As a modern day author, you will need a website for your book to be taken seriously. A good author website is no longer just a portfolio of your work. It’s the hub for all your marketing efforts: building an audience, connecting with influencers, and selling books to potential readers worldwide.
Websites have become staples for many people looking to find the latest in business news, entertainment, or even finding out more about their favorite authors. The non-fiction gurus know this and capitalize on the many opportunities it affords them. Here’s the catch though, currently, you may have to be more creative than the traditional website to stand out. Though the functional elements will always be necessary, the modern website that sells adds flair to capture attention. So, it will be different from what you’re used to seeing now (and we’ll get into why in a minute).
You will need to arm yourself with the following five elements that make up a successful author website today.
1. A blog
A blog or newsletter is a way to publish content on your site and keep subscribers updated on new posts. Keep your website up-to-date. Information is indeed the currency of the internet. And your readers will want not only to buy your book but also to get helpful information.
A great site will be a central location for author news, author interviews, and other author-related content. Don’t forget newsletter signup as a lead magnet to get people’s emails so you can send them information about new releases or tips, guides, and freebies.
Pro Tip: Email marketing helps build a loyal relationship with your readers.
2. A Revamped Author Bio
A bio or about page is a functional element but what is different is the presentation. The modern about page should provide a brief overview of who you are as an author and your background.
It helps your potential readers find out more about you as a person. Make it interesting, informative, and easy for your reader to digest in one page. It’s also about building credibility; include where you appear, awards won, recognitions by notable organizations, etc.
Pro Tip: put your book front and center on your homepage to reinforce your profile. You want readers to tell immediately they visit your website that you are an author.
3. Samples and Reviews
Add samples from the first few pages of the book and reviews from respected sources.
Take readers into the world of your book by teasing a few chapter samples. You want to make sure they get a feel for your author’s voice and style.
Think of it as the hook for your book.
Include some reviews of your book by respected sources such as Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, or Amazon. A word of caution. Avoid posting too many quotes from one review. If you have reviews by more than one respected source, you’ll want to include those quotes here. You can follow the discussions on the book group for all things authors to learn more on how to get your book reviewed by credible outlets.
4. A Social Media Feed
The author’s website in 2021 is where you can engage with your audience using timely social posts to increase brand awareness. Moreover, it is the space that allows current followers to stay up-to-date on all things authored. It will do well to integrate social links to your website.
Looking for website creation help? Get a professional non-fiction author’s website and increase opportunities with the Lead Nicely website package. Many of their packages are inclusive and startup-friendly, therefore ideal for new authors who can’t afford to spend tons on marketing yet.
5. Website Design and Branding
A website is a reflection of your brand, and you should design with that in mind. You must be specific with the book’s voice, tone, style and make it consistent with your website. In 2021, this also means using material design principles to create interface designs optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.
The best author website is a representation of yourself- style and voice.
On design, make sure to use white space effectively. You don’t want to have a website that looks like a textbook.
Pro Tip: You may want to stuff every blank space with words but don’t. A perfect balance of white space with content ensures visitors see exactly what you want them to.
You have put a lot of time and effort into your book. It would be such a shame not to get the sales you deserve for all that hard work! The key is to invest in website marketing resources from day one to build an optimized site with features like blog content that will keep readers coming back for more.
We recommend these five elements as must-haves when designing your website-a responsive design, iconic bio, chapter samples, social media integration, and blogging.
Even if you already have a website, it’s always good practice to ask professionals about optimization. To find out how we can help optimize yours, contact us here.