your site for repetitive information. If you have a link to your books at the top of your home page, it should be in the same place on all consecutive pages.

Whether you choose to build your own site (I use Dreamweaver but you can use Wordpress software quite easily) or have it professionally built, you will need to acquire a domain name and host for the site. I use GoDaddy because I love the service I get whenever I call.

Feel free to check out my site for an example of setup.

Below are some things you may want to consider adding to your website:

• Home Page – this is the first page that people see when they log onto your site. This page should be used as an overview and not for details. It should consist of:

o An intro blurb about you and your books
o Links along the top or side of the page to all other pages of interest
o Remember to add visuals! Visuals are critical to hook viewers into wanting to see and know more. You should always try to put a professional photo of yourself and of your books.

Some links you may want to have in the design of your site are:

• Sign-up/mailing list – you should have somewhere for your viewers to be able to sign up for news and information, such as updates, next book, book signings, book launches, etc. Some people put this on their home page, and others choose to add it to their Contact Me page. I have it on both. I use MailChimp for my mailing list, but I hear great things about AWeber as well.

• A link to all of your books – you should have a page just for your books which also lets your viewers know the formats the books are available in as well as where they can purchase them.

o Once you have more than one book, you can break down this page even further by having links on this page to bring the viewer to a page per each book. This is recommended by many pro author site developers, as well as marketers.
o You can also create an Excerpts page where you provide an excerpt or a chapter or two to pique their curiosity and tempt them to purchase your book.

• Contact Page – this is where you let people know about where they can get in touch with you. Along with an email address, you would list your social platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and any other social networks you may be on.

• About Page or Bio Page – this is where you would get into the details about you. Try to keep this interesting and not sounding dull and boring. If you go on and on about all of the wonderful credentials you have, you risk losing the interest of the viewer. Credentials are great, don’t get me wrong, but you’re a writer, right? Present them in a creative and interesting way. No credentials? No worries. Again, you’re a writer, so be creative in the telling of your story and you’re sure to get their attention.

• Press Page or Media Page – here you would include your contact details as well as your representatives and photos, questions for interviews, press releases, radio interviews, and any other relevant information.

• Social Proof – this is a page you can use to flash great reviews from readers and fans, as well as blurbs from other authors.

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Have questions? Maybe I can help. Have advice, ideas, or anything to add to this discussion? Please leave a comment! :)

All my best for your writing success,

Dee Ann