Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Building an Author's Website

Why an Author Needs a Website
As an author, it is very important for you to have your own website. It’s your connection with your readers as well as the press. As a matter of fact, a website is a necessity for today’s author. Think of it like your own platform. It’s one location where you are free to determine how much you want to advertise, entice your readers with exclusive deals and content, and you have the chance to make a real connection with your audience and make a lasting impression. If a blogger wants to schedule an interview with you they are likely going to look for your website to find your contact information. When authors do not have a website they can miss that essential connection with their readers, bloggers, or the press.

What elements should an author’s website contain?
There are several essential elements that should always be on an author’s website. You will need a short bio, which quickly informs readers of facts about you and your writing career. An author’s website should also contain information about your books. It also allows you to make use of social media integration and let your readers know where you are usually the most active online. Use social media share buttons makes it easy for readers to share your information directly from your site. You may also want to include a blog on your site or a link to your blog if it is off site. It is also important to include a way for visitors to subscribe to your blog or email newsletters. A website needs to be designed to share your information with readers and make it easy for them to connect with you. Always include your contact information, even if it is only an email address.

Important Things to Consider when Building an Author’s Website
Even though it is understood that having a website is essential for marketing purposes and for connecting with readers, it can still be difficult to figure out what details should be included. In one way, you can think about your website in the same way you develop your books. The medium is a little different, but the goal is still the same. You want to provide rich content that will enhance the reader’s experience and engage them with your material. The design and the content are the two essential elements that will provide visitors with a positive experience. But before you get that far, it’s important to determine the purpose of the site and the means by which you want to connect with your audience. Here are some things you will want to consider:

  • Your message – what do you want to share with your readers?
  • Your purpose – what do you want your website to encompass? Is it about you and your message? Do you want to focus on a community of readers and allow user comments? Do you want a site built solely around one book? Will it be a site that integrates your brand and promotes new books that you self-publish or sell through a traditional publisher?
  • Your goal – do you want the site to be your online business card or portfolio? Will you use it for publicity or promotion? Will it be a means of generating income? Do you want to build an audience for your next self-published book(s)? Or do you just want to collect feedback?
These are just a few of the questions that you will want to answer before you begin to create your site’s content and design. The features included on your site are what will be used to connect with your audience; therefore it is important to know what you want to achieve with your author’s site before you get started.