Take a moment to imagine...
Pretend you are a school, library, or a bookstore. You are looking for a local author to come speak and you have been given a local authors website. Upon opening the page, you find it jumbled and confusing. What’s worse, you find a broken link or just a social media page link.
What is wrong with a social media link?
Often what you, the author, are sharing on a Facebook page, doesn’t reflect the most important information you wish to share for specific purposes. A direct message may be easy enough to click on, but sometimes folks want information without directly contacting you. Is there a place that has your author visit rates, book information, shopping page, and other easily accessible information there?
How a dedicated author website can help you
Having your own author page, first and foremost, says you are a professional. You have a website and a real business in being an author. Separate pages on your website can easily direct viewers to the correct location easily. If they want to know about author visit rates, your website has a tab for that. If they want to know more about you, there is a bio or about tab. If they want to know how to contact you, again, the tab is at the top of your website to easily find you.
While looking at 100 author pages, I found that sadly, authors didn’t have an easy way to be contacted, even via a dedicated website. Some had contact forms which were buried or worse, none at all. How unfortunate to be passed over because that wasn’t provided.
A viewer will not spend more than ten seconds looking for your contact information before giving up. They will move on to another author. You can do all you can to keep this from happening to you.
So here are the basics of what to include on your website:
Contact Form: As stated before, you want this front and center, either on a tab at the top of your webpage or clearly visible for viewers to find. Contact forms are available with most webpage programs.
About You (Bio): Include this portion on your website. Visitors to your site want to know who you are, what credentials you have, and what you like to do.
Tell your viewer about your book. Share back stories, characters, inspirations, reviews, book trailers or even book readings. Include the ISBN, page count, binding (hardcover or softcover), and size if that will be pertinent to your visitors.
If you have a link to a shop, include a button that takes the viewer there easily. You could also include other bookstores, including local independent bookstores who carry your book.
Author Visits: This is a great place to list your author visit rates, presentation offerings, photos of past events, and links to contact you.
Reviews of your book or author visits: This could be a section to list industry awards, reviews, and even Amazon reviews via a link. If you have testimonials and endorsements from teachers, schools and bookstore owners, you could include them here!
Events: Feel free to include an event section on your website. You can share your upcoming bookstore and library visits here. You can also send an email to your website subscribers with upcoming dates. Sometimes an email reminder can be more effective than posting on social media.
Social Media: Add icons of social media that take viewers to your social media pages. There are also page runners that can be added which can show real-time posts from your social media. If you are active on social media, this can help people see what you are up to.
These are the basics and you can branch out from here. If you are an illustrator, adding a gallery of your work is a great idea. If you writing genre or theme connects to other topics of interest, you can add these things as they fit with your brand.
Have fun sharing about what you have done and keep the perspective of a first time viewer. A simple, easy-to-follow website will be most beneficial for your viewers.
Share with us how you have streamlined your website!