This is not another random list of the best websites for authors. This is what I use for my clients who want to sell more books and attract more speaking opportunities.
- For authors who want to grow their fan base
- Active on social? Your social media links are always visible when visitors scroll down any page on your website
- Home page images are perfectly sized for book covers
- Simple and elegant
- Large image at top can be used to highlight author or 3-D book cover
- E-commerce ready for authors who want to sell their books on their website
- Ideal for authors who are currently writing their book
- Grow and engage your email list while you write your book
- Social Proof to enhance your personal brand
- Great for a book launch
- Bold and confident theme is a good choice for books on business
- Encourages visitors to take action now
- Visually simple yet powerful
- Lots of white space
- Great for authors who are ready to launch their book and have visitors BUY NOW
- For authors who want high engagement
- Clear Call-To-Action encourages visitors to sign up for your free offer
- Easy to feature multiple books on the home page
- Soft Sell approach throughout
- Curved lines and warm colors
- Events Calendar lets visitors know about upcoming speaking engagements and book signing opportunities
When is the best time to start your author website?
Author Website Design
The primary goal of your website is to introduce yourself to potential book buyers.
That can be intimidating for many authors to promote themselves, especially when they wrote a book to help change lives. But unless people know about you and your book, you will not accomplish your main goal.
Whether you choose to self-publish, or search for a publisher, your author website should be professional, user-friendly, easy for site visitors to buy your book, and easy to build your list of followers.
If you are featured on podcasts, it should contain links to all your guest appearances, too.
Some authors also offer courses. A website that sells directly on your site is called an e-commerce website. E-commerce sites can get complicated, but selling a book through a third party such as Amazon, is as simple as adding a link to your book on your Amazon sales page.
Why WordPress is best for Author Websites
I design all my author websites in WordPress because WordPress lets me build a site that search engines love.
Other platform like Square and WIX build beautiful sites for humans, but they don’t have the flexibility in the back end to structure a site that gets you found online.
If you are going to spend time, effort and money on a website that promotes your book, a WordPress website with a good infrastructure will outrank any other website platform.
What to look for when choosing a WordPress Theme
There are thousands of themes to choose from, but when you know what to look for it’s easy to narrow down your search.
When choosing a WordPress website theme for my authors, I look for themes that can accommodate the following:
- Button in the navigation menu that links to a list building free offer
- Author photo, 3-D image of a book cover and a link to buy the book at the top of the website
- Buy button above testimonial
- Short Author bio
- Book summary
- Relevant articles
- Footer with link to list building free offer
Famous Author Websites
Search for “best author website examples” online and a list of famous author websites will come up.
What all famous author websites have in common:
- The name of their website is their author name
- Their homepage has a 3-D image of their latest book
- They have a newsletter opt-in form asking for your email address
Many, but not all of these authors have a head shot with a 50-75 word bio on their Home page that links to a longer bio on their About page, and their Media page.
They are also listed on Wikipedia.
Advantage of being listed on Wikipedia
Authors who are listed on Wikipedia are recognized as noteworthy authorities.
Wikipedia has specific criteria for notability such as:
- Publishing multiple books
- Positive book reviews in major newspapers or magazines
- Literary Awards or Recognitions
If you have multiple books, or a best seller, a listing on Wikipedia will enhance your image as a leading author.
Unpublished Author Websites
But what if you are not a famous author…yet?
What if you are just writing your first book?
What should your unpublished author website contain?
- Your author name as the domain name
- An opt-in form asking for your visitors’ email address
- A headshot and a short bio
When is the best time to start building an
Self-published Author Websites
What if you plan to sell your book on Amazon? What should your website homepage contain?
- Your author name as your domain name
- A 3-D image of your book cover with a link to your Amazon sales page
NOTE: If you book is not yet available for purchase, include a 3-D image of your book cover with a Coming Soon link to on your Amazon sales page
- An opt-in form asking visitors’ for their email address
- A headshot and a short bio
Why do authors need a headshot and a short bio?
A book is not a big financial purchase but it is a time commitment. People want to know about you before buying your book.
Do you need to publish a newsletter, too?
No, but you need to build a list of prospective buyers.
A newsletter is a natural fit for authors who want to bring people into their world and stay engaged in a non-sales-y way.
Many authors choose to write a newsletter because it is an easy way to keep your followers up to date on your latest writing project, and share things that matter to you.
People enjoy feeling part of the creative process. By sharing glimpses of your latest writing project, you will begin to develop a fan base of people who are anxious to buy your book the day it is released.
Ready to start your author website, but don’t know where to start?