Author websites are essential for promoting your book and establishing your online presence with readers. Putting one together can be as simple as using WordPress or Blogspot to set up a few static pages, but you need to do a bit more for real success. There are several vital features your author’s website has to have to appeal to readers and effectively promote your work.

Proper Design Elements

No matter how great the content, people will quickly go elsewhere if your author website isn’t visually appealing. Highlight the cover art from your latest book. Choose a color scheme that reflects the genre and mood of your book. Using soft pastels and shimmer will reinforce the romanticism of your writing. At the same time, black and dark colors might be more appropriate for a writer producing horror fiction. The same goes for everything from fonts to overall design. You can browse through countless templates online that will give you a jumping-off point for your website’s look.

Author Bio 

Readers want to learn not only about your books but about you. Who you are as a person, your interests, and how you got started in your writing career. Tell readers about what inspired you to write your book, the research involved, and any other engaging information that will give readers insight. Add links to your social media platforms at the end of your author bio so readers can keep up to date on any updates about your writing. 

An author photo should always accompany your author bio. It should be a professional photo (perhaps the one used on your book jacket) that clearly shows your face. As you build your website, you may want to add a few other photos as well. Pictures of you at locations mentioned in your book, something that indicates your interest in a particular topic, or an image illustrating your writing process can all add interest.

Contact Information

Post an email address where visitors can contact you. Then set up an autoresponder to shoot them a quick email welcoming them to your website and mailing list. Building a contacts list for emails is one of the essential functions of an author website. Make sure it’s easy for guests to fill out a short contact form with their email addresses and name so you can add them to your email list for updates and advertising. Be sure to display your contact form prominently and keep it short and sweet.

Purchase Options

Make it easy to buy your book or books when visitors are on your author website. Include links to major retail outlets carrying your book, including electronic downloads, hardback, and paperback options if available. Three sellers is a good starting point. You don’t want to offer too many options, or readers may get frustrated and pass on the chance to quickly purchase with just a click.

Special Offers

Sometimes referred to as “lead magnets,” a special offer in exchange for an email address is a great way to bulk up your mailing list and encourage potential readers to explore your writing. You might offer the first three chapters of your book as a free preview or a short story based on one of the characters in your book. You could send a study guide for book clubs or charming bookmarks. It’s really up to you, but make sure any special offers encourage readers to return for more.

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a contemporary publishing company, we help thoughtful people write and publish books for all sorts of reasons. For more information about our Developmental Editing, Coaching, Consulting and Professional Self-Publishing options, please reach us at +1-520-329-2729 or

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