There are plenty of things to think about when making your author website, particularly the design, the focus, and what you want to use it for.
What is the primary focus of your website?
Is your website all about you or all about your book? There are a plenty of author websites out there that focus on either. Let’s have a look at a few to give you some clear examples:
Fiona McIntosh’s website is very clearly an author-focused website. The background of the site is an image of her and the first pieces of text that we get celebrate her as an author. To be able to see any of her books, you have to go to the Books page.
See Fiona McIntosh’s website: https://www.fionamcintosh.com/
On the other hand, Garth Nix’s author website is a book-focused one. When we click on his site, the focus is straightaway on his newest book series, what it is about, and where to get it. Unlike an author-focused site, you have to go to his About page to even see his face.
See Garth Nix’s website: https://garthnix.com/
Kate Grenville’s author website is a great example of a mix of author and book. The website header is her name, and the largest picture on her site is her. Having said that, she’s made the most eye-catching part of the homepage her book: it’s clearly visible, it’s darker cover contrasting excellently with the bright background. There’s even an endorsement of the book and a link to read more.
See Kate Grenville’s website: https://kategrenville.com.au/
So, you see, there is no one way to make an author website. Think about what you want to promote: your author-self, your books, or both.
Is your book a standalone, or part of a series?
If you only have one book then it’s good to base your design choices off of it, meaning use the same colour scheme, fonts, etc.
If you have many books to promote on your website, then you have more to think about. How do you make sure each book gets a space to shine? Do you update your colour scheme and design to match your new book every time you publish, or do you use a more inclusive and minimal design to fit anything?
Leigh Bardugo’s website gives each of her books equal recognition by featuring a carousel of all of her series, both published and upcoming. Her books tend towards darker covers, so her website reflects that.
See Leigh Bardugo’s website: https://www.leighbardugo.com/
On the other hand, Ta-Nehisi Coates gives the prime focus to his latest book, with his other books appearing in the Books page only. Each of his books have very different designs, so his website is sleek and contemporary and built to be inclusive of anything he could publish.
See Ta-Nehisi Coate’s website: https://ta-nehisicoates.com/
Are you using the website to sell your books?
A lot of our authors use their author websites as a way sell their book. For self-published authors, it’s an excellent way to take control of your sales and make sure you’re getting the most from your sales.
When deciding what website provider you’ll use for your author website, make sure you look at eCommerce and shopping cart functions—some providers don’t give you this option, or you have to pay much more for it.
Do you have anything else to put on your site?
Maybe you have some videos, vlogs, blogs, images, testimonials/reviews, that you think you might like to include on your author site. If it’s related to your author brand or your current books/upcoming projects, then it’s a great addition to your website.
We’ve just scratched the surface of what to think about when considering an author website – there are plenty of ideas out there. Remember: there’s no one right way. Have a look at some other author websites and get inspired.
Interested in having an author website of your own? Well, we do them. Get in touch to give us your website project scope today.