Author Websites - Design Considerations and Requirements - article

A great way to get your work noticed is through an author website. Looking at an author's website can give readers, publishers, interviewers and the rest of the writing community a chance to see what your work is about and what you are about as a writer. You now have a website, whether it is a free site or one with your own domain name. There are a few things that are essential for your author website that will help people have a good experience when they visit your site.
There are some important pages you should have on your website: a page listing your writing credits, including any books you have published, a bio page that tells about you, a contact page and any additional pages that show off certain books, reviews or interviews with links. In these pages, readers and others will get a better chance to look at you and your writing, hence helping you to promote your work.
In having a website, you should keep it updated as new things occur; making sure pages are as current as possible. An easy way to keep your readers updated on things coming up is to have a blog. For example, if you have a book signing, you can list it on the blog that people can link to off your website’s main page (called the home page).
Another important thing you need to have on a website is a way for people to contact you. This can be either by posting your email address on the website or by creating a “contact” form visitors can complete. That form is then sent to the email address of your choice. Forms are normally the better choice as they prevent spam.
Last, make sure your website reflects you. It should highlight your background, expertise, and communication and writing style. It’s also good to include a visual aspect so the site isn’t all text based content. You can do this with fancy flash animations on your site, but most of the time simple is the way to go. Add pictures from your book events, include the cover image of your book, and so forth.
The most important thing you need on your website is a way for people to buy your book. “Shopping Cart” technology is used to support ecommerce (a sales transaction) online. If you use a website hosting service that offers do-it-yourself design templates, this is usually an included option. If you pay someone to design your website, it should definitely be something you purchase. The whole reason to have a website is so that people can come there to learn about you and your books… and then do something with that information. This might mean they request an interview, find your next event, or comment on a blog post. Or… it might mean they do what you really want them to do… they buy your book.

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