The Importance of Writer Websites: What You Should Include
By Tyler Anne Snell
I won’t sit here and pretend I have the most amazing author website in the land of the internet. Sure, I’m fond of what I have and spent a good few days getting the details finalized, but there are still some things I’d like to improve. Then again, like writing a book, there’s always something I feel needs to be changed. Maybe it’s just our creative pursuit for perfection popping its head up again?
But, I digress.
For those of you who don’t know me, let me give you a quick background of why I’m passionate about writer and author websites. Basically, I absolutely love reading. It is my vice, my addiction, and the biggest reason my paychecks deplete after each month. So, in summation, I read a lot and often. Which also means I visit a lot of authors’ sites. I look for their bios, blogs, social media, and what else they’ve written. All in an excited search for my next White Whale.
Let me tell you, it’s a smorgasbord of madness out there in writer website land.
So for those of you who have books out, or maybe just a WIP, let me tell you what (most) every reader looks for and wants in your site.
To me, this is one of the most important aspects of a writer’s site. Whether it’s you posting about the most recent news for your book or you talking about how frustrating it is to push through writer’s block, having a dedicated space for your thoughts is a must. It helps your fans see a very personal part of you, which can make them more invested in your future success.
If you don’t think you have the time to keep up a blog, make time. Once a month is better than never.
This should be a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how many people DON’T dedicate a page to their works. It shouldn’t be a struggle for readers to find a list (with pictures of their covers, please) of what you’ve published with purchase links or are currently working on. Make a page and put that link in your top and bottom navigation. Also, go that extra step to make it easier on readers and put your most current book on the homepage with its purchase link.
Be funny, be serious, be interesting. Dedicate a page to tell your fans (current and future) about the person behind the books. Whether you want a long run-down of who you are and how you got started or a short paragraph about yourself, make sure you craft something you can be proud to direct people towards. Include a picture too!
One of the first things I do when I’m looking at a new author is pull up their Facebook and Twitter accounts. There’s nothing like that feeling of connection when you get personal updates from an author. So make sure you clearly showcase links to your social media on your site.
This page doesn’t have to be insanely glamorous. I’ve seen a lot of sites that just have two sentences that list off email addresses and social media links or just a form that’s built into the site. Either way, make sure you have a place that people can contact you. Plus, you never know when the fan mail will start rolling in!
Graphics / Pictures
Whether it’s your book covers, book art, or graphics made for blog posts, make sure that your site isn’t TEXT ONLY. Pictures/graphics keep everything interesting and more aesthetically pleasing. No excuses!
You can always have more pages to help interest readers in your books but these are the absolute basics I believe every published and unpublished writer should have. In this day and age it’s safe to assume that the internet is a powerful force when it comes to new readership.
So, no excuses to not have these basics!