Thursday, August 29, 2013

How To Build An Author Website

by local artist
Andrew Ferneyhough

It's never too early to start attracting readers. 
It's never too early to build an author website.
And in case you're still not convinced, read Kristen Lamb's inspiring article:  When Is It Time to Start Building an Author Platform
So what is an author website?...

Your website is your storefront on the Internet. It represents you 24/7 and on a global scale. It's working to market you and your books while you sleep, write--while you enjoy your life.
If you don't have expertise in web design hire a web designer. Shop around. Ask, how much it will cost? View your potential designer's work. Don't be intimidated by smoke and mirrors. Ask yourself, what is the point of this site? Did they reach the goal?
Web designers are not magicians nor are they mind readers. They can make suggestions and supply expertise but it is extremely important that you have a clear picture of what you want. 
So what do you want?...

A website is you in a nutshell:  the fewer words, the fewer pages--the better. If you can get everything on one page that's ideal. But you don't want it to look cluttered.
What should be on your website?
1)Your author name and photo
I know what you're thinking, really I need to put my photo on my website? 
Yes, you do. Because, as an author, you are your brand. And your brand needs an identity.
2)Branding words 
For example, my branding words are:  My stories are about strong women and the challenges they face.
3)Your email address clearly visible
4)A brief bio
4)A link to your blog and other places you can be found on the Internet
5)Information about your book or books (such as book cover, brief blurb, quotes from reviews and buy links)
A buy link is a link to where your book can be purchased on-line

What's the big deal? Why do you have to be so brief?
You need to be brief because people are in a hurry when they surf from Website to Website. They want to find what they need and leave.

Once your site is built it must be maintained. Each time you publish a book add it to your Website. Did you move? Change your address. Do you have a new email address? Keep your contact information current.

Here are some examples of good author sites...

Giles Blunt
Joan Boswell
Gail Bowen
Donna Carrick
Sean Chercover
Sharon A. Crawford
Hilary Davidson
Robert U. Doyle
Leanne Dyck
Gloria Ferris
Barbara Fradkin
Alexander Galant
Linda Hall
S.P. Hozy
Susan Kearsley
Debra Purdy Kong
Scott MacKay
Michael J. McCann
Rosemary McCracken
Grant Mckenzie
J.A. Menzies
Rick Mofina
Luke Murphy
Garry Ryan
Robert J. Sawyer
Robin Spano
Chevy Stevens
Kay Stewart
David H. Toole
Roger White

An author website is not a blog. 
I highly recommend that you have both an author website and blog.
After reading this brief article you know why you need an author website. But why do you need a blog?
Read this article:  Should Writers Blog?


Laurie Buchanan said...

Leanne - I agree that author branding and concision are vital!

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your comment, Laurie. Here's what Dan Blank (writing for Writer Unboxed) wrote: