An Author website is a dynamic organism.
It is not enough for it to exist – it must perform and respond towards achieving your Book’s goals.
It has to work from day one but also evolve with the writer. It also has to act as the central node for all online presence and also act as the guiding star for offline positioning. This exact nature and multitude of functions are what makes author website a challenge for most writers.
As a publishing agency, we have helped writers from diverse industries and genres to establish and profit from author websites.
Here we share our insights into building a high- impact author website which will support you throughout your journey as a writer.
Benefits of An Author Website
Having an author website is a critical tool in building your identity as an author. Here are 10 benefits of author website for your book and for your image as a writer-
- Showcase yourself as a professional – Your author website is the proof to the readers that you are seriously invested in your book and care about its impact on the readers. This is also your opportunity to establish credentials regarding your qualifications and experience making your book authentic.
- Powerful owned media – Your author website ensures that the content is under your direct control. This gives you an amazing opportunity to control the image of yourself as an author and that of the book. This control also helps you in ensuring tailor-made content for your exact target audience.
- Engage with your readers – Author website provides a valuable opening for meaningful engagement with your audience. The direct and consistent interactions promote a sense of familiarity which will go a long way in building an emotional connection with your readers.
- Build your own mailing list – Email communication is your opportunity to connect directly with your readers. It will help to keep the readers interested in consistent contact. Your mailing list is also your golden opportunity for building a ‘ready to buy’ audience for your future books or even diversified business endeavors.
- Provide info to the media – Your author website provides access to updated and custom made information about your book and yourself as an author to the media. Dedicated media kits with images of book covers, your pictures, blurbs, bio etc ensures that writers across online and offline media are more likely to feature you.
- Additional value – When you provide original and actionable content on a regular basis it helps visitors in tangible ways. This not only opens you up to new readers but also cements the loyalty of old ones.
- Persuade the audience – Author website gives you the opening to build the confidence of the reader in the value and worthiness of your book. So that the time and money they invest in the book seems worthwhile right from the beginning.
- Visibility – Publishers, readers, media personnel they all consider your website as a reliable resource for information. So, an authentic and high-quality website creates a high degree of visibility. You will also be able to control exactly what they all see when they google your book, putting you at an additional advantage.
- A personal dashboard – Your website is the one stop shop for readers to find all things about you. For you also, you can have all the info about your book and readers ready to be acted upon in one place.
- Improve the social media impact – Your author website will act as the central node that directs traffic to and from social media. Also instead of constantly adapting your content to diverse social media, you can let your website be the consistent voice that represents you.
Why get a professional onboard?
When it comes to author websites, hiring a high-end web designer is no guarantee of success. Website design is just the skeleton, the content is what gives it meat and life.
As such, hiring an experienced professional from publishing agency who knows the design trends, your audience and objectives of your book will help you in designing a truly effective website.
While designing your website, engaging a professional exclusively for that purpose will be costly and also result in lack of cohesiveness. Instead, engage a publishing agency who can take care of end to end website services – right from design and content to traffic. At The Books Factory, we consider an author website as the cornerstone of online presence and make it a point to offer it across all our service options.
Components of a good Author Website
As the owned media, your author website can be as exhaustive or as limited as you wish. Your industry, trends, market demands, personal preferences they all play a crucial role in deciding the presence and ratio of components of your author website.
The Books Factory has come up with the following comprehensive guide on author website components so that you are aware of your choices in building a powerful website –
This is the most important component as it is akin to your book cover and goes a long way in making a strong first impression and retaining the interest of the visitor. The purpose of the homepage is to clearly establish the type of author you are and the genre of your book. Here are the 5 basic components of a homepage or a landing page –
- Header– Your website header should contain your name your tagline and a professional headshot. This I was appointed header should appear on every page establishing consistency and instant recognition.
- Book cover – As the purpose of your website is to establish your credentials as a writer, your landing page should prominently display the cover of your latest book or a collage of all your book covers. For your latest book, it will be best if you make it a clickable link that takes the reader to your book’s info page.
- Super Brief Description – Include a concise and precise description of your credentials and endorsements.
- Social Proof – Display quotes or recommendations from a prominent review regarding your specific book or your talents as a writer.
- Call to Action – Keeping your call to action as a pop-up will help you keep the website decluttered and also draw the attention of the visitor.
2. About Page
The about page on your website is crucial for establishing your image as a writer, assure the reader of your credentials and authority, and highlight your achievements.
Your about page should contain a professional bio (150 to 300 words) and a professional headshot. Your bio should be written in the third person and should be appropriate for introducing you to events or book readings.
Each one of your books should have its own profile page with the following info –
- Book title, subtitle, and genre.
- Book Cover Images – Clear mages but not very high resolution which will negatively affect website speed.
- Book Description – Include both brief (25 to 100 words) and long (200 to 300 words) descriptions of your book.
- Buy buttons – Add links to all major online retailers that carry your book prompting the readers to make an instant purchase.
- Sample or extract – Either as a clickable link or downloadable pdf for the visitors to get a sense of your book.
- Blurbs and reviews – Share the blurbs and praise from your book cover. Also, add positive reviews and recommendations from influencers.
4.Links to Press Attention
This section will establish your presence and credibility in the trusted mass media. It should include –
- Links to interviews and articles in digital magazines.
- Links to appearances on audio or video mediums.
- Scans of print magazines where you/your book is featured.
- Links to guest blogs written by you.
5.Social Media Integration
As mentioned above, your website should take the lead in setting the voice and image of your book across diverse social media. Provide links to all your public social media platforms wherein you are open to interacting with the readers. In all your original content like blogs or extracts, embed the social bookmarking of ‘share on facebook’ or ‘share on Twitter’ to make your content visible.
6. Media Kit
Your media kit is an excellent opportunity for you to control and direct the narrative on mass media – both online and offline. Your media kit should include –
- Press releases
- Author bios of varied lengths and speaker introductions
- Book synopsis
- Contact information
- Social media and video links
A ready contact form helps the readers to send you messages without moving away from the page. This also will help you develop the email list of your readers.
You should also include the contact details of yourself or your publisher with whom the visitors can connect with for speaking engagements or events etc.
Pop-ups are a surefire way to persuade the visitors to immediate action – whether it is subscribing to your email list or buying your book.Your pop-ups could share purchase links to your latest book or email newsletter signups or direct the visitor to specific sections of your website.
Ensure that you position them strategically so that they do not annoy the reader but still are visible prominently throughout the website.
Your readers need regular incentives for consistently visiting your website and to stay in touch with you. This is best done with original content is shared at regular intervals and adds value to the reader. Integrating a blog into your author website is the best strategy to drive both traffic and engagement on your website.
10. Author Schedule
Sharing an updated schedule of your speaking engagements, book signings, media appearances etc will create opportunities for real-life connections with your readers.
Call for Action
Creating an author website that meets the demands of both design and functionality is a true challenge. But, with the right professional help you can build an author website that establishes credibility, promotes your book and builds a loyal audience base for your brand as an author.
To know more about how you can build an author website that grabs and retains the attention of the reader, schedule a free 30-minute strategy call with The Books Factory by Clicking Here.