If you’re an author and you need a website, or you just want to upgrade your existing one, then read on…
I’ve been creating WordPress sites for over fifteen years. In my opinion, WordPress is one of the easiest web-building platforms to use. It’s simple, user-friendly and allows you to make changes easily on your own, so you don’t have to pay a web designer to make every little change for you.
Other reasons to use WordPress:
- It’s mobile friendly so your content displays perfectly on all devices.
- It has built-in SEO (search engine optimization) which means your site is easily found by searchers.
- It has hundreds, if not thousands, of plugins which enable it to do almost anything you want it to.
- It has pre-designed themes (templates) which allow you to easily change the look and feel of your site.
- It’s highly adaptable, so if you want a newsletter signup form or links to social media… Bingo!
- You can link to other content on your site.
- You can blog.
- You can link to buy pages, such as Amazon and the iBookstore.
What A Good Author Website Should Have
An attractive homepage that sells your books
As an author, you need a homepage that showcases your latest release, and other books. It must provide essential buying information, testimonials and links to your buy pages, whether they be on your own site or a third party like Amazon.
These days, authors like to give away a free book or reader magnet from their homepage. This is to entice readers to join their all-important mailing list. Seamless integration with a free list building client like MailChimp is the best way to go, but there are paid options too.
It should sing your praises
Your website should also sing your praises as an author. I know many of us don’t like doing this but come on… You deserve it! You’ve worked hard on that book. You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into it. You’ve made sacrifices. Now it’s your turn to shine. So if you’ve won any awards, got any endorsements or have made a record number of sales, this should be displayed proudly to entice readers to try your books.
It should build your credibility as an author
Again, don’t be shy of your achievements. Celebrate them! There are so many unknown authors out there these days, that it’s essential to stand out from the crowd. In order for a reader to buy a book for an unknown author they must like the story premise, be attracted by the cover design, be comfortable with the price, but they should also have some sense that what they are buying is going to be a good read. How do you give them this? By building your own credibility on your website. Are you a member of any organisations, like the RWA or the RNA? Do you volunteer or help out at any book-related events? Do you give speeches? Anything that you’ve done that could help make you more credible to a reader should go on your website.
Thank goodness for WordPress plugins… they make our lives SO much easier. Seriously. WordPress has many apps, known as plugins, that make it easier to display information on your author site. Examples of these are links to your Amazon Author Page, GoodReads profile, Social Media icons and Newsletter to name but a few.
Build your subscriber list
Get those subscribers! Yes, we all know we should, but how many of us actually do? Every author should have a newsletter subscription form on their website, linked to a newsletter client like WebMonkey or AWeber, both of which are excellent. This is used to gather names of people who want to be informed about your new releases, promotions or events. You can link this to a reader magnet or free giveaway.
I’ve been designing websites and writing web copy for a long time now. When I started out, I worked for a web solutions agency and coded in HTML. That’s what websites were made of back then in the dark ages. After that, I got involved with content management systems, which were the next big thing, closely followed by search engine optimization and web copywriting. I worked for companies such as Vodafone and GlaxoSmithKline and had a host of smaller clients including boutique hotels and professional individuals.
Now I use WordPress exclusively to create fast, mobile-friendly, professional-looking websites for authors. Why exclusively? Because it’s the easiest thing out there. Why battle with web design software that doesn’t do the job?
Don’t forget I am also an author. I know how hard it is to self-promote!
A great author website has an important job to do, and I can help yours to do it. It’s the platform from which you drive sales, post press releases, launch books and get speaking events. It’s got to build your credibility and make you look good. Above all, it’s where fans can sign up to your newsletter or blog so that you can notify them of future releases and deals. All essential stuff, that I, as an author, understand.
WordPress sites use templates (or themes) which give them a distinctive look-and-feel. With my background, I am able to tweak and add to existing themes to create the kind of website that will work best for you. I specialise in adapting free themes, because most authors can’t afford to splurge on premium themes – at least not when they’re starting out!
I have quick turnaround times and I won’t leave you alone with your new site until you are able to update it all perfectly yourself! That’s a promise because I know how irritating it is to want to do something and have to ask a professional (or worse, pay a professional) before you’re able to do it. And if you have any questions after your website is live, I’m more than happy to assist you. In fact, I provide a handy user guide specifically for you to get you started, and I’m always available to call on for help. 🙂
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What it Costs?
Basic WordPress site
(Suitable for most authors)
- Domain registration and hosting setup (these costs are for the client and not included in my price, although I can advise on purchase/hosting companies. I can also do this for you via GoDaddy where I have a Pro Godaddy account and can purchase products on behalf of clients – often at discounted rates.)
- Installing WordPress
- Set up and theme installation (premium themes will be bought separately by the client, but I’m here to help and can do it on your behalf if needs be) Free themes are the most popular and easy to customise. Browse WordPress’s selection of free themes now.
- All web copy and images, including book blurbs, book covers and buy-links / affiliate links
- Social media icons and links
- MailChimp or newsletter integration
- Reader magnet giveaway linked to newsletter sign-up
- Contact form
- Website headers (with images provided by you, or if you’re unsure, I can advise)
- Access to my private WordPress Web Design Support Group on Facebook, where you can ask any question you like regarding WordPress or your own site. This is an ongoing free service.
Requirements to be discussed with me prior to start and additional costs agreed on.
- Additional customisation of chosen theme e.g. different fonts, colours, layouts that involve stylesheet manipulation
- Advanced plugins that require configuring
- E-commerce functionality (bookstore on your site)
- Additional software such as Lead Pages functionality
- Image creation involving extensive Photoshop usage and design
- Selecting Shutterstock or other stock photo images for manipulation
All costs are payable on presentation of invoice.
These are all the WordPress sites I’ve created or worked on in the last few years, ranging from corporate to boutique and independent companies. Author websites include Clare Barry, Elsa Winkler, Jenna Bennett, Jessica Soderberg, Sophie Claire, Vada K Belle.