Seven Absolutely Essential Author’s Website Elements
This is a guest post by ebook author, Karen Banes
If you don’t have a strong author website you’re probably leaving book sales on the table. You don’t need a fancy design or complicated functions. You do need crisp, well-written copy that sells your books. There are seven essential elements that can take your website to new levels of productivity. You can have more, but don’t clutter your website with distractions. Make sure the following pages are highly visible, and clearly displayed in your site menu.
Your home page must enforce your primary objective: selling books. Visitors need to see those books first. This is the place to announce your latest release and post your cover images alongside punchy, engaging descriptions.
You may have secondary objectives for your home page—asking readers to subscribe to your newsletter or to follow you on social media. Include those items prominently in your sidebar, but keep the page content focused on your books.
The objective of your about page is to tell people about you, right? Wrong! It’s there to sell your books, but in a different way.
Use this page to sell yourself as an author. If you write non-fiction, highlight the expertise you have in your niche. If you’re a fiction author, list endorsements for your work or awards you’ve won. You can put personal information here as well, but not too much. Most readers don’t care if you have six cats, four dogs and an iguana, unless you write books about pet care. Throw in just enough detail to show you have a personality. Give readers a reason to like you, trust you and relate to you.
This is where you detail what your books do for your readers. If you write non-fiction, what problem do you solve? If you’re a novelist, are your books uplifting, chilling, or thought provoking? Post compelling book descriptions, snippets from reviews and testimonials, and links to your free samples. Don’t forget direct links to all the retail sites where your books are available.
A media room contains material that helps others sell your books for you. Book bloggers (or non-fiction bloggers in your niche) may look here for material to use on their blogs. Reviewers may check for an author photo or cover image. I post free non-exclusive material in my media room—guest posts, an author interview, and some quotes from my books.
I advise you have a dedicated page, called Subscribe or News, with an email subscription option. It’s a good idea to display a sign-up box on every page, but a dedicated page can really sell the benefits of subscribing. Tell subscribers exactly what they’ll get—an exclusive monthly newsletter, a chance to get new releases early, or free review copies of your next book.
Your blog connects you with your readers, showcases your expertise, and sells your books. Non-fiction authors can blog about their specialties. Fiction authors can blog about events they’re attending, new releases, or the writing process. I blog book reviews and author interviews because they help me connect with readers.
Keep your blog posts short and engaging with strong images that grab the reader’s attention.
Your contact page makes you accessible to your readers. Use a contact form or a create a dedicated email address to keep your work and personal emails separate.
Want to see how I make these elements work on my author site? Visit KarenBanes.com.
Karen Banes is a freelance writer, ebook author and book blogger. She loves to connect with other writers and authors via her website KarenBanes.com.
Her latest ebook is HOW TO START YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER FROM SCRATCH.