Your website is one of the most effective tools at your disposal–especially for self-published authors, who are typically responsible for their own marketing. In one convenient location, readers can learn about you, find out about upcoming promotional events, and even buy your book(s).
Some author websites are simple, one-page sites, while others are large, multimedia affairs. Depending on your needs, both are fine; to make your site as effective as possible, however, AuthorHouse offers these ten tips:
An intuitive layout: make sure your information is laid out in way that is intuitive to a first-time visitor. Use labels for your links that are instantly understandable, so that readers don’t have to use trial and error to navigate the site.
Working links: check and double-check every link on your site to make sure it works, and that it takes the reader to the desired location. Test your links occasionally, especially after you’ve performed site changes and updates.
Your biography and author photo: Make sure to include an up-to-date biography of yourself, along with an author photo. This helps your readers identify with you as a real person, not just a name on a book spine.
A list of your books: List your books with a brief description of each, along with links to the books’ pages on Amazon and the AuthorHouse Bookstore.
Contact information: make sure to include a way that readers–AND potential agents or publishers–can contact you. If you’re reluctant to display your phone number, at least include an email address.
A blog: This is a great way to keep your readers informed about the progress of your latest work, as well as provide an insight into your writing process. Even just one update a week will keep readers returning to see what’s new on your site.
Your personal reading list: If a reader enjoys reading your books, she’s probably interested in what you like to read too. Provide a list of your all-time favorite books and authors, and/or a list of recent works you’ve enjoyed.
Links: Aside from links to your books in the bookstore(s), include a page with links to sites that are relevant to your writing (other authors’ websites, forums, useful research sites, etc.)
Schedule of upcoming appearances and events: Make sure to advertise book signings, readings, or other events on your website!