Do authors need a website? Yes! Authors really do need their own website. Whether you’re self-publishers, published authors, aspiring to be an author or anything in between, you most definitely do need a website, for the reasons listed below:
- It allows you to create a brand
- You control the look, feel, genre, and vibe of your online appearance
- It makes you look like a professional writer
- You totally own your online presence – rather than it being spread across multiple platforms
- It gives publishers, editors, journalists, and followers a single place to find you
- You can completely own and manage your message and connection with your readers
- It allows you to connect with your audience in a direct and more personal way, leading to greater engagement
- You can build and manage your own mailing list (via newsletters, etc) to directly speak to your audience
- You can keep all of your testimonials, reviews, upcoming events, etc in one place, instead of them being distributed and diluted across multiple social media and other platforms
- You can manage everything from one place, rather than having to update multiple different accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and many others one at a time
- It saves you time and effort (and at Quillsolo we’ll show you how to streamline that even more!)
Why Do Authors Need A Website?
We’re going to investigate this more later in our article about whether you should opt for a free website, or pay for a professional one, but for now…
…think about it like this:
How would you feel if you urgently needed an emergency plumber to fix a burst water pipe that was destroying your kitchen, but their information was spread across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a whole host of other places instead of on their own website?
Would you bother to go looking to find out about them, or would you simply look for someone else who tells you everything you need to know, in one place?
If they didn’t even have a website, how would you feel about choosing them – Would you think they were professional, or remotely serious about their work?
If their website was a general, free, “blog” type website on WordPress.com or Wix or some other free platform, would you think they were someone you would want to deal with – If they don’t take themselves seriously enough to present themselves professionally, would you?
We all know what the answers are.
So how would a publisher or agent or book lover feel if your website (or lack of one) was the same – Would they think you are committed to your career as a serious writer?
Would you feel inspired to buy that book from that author – Do you think anyone would imagine your book would be worth buying if you, the author, don’t feel your work is worth investing in?
This is why authors need a website, and it’s critical that you have an author web design that creates a high-end, professional brand, and it’s why we give you the opportunity to get exactly that, designed by experts, at a really affordable price.
Simply put, an attention-grabbing author website will help you to sell more books, and increase your chances of a prospective publisher paying attention to you and taking you seriously.
Creating An Author Brand
An author website can be designed around your book and genre to create a professional, polished look that is specifically created to reflect you in the way you like, since you control the look and feel of your website.
Your author website is the foundation of your brand and can be your online hub where all of your work, contact details, newsletter, and thoughts can be presented to your readers and the industry.
It also gives you a single point to focus all of your marketing activity towards, rather than spreading that focus across social media platforms or other online venues.
This will save you time vs posting across several social media platforms (you might find Publr.io useful for managing social media posts. Their free version allows you to post to 3 social media platforms at once from a single control panel).
All authors need a website, whether you’re a fiction or non-fiction writer, or if you author poetry, romance, historical novels, children’s books, or anything else, because the first place people will try to find you will be the internet, especially if they want to learn more about you.
It’s a great idea to have your website before you begin selling your book.
This allows you to do a pre-sale launch, run a giveaway if people join your mailing list (meaning you can contact your audience directly later), and tell the world about your upcoming book with the aim of increasing sales.
Your author’s website can include the following details:
- Your Author Bio – You can tell your audience about your awards, publications, your background and other information you feel are important.
- Your Books – You can give details of each book, a brief introduction to the theme, reviews, and links to places where people can purchase.
- A Newsletter Sign-Up – Newsletters can be very useful, if you build a list of people who love your writing you can tell them about your next book and generate pre-sales. It allows you to keep in touch with people who want to connect with you.
- Contact Details – It goes without saying that you want to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you.
- A Blog – Blogs allow you to speak about anything you feel your readers will enjoy, it doesn’t have to just be about your work, the aim is to provide them with useful information, and to produce content they will enjoy reading.
- Links To Your Social Media Profiles – You should provide links to your social media so people can follow you on Twitter, etc, and provide links on your social media back to your website.
You Control The Look And Feel Of Your Website
Because you own your author’s website, which has been branded specifically to you and your genre, you have total control over how you present yourself and your work online.
This isn’t possible on a platform like Twitter or Facebook.
No matter how much you brand your social media page, it’s still a Twitter or Facebook page, and you have absolutely no control over what they decide to do.
Plenty of people have found themselves banned for saying the wrong thing – imagine if you spend months or years building a following and then it all gets taken away.
There’s also the risk of whether these platforms might be superseded by something else.
It might sound impossible, but do you remember MySpace or Friends Reunited? Anything could happen.
You can of course start with a lower cost, simpler website, and as your career grows opt to update and restyle your website.
It Gives You An Air Of Professionalism
A well-designed author website will really make you stand out and create an air of professionalism.
This is important to instil confidence in your audience and help to encourage them to buy your publications.
People are easily put off making an online purchase, and the major issue is usually a lack of trust or belief that they will be happy with the product they buy.
It’s a well-known fact in the web design community that you typically have less than 3 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention. If you don’t do that they’ll leave and move on to another website.
A poorly designed, shoddy, or basic looking website will not help to overcome these issues.
The problem with free website templates like at WordPress.com or Wix, etc, is that they can look quite basic and “bloggy,” and they will probably have been used by many other authors.
This means that they all look the same, there is nothing to make you stand out against all of the other authors, and if your website is unappealing then the visitor will probably transfer that feeling to your book as well.
By having a professional-looking website, and including testimonials, reviews, and PR coverage you can successfully deal with all of these problems.
Remember also that editors and agents will try to determine from your website whether you’re likely to be a professional and easy person to work with.
The more effort they can see you’ve put into your website, and the more professional it looks, the more likely they are to contact you.
At Quillsolo.com our author websites start from just £395 ($495 US Dollars), meaning you get a great looking, attention-grabbing, high-quality website at a very affordable price.
Get in touch for a stress-free, non-salesy discussion of what you need and how we can help you.