When I first set up my website, I used a free wordpress theme and while it was all very basic, it was easily navigable. I recently had it redesigned with a landing page rather than my blog. And I think it’s a little prettier now too. 😀
Anyway, while redesigning it, I researched a lot of author websites. I found some to be great and others… not so much.
So let me say this, in case anyone wasn’t sure: Author websites are very important. Not everyone uses Goodreads or other type of site like it. And I would go to say the average reader does not.
Here are a couple of must-haves that I think all author websites should have:
1. Buy links. This is number one. ALL THE BUY LINKS. It’s your site, it’s the Internet, and you have unlimited space to list whatever sites you want. Readers want to know where to buy your books! And yes, you’ll still get questions online, “Where is this book available?” and then the great thing is you can send them to that book’s page, where all the links are handy for them to choose from.
2: Reading order. I see readers asking authors this all. the. time. Readers want to know what order to read your books. Goodreads will not always have them all in the correct order, and neither will Amazon. Also, why should the reader go searching. Make it easy for them! I have one page on my site that lists all my series and their order. It doesn’t have to be complicated! I think Kristen Ashley does a really great job with this.
3. SIMPLE. Honestly. You don’t need flashy scrolling thingies (I do have one, but it’s lower on my page.) The most important thing is to make it easy to navigate so readers can find what they want. Also, mobile friendly!!
4. What’s Next/Coming Soon. When I want to know if there’ll be another book in a series I love, I go to an author’s website. I also look for a coming soon or what’s next page. I realize not all authors can say what they are working on next, but letting us know how many books you have planned for a series is great!
5. Newsletter sign-up. Most authors know (or should) that newsletters are the best way to reach your readers. Your news goes right to their inbox. So yes, you should have a newsletter, and then make that signup easy for readers to see on your site.
6. Contact. I recommend a contact form AND an email address.
7. Bio and author picture. If you have an agent, list that too, so anyone interested in subrights knows who to ask!
8. Latest news/events. Whatever is going on with you! Latest book deals as well as signing appearances, conventions, etc. If readers want to meet you, let them know where to find you.
And I think I hit all the major points! Did I forget anything? As a reader, what do you like to see on author’s websites? Is there something you wish more authors did? Let me know!
Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.
Read Megan’s Latest Release:
After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.
When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.
He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.