As publicists, we see a huge value of an author website/blog. It serves as central hub where media, reviewers, fans can learn more about an author, book, expertise, blog, social media, events, etc. and hopefully become a place where they will be encouraged to return to build a long term relationship.
Here are some items we like to see on an author website. Of course, each website should be customized to the book, topic and author’s personality.
• Display your book cover on the home page and hyperlinked to order through multiple sales vendors (Amazon, B&N, etc.). Ideally the book cover, with buying links, should be on every page, even if small. Offer all the versions of your book—hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook etc.
• Have an About the Book page, which may include:
- table of content
- sample chapter(s)
- links to buy book
• Offer contact information about how to buy in bulk.
• Have an About the Author page with bio (often people have short and long bios available) and if the authors are available for speaking engagements (and who to contact!).
• If you are pursuing media attention, have a Media page with the press releases available for downloads, book cover to download (high res and low res), author photos (high res and low res), and your publicity contact information, email and address. Once coverage happens, add links to media placements. We suggest making your own copies of media copies (PDF or recording on your own), as links sometimes expire and author lose examples of valuable media coverage.
• Highly recommend! Communicate with readers and fans, ask them to sign up for a newsletter or news about next project. An email list is an author’s most valuable marketing asset.
• If you are selling the book yourself (which of course you will make more money), give readers an incentive to buy from your website, perhaps offering an autographed copy or a white paper as incentive.
• If applicable, have a Speaking/Events page. Offer the author as a speaker, detail the topics he or she can discuss, and who to contact for booking. Add speaking engagement calendar if it makes sense.
• Have Social Media Icons on every page to encourage people to connect on platforms of their choice.
• Have a Contact page to make it easy for people to reach the authors. You can have a media contact again here.
• Research or hire search engine optimization service (SEO) to discover topics related to the book and to help people find you.
• Website name: some authors register both their name(s) and book name but point the website to one or the other as the “official” page.
Visit some of your favorite author’s pages to see what you like and don’t like—and what basic information appears to be standard across all genres.