And coincidentally, mine runs on WordPress, another W word.
Webpages are one of the must haves for authors. Everyone debates the merits of Facebook, Twitter or a blog, but I don't think anyone disagrees that an author should have at least a basic webpage. So what should an author webpage include?
An Author Bio
There are lots of options for writing your Author Bio. You can make it humorous and witty, pick a few interesting facts about yourself to include, use photos, or tell a little story about yourself. Whatever else you do though, I'd steer clear of making a dry list of your writing accomplishments. That's not what readers want to see.
Again, there are different ways of doing this. You can include all your books on one page, with a little bit of info about each one, organise them by series, or if you only have a couple of books yet, give them each their own page! Don't forget to include a link to where people can buy them!
A page where you can post small updates on the latest news on your books or writing is useful, and stops your page from being too stagnant. These days, most people choose to do this in blog format, but that's not the only way. (Though it is often easier to update than a static page.)
A Contact Page
If readers want to contact you, make it easy for them. Include your e-mail address or a contact form, your Facebook page or twitter profiles, or any other methods of contact you use.
Aside from the above necessities, what you choose to include on your author wepbage is limited only by your imagination! You might like to include diary entries from the POV of one of your characters, deleted scenes, character bios, FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions), drawings you or fans have done of your characters. The list is endless.
Above all though, make sure your webpage is clean and uncluttered. Make it easy for readers to find the link they're after. There's nothing worse than coming to a webpage and not being able to find the list of books, or how to contact an author if you want to.
What are your must haves in an Author webpage? Have you seen any great ideas that I've missed?
All this month I’m participating in the A-Z blogging challenge, writing a blog post for each letter of the alphabet, on every day of the month except Sundays. Check back regularly to see what else I have in store for you.
Having just read your V post – how about some video?! Fans love to hear from their favourite authors in person. You need a Youtube channel.
Kelly’s Eye – Writing, Music, Life
LOL. The thought has crossed my mind once or twice. Not sure how Americans would cope with my Aussie accent though! And I’m rather camera shy…
Haha – I wouldn’t worry. In my experience, most Americans think us Brits sound Australian and vice versa!
Great post Rinelle thanks! My webpage is rather dull .. will give it attention after all this is over. CAn’t think of anything to add though – you’ve covered the bases I think? Though I know you’re thinking of the video!
Susan Scott’s Soul Stuff
Yes, I’m thinking of a video. Maybe after the challenge is done I’ll be able to get to it. Though I also really need to get my next book done!
Contacts are so handy! Everyone ought to at least establish a work-email address at this point. Lets us get in touch over errors, job opportunities, or hash out our beefs out of the public eye.
John at The Bathroom Monologues
Yes, email is such a handy communication method. There are some things that shouldn’t be put in comments. (Though not too many.)
Great post, Rinelle. I’m not at the point where I need a Books page yet, but hopefully that will change in the not too distant future.
I find the bio piece to be the most painful of writing chores. On my blog, I threw it open, asking readers to post their best bio guesses in the comments, and a friend wrote a wonderfully witty response. When I’m getting close to publishing, obviously I’m going to have to smarten up and write a proper bio, but I’m postponing that for as long as I can.
I agree a billion percent with your suggestion keep the blog clean and uncluttered. It’s just not nice to blind, confuse and induce migraines in your visitors.
The only thing I’d add to your list is that if you want people to follow you on Twitter or Facebook, don’t just hide the contact info away on your contact page–have it on every page. Ditto with the blog following options. I’m constantly startled by how hard some people make it for you to stay connected.
I agree. Social media connections should be on every page. I have mine in my sidebar. Following options I’m still struggling with. There are so many possible follow options, and I really don’t understand how all of them work.
Great post, gave me a good idea on what most people expect to see on a webpage.
Thanks Jcc. Your webpage seems to cover most of the bases too.
My old blog was through wordpress but I decided not to stay with it.
Blogging A to Z
Thanks for visiting. I’m curious why you changed from wordpress? I know a lot of people who have gone from blogger to wordpress, but I don’t think I know any who’ve gone the other way.
Yes I’d be interested in know why too. Did you move to blogger?
On the most recent #blogchatie (a bi weekly online chat for Irish bloggers) they talked about the ‘About’ section on blogs and websites. I went straight away and changed mine 😀
Any good advice to share?
It’s probably a great idea for an author to have a webpage. You have some good tips. I like visiting a clean and uncluttered page that’s easy to navigate.
Yes, I think keeping a page clean and uncluttered is good advice for anyone wanting a webpage for any reason. If I’m on a page and I struggle to find the links I’m looking for, I don’t hang around.