By Ben Cameron, Dec 15 2016 08:47AM
Author websites are an essential tool for any writer. A great website will help you to be discovered
by readers, the media, publishers and other potential partners in the book world. To really be
effective a website needs to be shiny (appealing both in terms of design and upfront content) and it
needs to be sticky (interesting enough to retain viewers). In other words, attract your audience and
keep them there!
Look at Me!
Just as you would not put your book out into the world with an unattractive cover, your website
needs to look great as well. A professional designer is highly recommended – it is their job to create
something for you that is visually pleasing and unique. You can do it yourself using a template on
one of several popular website creation sites, but you will sacrifice the uniqueness of your site’s look
and invariably end up with something that is more generic than you would otherwise have.
But being shiny isn’t all about colour and images, it is also about having your best content up-front.
Give readers what they want to know about you straight away. For example, have a look at the
Cameron Publicity and Marketing front page here
What I want people to see immediately is:
● What we do (the tag-line near the top and the information on our services)
● That we are respected (the testimonial quotes in the video, organisation membership logos
and book covers showing that we have worked with a lot of authors)
● That you can easily get in touch with us (all kinds of contact details at the top including social
● That you can find out more (mailing list sign-up box and menu with clear options)
Take a step back from your work and think about your strenghts. What would attact your target reader?
Don't be shy about making it clear that you have what they are looking for!
It is not enough just to get viewers to your site. For it to be as effective as possible you need to keep
them there for long enough for them to really understand what you write, why and what makes you
different from everyone else (your USP – Unique Selling Point).
Most author websites have a pretty standard array of pages that can be accessed from a central
menu - options such as “about the books”, “about the author”, “news and events” and contact
details. The fact that these are standard doesn’t mean that you should avoid them. On the contrary,
they are typical because they are what readers most want to know about and would expect to see.
Give the reader as much information as you can for free to really get them interested in your writing.
Sample chapters of your book(s) can get them hooked and many authors even give away a free
book, an idea that works particularly well if you have a series. If you add a blog you can offer your
readers insight into the location, characters, subject or inspiration behind your book(s). Video
content is particularly powerful so if you have a trailer, a montage or a clip of an author interview be
sure to include them. Even if you don’t have any of those yet you can have them made more easily
and quickly than you think.
Author websites are essential and serve a real-world purpose – to help readers, publishers and the
media to find out about you and you books. With your website you are trying to sell something but
you are also thinking long-term. In other words, you want people to know about your latest book
but, more importantly, you want people to find out who you are as an author and to read all of the
books that you have written so far and will write in the future.
Good luck and do get in touch if you would like to know more about our website design services.
Comments or questions? Leave comments here or you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org,
Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity