Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Things Every Author Website Should Have

If social media is the foundation to indie authors getting exposure, a good website is the backbone. It's the center of the platform, a one-stop-shop kind of place where readers go for the latest info.

Creating a website takes time, and if you're not the most savvy techie it's a frustrating process. Finding the right person to help is a godsend!

And so when I found out that the incredible Michael Canales, book cover designer extraordinaire, also does websites as well I thanked the internet gods and gave him a call.

To say he's amazing is an understatement. :-)

Just look what he's done for elizabethisaacs.com (I'll wait while you take a peek :-)

Incredible, isn't it?

As we went through the process of updating the new site, I discovered five must-haves for indie authors, and so I thought I'd share.

5. Info about your work and how to get autographed copies

Let's face it, most of the bulk of indie sales are through ebooks. It's been my experience that most readers that want an indie book in print usually already have it on ebook and would rather get an autographed copy. Having a page with paybuttons is an important part of the process. Most of my paperbacks are sold this way, and quite a few ebook sales too.

4. A bio ... preferably one with a little personality

Writing a bio is almost as grueling as writing a synopsis. Try too hard and you come off as a snob. Too light and you look like a flake. I'm in the process of updating my bio right now, but I've found the key is to be genuine. Save the third person stuff for the Amazon bio. This is your author website. Give the reader a little something they may not find elsewhere.

3. A blog.

Blogging takes time. Most writers would rather spend their time on the next book than on a blog post. But here's the thing. Readers like to feel connected. Being able to see your thoughts on that convention you went to, or helping celebrate your latest accomplishment gives fans an insider look into your world. Michael has plugged in my Tumblr blog, which will update as I post so I don't have to worry about posting twice. #win/win

2 An events page. 
Readers want to know if you'll be attending that convention, or if you have a speaking engagement/book signing.  (Mine will be up next week! Squee!)

1. An easy way to find you.

I cannot stress how important this last one is. Whether you are brave enough to just put you email addy out there or you'd rather use a contact form, having a way to connect with you is an integral part of the process. And be sure to post social media outlets top-of-the-fold and on all pages. Readers shouldn't have to work to find a way to connect.

What have you found to be an absolute must when it comes to author website design?