Five Essentials of An Author Website
Since I wrote the last article on Author Websites, many authors have written me and asked the question, ‘What Are The Essentials of An Author Website?’ So, today, I’m going to answer that question to the best of my ability.
- Think About the future of your website
Think ‘Big’ and act like you’re already famous. I can’t remember who said this, but the idea stuck in my head. I know, as a new author, you may be on a limited budget, but think about the future. Do not limit the design. I suggest getting a website with yourauthorname.com or if someone has your domain name, get yourauthorname.net (like I did).
You can also use a free domain, such as yourname.wordpress.com. Or use a free website, such as wix.com
I suggest that most writers do as I did and do it right from the beginning by hiring a web designer and put your best foot forward. Remember, you only get one first impression. I advise you to have one page done right and you can expand it later, once you start selling books. Brand yourself and make your website and blog look alike, so readers can recognize you. All of this means something to the reader—you look consistent and you look professional.
- Your Book Cover is Extremely Important
Make sure your book cover is done by a professional graphic designer. Do not try to do it yourself, unless you are a graphic designer. The cover will define your brand as an author. It will be the primary visual brand for your readers to identify you. You must put your professional foot forward. Do not ask your niece, nephew or grandson to design it. Pay hard-earned money to have your book cover designed. There is no exception to this rule!
- Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Today, most people use their phone to google an author, then they check out your website on their laptop. A few readers may even use their PC, but be prepared and make sure that your website looks good on any of their devices. Check mine out. This isn’t hard to do for a professional web designer, and they can do it fast. So, once again, get it done right!
- Your Author Website is not a Catch-all
Your website should target only readers of your books. Do not mix your passion for crocheting with your books. Get a separate website for your crocheting. So, your author website needs to remain true to your goal—your books and nothing else.
The only exception to this is if you write in two very different genres, such as Mystery/Thriller and Romance, or if you write under two different pen names, then you will need two separate websites. Of course, you can always provide a link between the two websites. Keep your author website just that—an author website—preferably for one genre.
- Your Author Website is there to Connect with Your Readers
This author website says it all.
The main purpose of your Author Website is to connect with your Reader Fans. Do I need to repeat that? The main purpose of your Author Website is to connect with your Reader Fans.
First and foremost, your Reader Fans need a way to contact you. I have my email address pasted all over my website and my blog. You can easily contact me with my easy author email address. AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com Do not use cute email addresses, such as. Pookie52190@yahoo.com or Twinkletoes15@hotmail.com. Your readers are not going to remember the cute email address. Personally, my pet peeve is a website where I send the author an email, never knowing whether they will answer it in the next 90 days or not. I suggest using an email address that the Reader Fan can easily contact you. Use one that you will check at least every 2 days. You can always say that you are in the middle of a big re-write and will get back to them in one week, but do so. Remember, your readers are your bread and butter. Treat them like family (or better!).
Second, you need to be able to contact your Reader Fans when you release your next book. You can contact them and tell about your New Book Launch. Better yet, you can send them a free or reduced price book and solicit book reviews on Book Launch Day. Most of the Reader Fans will buy your new book and those are easy sales that you made with just a few emails. You can sell hundreds of books this way. Plus, book sales and book reviews on Book Launch Day push you up on Amazon’s Bestseller List. This is a win-win situation.
And last, but not least, you don’t need to be a social media junkie to have a successful author website. Your author website can connect you to social media by having a link to your Facebook page and your Twitter page. You can make your website sharable to both Facebook and Twitter.
So, that’s my take on the five essentials of an Author website. Let me know what you think about the topic.
I Pay-it-Forward to Authors 365 Days a Year.
Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.
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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author. ~ Cheryl Holloway
Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :
AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net