independent author publishing-team

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Essential elements for your Author website

Your author website is a hub for your life as professional author.  It’s the place existing and new enthusiasts within your genre will “meet” you for the first time.  Your website invites readers into your secret world, so they become invested in your success.

Your author website is a central, permanent  hub (with QR code) that springboards to all your other media resources. It guides readers, publishers and to media to your books, your social media presence, videos, podcasts and interviews, bookstores where you are holding events—any time, anyone, everyone, everywhere!

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, an author website gives you a platform to own your voice and build reader engagement. Whether you are self-published or have an agent or publisher, taking control of your personal “brand” is the wise thing to do.

Objectives of an Author website

  • Feature your upcoming work and events (while still a “work in progress”)
  • Showcase and link to your past literary work
  • Promote your books and make it easy for readers to buy
  • Introduce you professionally to publishers and the media
  • Gather leads in order to keep prospective buyers updated without expensive ad campaigns
  • Draw in and redirect to social media, videos, podcasts and other med
  • Establish your authority on a topic or genre and excite new readers and
  • Engage with readers through storytelling, personal insights, and activities

The old adage is true – you only get one chance to make a first impression. Your website design, content and tone must clearly reflect your book or books. You have the same audience after all!

You are building up a readership before you have even finished writing your book!

What should you include on your author website?

When you start, your website will probably be a single page, but must be designed to grow and evolve as your book does. It will help you think through your audience and marketing, help you develop a “brand” as an author, gain credibility and build your confidence.

Here are ideas to spark your imagination, as you tailor the design and content of your author website to meet the specific needs and expectations of not just your readers, but also your publishing team, and the many organizations who will sell, distribute, fund and promote your books.

1. A list of published books

The most important section of your website – a comprehensive catalog of your work, showcasing all your published books.

  • Book covers for visual recognition. Create a visual mockup until your final cover design and printed book is available to be photographed.
  • Elevator pitch to build excitement, and perhaps test cover blurbs. This is brief synopsis with keywords for Google
  • Testimonials or reviews from a recognizable author.
  • Links to retailers so visitors can purchase from their preferred platform and you get credit
  • Audiobooks: links to where they can be purchased or downloaded.
  • Promotional materials: webinars, podcasts, videos, reviews…

2. Author Bio for credibility

Your bio page is where potential readers get to know the person behind the books.

  • Professional headshot
  • Personal background
  • Professional background
  • Writing journey: how you started, challenges faced, and milestones achieved.
  • Awards and recognition: Highlight any awards, recognitions, or notable accomplishments.
  • Professional email address using the name of your website.
  • Social media links: Provide links to your social media profiles.

Professional tip: When you share on social media, don’t share THEIR page, share a page from your website instead. In addition to the link to the podcast, you should provide context, note of a key point, perhaps tell a funny story about being on the podcast or TV show. Give your fans MORE!

This keeps your website dynamic and builds excitement around your upcoming release. It’s a place to showcase your personality and share insights.

  • Reflect on your topic. Give information that establishes your credibility.
  • Insider info: Behind-the-scenes looks at your work in progress.
  • Announcements: Updates on upcoming books, such as cover releases or pre-order availability.
  • Book recommendations: Reviews, lists of favourite books, and recommendations in your genre.
  • Contests: Host giveaways or contests for your newest book or upcoming release.
  • Podcasts: Links to past podcasts – keep them working for you!*
  • Interviews & Webinars: Links to past launches – keep them working for you! *
  • Publishing experiences: Share insights into your publishing process, such as finding a literary agent or self-publishing strategies.
  • Personal posts: Include personal content like recipes, travel photos, or musings.
  • Author tips: Provide writing and publishing tips for fellow authors.

4. Engage with fans – lead magnet ideas!

Keep your potential readers engaged and informed.

  • Signup form: A simple, easy-to-find signup form for a regular newsletter.
  • Lead magnet: Offer an incentive for signing up, like a free chapter, short story, or a quiz to qualify readers who could be interested in your genre.
  • Quizzes: Develop quizzes related to your genre or book themes to engage visitors and qualify them as potential readers. For example, “Which Character from [Your Book] Are You?” or “What Type of [Genre] Reader Are You?”
  • Interactive surveys: Create surveys to get feedback from readers. For example, provide a character outline, and then ask readers what they believe this character would do in a specific situation. This draws readers into the story. Follow up with a blog post discussing what you eventually selected and why. This is safer than general feedback, as you don’t want someone claiming idea theft.
  • Regular updates: Send out regular newsletters with updates, exclusive content, and special offers.

5. Events Calendar

Keep your readers informed about where they can meet you in person or online.

  • Upcoming events: List all upcoming events with details like date, time, and location.
  • Event types: Include book readings and signings, speaking engagements, panels or conferences, workshops, live broadcast interviews, and any other media coverage.
  • RSVP links: Include links to RSVP or buy tickets if applicable.
  • Past events: Archive past events to show your activity and engagement.

6. Media Kit

A media kit makes it easy for journalists and bloggers to feature you.

  • Press releases: Include recent press releases about your books or achievements.
  • High-resolution photos: Provide downloadable high-res photos of yourself and your book covers.
  • Sample Q&A: Offer a list of potential interview questions and answers.
  • Contact unformation: Ensure your contact information is easily accessible.

7. Book trailers or videos

Videos can be a powerful tool to engage visitors.

  • Book trailers: Create and showcase trailers for your books.
  • Author interviews: Include video interviews or talks you’ve given.
  • Behind-the-scenes: Share behind-the-scenes content about your writing process or book creation.

8. Reader resources

Offer additional content to enhance your readers’ experience.

  • Discussion guides: Provide discussion guides for book clubs.
  • Bonus content: Share deleted scenes, alternate endings, or short stories.
  • Merchandise: If applicable, sell branded merchandise related to your books.
  • Galleries: Include photo galleries from events, book cover art, or illustrations related to your books.

By incorporating some of these elements, your author website will soon be a central hub for your online activity: learning about and connecting with your audience, boosting your own writing productivity and ideas and offering easy access to your marketing and literary resources.

Authors & aspiring authors…

Your book deserves a platform that captivates and converts readers into loyal fans.  We combine 20 years of strategic marketing experience, with specialist expertise in professional web design.

We will craft a unique, visually stunning and strategically designed website, that not only showcases your books but also CONNECTS you with your potential readers through engagement. This will enhance your reach and boost your sales once your book is ready.

Ready to get started? Reach out to me today and let’s chat about how we can build a website that’s as incredible as your writing. I can’t wait to help you publish online!

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