An author website is perhaps the most crucial marketing tool an author can have. It grants you a sense of professionalism and reliability, a sales platform, and a potential landing page to connect with your fans and establish long-term relationships. All of the most successful authors have one, and if you’d like to compete with them, so should you.
For computer-savvy writers, the best option for building a website is probably doing it yourself through WordPress. However, for those of us in need of a simpler, user-friendly website builder, Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace can help you put together a stellar website in no time.
Which Website Builder To Use: The Comparative Rundown
Pre-Made Author Website Templates
Personally, my favorite website design service is Wix (You can check out an example of an awesome, Wix-run website here). However, overall, each of these website-builders are high-quality and easy to use. If you’re having trouble deciding which one to go with, here are a few more things to consider:
- Weebly and Wix have a free option you can start with to see if they are right for you. Squarespace does not.
- Squarespace’s paid plan is more expensive.
- Wix comes with a unique Logo-design service.
- Wix has beautiful, pre-made templates for author websites, which can save you a lot of time! Simply choose your desired template and theme, then personalize the details.
Why Shouldn’t I Just Stick to the Free Version Forever?
While the free version can be a good start on Wix or Weebly, you’ll eventually want to upgrade for the following reasons:
1. You can’t use your own domain name in the free version.
That means, your website domain will be something along the lines of: “Authorname.wixsite.com/authorname” Instead of simply “Authorname.com.” Having your own domain looks a lot more professional, and makes it a lot easier for people to find your website.
2. The premium version contains a wide variety of tools.
If you’re going to be selling your book from your website, or even collecting email addresses and connecting with your audience, you’ll find that the added premium features are a must.
Now that we’ve covered where to make your website, let’s quickly discuss what should be included inside it:
The Anatomy Of An Author Website:
1) Home Page
- The Homepage is the most crucial part of your website, since the vast majority of web visitors leave after viewing the homepage. This is your chance to turn a curious reader into a life-long fan, so you need to give it all you’ve got.
- Before thinking up some good ideas, let’s discuss what NOT to do. Definitely don’t fill up the top of your homepage with words. If viewers wanted something to read, they’d be reading, but scrolling the internet. Put something gripping and exciting, then maybe a quote from your book or an enticing tagline. If you’ve got a good cover, now’s the time to show it off.
- Editorial reviews are also a good addition to the homepage and can help convince readers to become fans.
2) About the Author
This section should contain a short and sweet bio of who you are and what you represent, along with an author photo.
If you’d like to sell books from your website, here’s the place to do it. Show off your merchandise with eye-catching photos and raving reviews.
4) Contact Page
The best way to create long-lasting fans is to establish a relationship with them. Answering fan mail can go a long way!
This boring section is usually stashed away deep in the website where people won’t find it, unless they really look for it. It’s a legal necessity though if you’re going to be collecting emails, so make sure to get one.
6) Subscription Box
Give your fans the option to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, or be updated on new book events and releases. It can help you build a stronger launch team, gather reviews, and more.