How to Build an Author Website
Building an author website is part of the preliminary steps of writing your book. If you feel you have the creative ability to outline and build a site of your own, WordPress makes it easy do. If you’re not so sure you have the expertise to build a visually enjoyable site, then seek out a pro.
Good design should go without saying, but I’m often surprised at how many websites come off looking amateurish. I suggest, if you choose to build your own website, that you first visit as many professional author sites as possible. Study the layout and design, what pages they have, how they advertise their books.
Here are six steps in building your website:
2. If using WordPress, install and select your theme.
3. Design your website.
4. Build your Pages.
5. Install the necessary or wanted Plugins.
6. Write your first post.
Keep in mind the following:
* Easy navigation – Try not to have too many pages; only relevant pages are necessary.
* Uniformity and conformity – this will help the viewer to quickly discover what it is you’re all about without having to search around for repetitive information.
Whether you choose to build your own site or have it professionally built, you will need to acquire a domain name and host for the site. As I said, I use GoDaddy as my host and my site is a WordPress site.
Below are some pages you may want to add 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 a brief overview and not for details. It should consist of:
– An intro blurb about you and your books
– Links along the top and/or side of the page to all other pages of interest
– Remember to add visuals! Visuals are critical to hook viewers into wanting to see and know more. You should always to have a professional photo of yourself and of your books.
* Sign-up/Mailing List Page – 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 Page per Book – I have separate pages for each of my books. You should have a page just for your books. Be sure to mention the formats that your books are available in as well as the links to where they can be purchased. I take it a step further by creating Excerpt pages for each of my book providing my viewers with an opportunity to sample read before they purchase.
*Contact Page – This is where you let people know about hwere 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 – Use this page to provide details about yourself. Try to keep this interesting and not sounding dull or 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 yet? 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 Page – This is a page you can use to flash great reviews from readers and fans, as well as blurbs from other authors.
Don’t forget to join my mailing list for the latest information. Get a sneak peek into new releases, cover reveals, special “list members only” contests and giveaways for things such as a Kindle Fire HD, B&N Nook, or Amazon gift cards. From time to time, I also offer my list members free Authorgraphed copies of my eBooks and autographed copies of paperbacks.
I wish you all the best with your scriblings.