9 Important Elements of an Author’s Website

As the creative possibilities of online technology continue to evolve, promoting yourself as a writer has never been easier! No longer just a fancy, static, online business card, a website is an author’s home base, a marketing and networking hub and a portal that allows communication to flow between authors and their readers.

In today’s market, it is a huge drawback and a valuable promotional opportunity missed if your readers can’t easily locate you with a few quick key strokes. Once you get your website started, you’ll be one step closer to getting your name and your work out there. But in order for your website to be a success, there are 10 elements that should be included.

1. About
The people who visit your website will want to know everything about you! It is up to you to consider how much personal information you would like published online, but there are some key components that should be included.

• Biographical information
• Major accomplishments
• Present status (residence/profession)
• Professional headshot

2. Email Sign-up
This is where fans of your books will sign up for the latest updates from you as an author, giving you direct access to readers for the launch of your new books. Make it easy with an email sign-up form. Mailchimp is by far the most user-friendly and is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Be sure your sign-up link is in a prominent, easy-to-access location on your site, such as the top righthand corner.

3. Books
Your book should be visible on your homepage, but a dedicated book page will allow you to showcase your book in greater detail. Depending on how many books you have written, you may want to create separate pages for each book. Each book page should include:

• The title of the book
• The cover of the book
• A description of the book
• Testimonials from readers
• Quotes from the book
• A link to purchase the book

4. Purchase Links
Ensuring that your book is available on your website is very important. It should be easy to buy your book with one click if the customer is interested. After all, if you want to sell your work, it needs to be readily accessible. Readers should be able to buy a print copy or an eBook without any hassle.

5. Social Media Links
You want your readers to connect with you in every way that they can. The more you are in front of them, the more likely they are to buy your next book. Be sure to provide links to all of the social networks you are on: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, etc. Because each person likes to use a different social network, make sure you are on the various social networks so that readers can connect with you how they want. Plus, these social networks are a great way to drive people to your website.

6. Reviews/Testimonials
Reviews are crucial to build trust and show readers that your book is worth reading. Social proof, testimonials, and positive quotes from fans and reviewers can go a long way in increasing your credibility and authority with visitors to your author website.

Place real, short, and powerful testimonials on your site. Include positive reviews, quotes from fan mail, notable media coverage. If you have a significant following on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and so on, note this as well.

7. Contact Button
Make it easy for your readers, the media, and potential customers and clients to get in touch with you.
Adding a contact form to your website is the best way to manage email inquiries. If appropriate, add your agent or publicist’s contact info as well—or anyone who might handle communication or requests on your behalf.

8. Blog
Websites with blogs get 55% more traffic than websites with no blog. As well, having a blog creates fresh, additional pages of content, which is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A blog is the easiest way to generate consistent traffic. Much of the information on your author website will remain static for months at a time. Your blog gives you a place to consistently add new content to generate traffic.

9. Media Kit
The purpose of a press page or media kit is to easily provide the media, or anyone wishing to profile you, with the information they need to feature you. The contents of a press kit will vary, but here are some of the basics of what you should include.

• Basic author bio, including contact information
• Professional headshot
• Information about the book, including a sample review and sample chapters
• Press release
• Testimonials

Your author website is an essential marketing tool, so be sure you include these important elements. If readers have taken the time to find you, you want to reward them with an easily navigable, informative site.

Need assistance with your author website? Connect with our marketing team to start learning how we can assist with creating a professional website for you.