Sunday 12 March 2017

Building a good author web site

You may not have a web site yet if you’re not published. There are, however, several arguments that you could and even that you should.

You can include:
·          Extracts from your work in progress
·          Articles related to any research you’ve done for your book
·          Details about your writing process    
·          Detail of any prizes or awards you’ve won


How to build your web

You can either build it yourself or get someone to build it for you. You can find some very helpful tips here: . Diana and Steve Kimpton also have a design service. Here is a good example of a site they’ve designed.

You can as mentioned in the article on blogs use or parent organisation Blogger works well, too, also as described in the post on blogging. Find it at  

Whichever route you go, you will need two very important featrues:
·         You own domain name. Your own name plus or .com are the best though you may also or .net and you may have to compromise on your name if you share it with a well-known person. You can always add in an middle initial or the word “writer”.
·         You must be able to update it regularly. This may be awkward if you have the web site designed by a third party. However, web designers will often allow you a few pages you can edit yourself. Wordpool, mentioned above, most certainly do. If you have learnt coding or can already code yourself you are in a winning position.         


Your web site as a marketing tool

Make sure there is a call to action on the home page. This will be an invite to buy your book once you’re published but it can also be an offer of some free material – perhaps a report on your research, a book you’ve enjoyed, or the offer of a service you provide for free or very cheap. Make this a way of capturing an email address. Mail Chimp is very good for this. Then, once you have a book to advertise you can tell all of these people about it and ask them for reviews.
As well as this though, make your web site:
·         Informative
·         Friendly
·         Entertaining
That will all help you to get a following.

Tips on making your site look good

  • Don’t be afraid of white space.
  • Choose a nice, large, readable font.
  • Be careful when wrapping copy around images.
  • Never stretch a font.
  • Only justify your text to the left.
  • Don’t use too many different colours.
Not, though, not all of the examples below do all of this. Look ay how they’ve bent the “rules” and consider why.  

Some nice examples

This has that all important call to action on the first page and in fact takes up most of the screen. But she also tells you why you should buy her book – the images that float across the screen are tantalising. She has information about herself, her work in progress and offers a newsletter. There are some very nice pictures.

Candy has used Blogger here and very effectively too. The landing page is the blog itself but it the side bars we have some very useful information – more in this case about her school visits than about her books. There is a really big call to action at the top of the page. You are invited to subscribe to her newsletter. She has a separate page for her books, in fact.               

Sara writes for younger readers and for teens so cleverly has links on the left for the former and on the right for the latter. Headers across the top of the home page make the site easy to navigate. It is packed with information for her readers and also for teachers and librarians.

You can find more helpful tips here.

Now then, go build that web site!