What to Prepare Before You Create Your Author Website

Marketing, Tips

By Jori Hanna

​You’ve decided you’re ready to pursue publication. Whether you’re going to self publish, hybrid publish, or go a more traditional route, it’s likely you’ll eventually need to put together a website. You have a few options for how you can go about this, but no matter which way you choose, you’ll need to be prepared with material to populate your website.

As you gather this material, think about the experience you want your site visitors to have. This is your first impression. What impression do you want them to have?

For organizational purposes, we’ll go through your website from the most basic necessities to the more intricate add-ons.

Visuals:

If you’re working with a web designer, they may ask you to gather a few websites you like the look of. This will give them an idea of what your design taste is. If you’re designing your own website, this step will also give you an idea of what you’d like to mimic and make your own.

Focus on colors, text readability, types of photos, layout, navigation, and tone.

Do you like lighter colors? Darker colors? Are the photos wide across the whole site or are they smaller and framed? What color is the text? How big is the text? Is the menu where you expect it? What pages do they have? Is the website more professional or more personal? What do you like and dislike about these design choices?

All of that will help you or your designer create a website you’ll love.

In preparation, gather those website URLs and the visuals you’d like on your website. Your ideal color scheme, a few different photos of yourself (your author photo should be one of these), your book covers, and any background images you think you may want.

Information:

A website’s main purpose is to spread information about a specific topic in the most streamlined way possible. A personal website should be spreading information about you, or sharing information from you in an educational manner.

What information did you see in the websites you enjoyed? Where there any common elements?

At a basic level, your website should tell visitors who you are, what you do, and how they can take the next step to connect with you.

You should have your author biography, descriptions of your books, and links to your other online spaces. Your website should be a one-stop-shop for visitors to learn about you, so it should collect everything you share online in one space.

In preparation, gather a text document with descriptions of you, your books, and all the URLs you’d want to share—book retailer pages (“buy links”), your social media accounts, your blog (if it won’t be housed on your website), a portfolio of your published work, your publisher website, a way to sign up for your email list.

Note: All that’s necessary is a description of you and your books. If your website is all you have right now, don’t worry about the other links. Over time, you’ll want to add those other items in.

That’s it! You’re ready to take the next step in creating your website—choosing a platform or hiring a web developer.

We Want to Hear from You

If you have a book ready to be published, we’d love to take a look at your book and see how we may be able to work with you to bring your book to the world. Review our publishing options, and if you think we’d be a good fit for each other, we’d love to review your manuscript.

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