Why You Want an Author Website

tl; dr Are you an author? Want to know how to use an author website? Consider an author website because it is the best way to market your book and connect with readers. 

How to build an author website

All authors need a blog or website to share information about writing, publishing, your books, and you! Sue Polinsky knows the teams that build author websites that drive visitors to your book. She’ll connect you to a top developer to talk over your author website.

An author website is where you post articles, interviews, book reviews, and book club resources. Make sure that your author website is optimized for search engines so that potential readers can find it quickly.

An Author Website Showcases Your Work

Your author website should showcase your work. This could be your latest book, a selection of your best blog posts, or a gallery of your published work. You can also include information about upcoming events and book signings.

Author Websites Tell Readers Who You Are

How to Build an Author Website: Domains

Get a domain for you and your books! Each book’s domain can be directed to the page on your author website about that book. Make sure the domain for the site includes your name. Look at these examples:

JoeSmith.com, JoeSmithOnline.com, JoeSmithAuthor.com, JoeSmithBooks.com

if your own name or pen name is not available, choose a domain that is easy to spell and uses a common word. 

There are new TLDs (like .com, .net, .org). One of these may fit your author website better. Note: newer TLDs can cost more.

  • .author
  • .reviews
  • .live
  • .news

A domain with your name makes it easy to find your site. A good domain helps readers find out more about you and your book. Author websites should Include a biography and author photo. You choose to promote either your name or pen name. Be sure to update your biography. You probably want to include a photo of yourself and/or a piece of artwork that represents who you are as an author.

Keep your author website updated with the latest news, blog posts, and events. This will keep readers informed about what you’re working on and connect them with you in a personal way.

Author Websites Make it Easy to Buy Your Books

How to Build an Author Website: Link to Your Books

Your author website should link to your books. If they are for sale at Amazon Kindle, grab the link and put a “buy now” button under a picture of the book cover on the home page of your author website. Buy a domain for each book title and point it to the book’s page on your author website.

Use your website to collect a mailing list. Offer freebies and discounts for readers who email their name and address to you. Your author website can use easy tools to connect people who give their email to a mailing list. There are both free and paid tools. Check Mailchimp for a free starter mailing list tool. 

Author Websites Interact with Reviewers

How to Build an Author Website: Talk to Your Reviewers

When readers take the time to review your book, you should interact with them. Reply to reviews and thank the reviewer. Avoid arguing and trolls.

Your author website should share snippets of your book’s content and reviews on your author website. Create a section for reviews of your book and link it from the main menu. Be sure to add a contact form or contact information so book clubs and bookstores can get in touch for appearances and book signings.

Promote Your Books

How to Build an Author Website: Get Your Book on Social Media

Until your book is published, you can promote it on social media. Share book excerpts, ask followers to tweet about your book, and post about your author website on your personal social media accounts. Your author website should have a social media section with links to your social media accounts. You can also use tools like Hootsuite to manage all your social media accounts in one place.

Book Club Resources

How to Build an Author Website: Provide Book Club Tools

Create a section on your author website for book club resources. This could include discussion questions, book club guides, and maybe an offer for you to make an appearance virtually, like on Zoom. You can also offer exclusive discounts to readers who join a book club through your author website.

Don’t forget about eBook formatting!

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