The easiest way for a fan to check out an author is by hitting the Google and seeking their website. And when I receive a book review request through email from an Indie author, I do the same. I seldom accept a request without trying to know a bit more about the book and the author.
There are very few requests that come with a sample chapter making it hard to guess how their writing style would be and if I will enjoy it. Also the author website has now become a sort of home base or platform for all the internet activities. Thus my visit to the author website becomes inevitable.
The stronger the message your website sends the more interested and hooked your readers would be. But again, not every author can have a dedicated blog that is updated regularly, as much as we readers would like it. They may not have the time or even just not their cup of tea.
Must have elements on your author website
But it is vital that every author website should have the minimum elements to make a lasting impact on your readers. Let us discuss some of them, alright?
1) An easy to use design.
It goes without saying that any website, be it an author’s or otherwise, has to have a clean and attractive look. It doesn’t matter what platform, whether it is self hosted, or even if it has regular updates.
It could be just a static website with a minimal look and it would still work.
2) Show us who you are.
In an author website, YOU are the product. YOU are the brand and the product. Any visitor who arrives at your website or blog is there to know about you and then your books. So make your ‘About me‘ page as interesting as possible.
I personally love funny, quirky information about the authors but it could be direct and professional as well. Include your social media accounts along with your accolades and other places where we can find your writing, if any.
3) Tell us about your book(s).
An author website acts a sales funnel to your books, so they need to be positioned prominently. The page can contain testimonials from other magazines or reviewers.
When I receive a mail from an independent author that I have never heard of I definitely check out their other books and try to see if it matches my taste. So I usually land up on this page right after reading the about me page.
Some authors leave an excerpt as a freebie for the fans and followers on their website.
4) Keep us updated.
A website or blog can be treated as your own bulletin board and you can make your visitors ‘in’ on the news. Some of the updates that you can share are:
- You can share the first hand news about your book releases, cover reveal etc.
- You can talk about your work in progress.
- Another great way to keep your readers updated by posting your book signings and tours, virtually or in real life.
- Some authors call out for early reviewers through their websites.
You can even ask your readers to sign up for more updates. Of course, no one likes spam, so make sure you do not send them too many mailers.
5) How to reach you?
Do not forget to leave the contact information on your blog.
Nothing frustrates a reader or blogger than searching for a contact information especially when they want to leave a feedback.
You can leave a secondary mail id, so that you won’t have to worry too much about the spam and dodgy requests.
You can also add a press or media kit that is available for download. You will never know when it will turn out to be useful. Some of the information that you can include in the kit are:
- Basic bio data
- Professional head shot
- Book cover image in good quality
- Relevant information about the book like synopsis
- An Excerpt
- Testimonials, if any
I have come to know many bloggers who have turned to authors, and be successful at that. And it may not come as a surprise that from the point of view of booksellers and publishers they have a platform established with a sizable number of following, which means selling more books and better outreach.
If you are an independent author who is looking to be traditionally published, or even if not, an author website has become a bare minimum. Do you have these elements in your website?
What are those things that you look for in an author’s website? Did I leave any of the things that are important to you in an author’s website? Let us chat.