Monday, 23 February 2009

How to design an author website?

It's never too early to start thinking about it. I am considering what I want my eventual author website to look like (yes, I'm being optimistic) and what it should incorporate. What are the best author websites you've seen? And what do you think is essential to have on them?

I'm thinking blog, media page, book page(s), short bio, and ordering/buying information. Anything else? Any designers you would recommmend?

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16 comments:

Julie Weathers said...

http://www.deleyna.com/lisas-blog.html

I highly recommend Lisa Norman. She's working on mine. I loved the way she went about it. Asked me all kinds of questions about what I liked and what I wanted. Now, she's trying to make it all happen. Mine is still a work in progress, but you can see what we're playing with at Julieweathers.com. We might have to go back to a more traditional format, but for now, she's letting me run wild.

The best thing about her, aside from being so easy to work with and knowledgeable, is she's a writer. She knows what we need and she keeps up with publishing news and trends.

Janna Qualman said...

I'm eager to see the feedback you get here; it's something I consider in the recesses of my hopeful mind, too. ;)

The Unbreakable Child said...

I like homestead and they have good deals, user friendly and if you get stuck they can walk you through it.
Have a peek at mine

wwww.theunbreakablechild.com

Of course this was the style I picked but they have many templates etc... to pick from. I'm extremely techy challlanged so if I can do it.... : D My agent and publisher love it.

Janet said...

Julie, Kim, thanks for the leads. I'm checking them out.

Janna, make sure you chip in with anything you've found out too.

I thought of another essential element: latest news.

Janet said...

Kim, your website doesn't seem to be live. It just leads me to the homestead website. ?? Which is, admittedly, interesting, but I'd kind of like to see how you customized things.

The Unbreakable Child said...

..don't understand what you mean by live, Janet? You just type in the http://www.theunbreakablechild.com once there, you will be my index page, then you can click onto the top tags and take you wherever. Mine is set to bio, book and events, blog, resources. It is working, I get about anywhere from300 hits plus a day, plus it comes with a free traffic check. Let me know.

Janet said...

Thanks, Kim. I did type it in, and every time it sent me straight to homestead. Your link today is taking me to your site, which I'm liking the look of, by the way. I tend to prefer minimalist.

"Live" means viewable by the public. When a site is in development, they can somehow make it unavailable from the main page and only people with the "secret" URL can see it.

The Unbreakable Child said...

Ahh. Janet when you type my official website in now; does it take you directly to my website or do I need to call Homestead? thanks
x0x

Janet said...

You don't need to bother them. I finally realized that I had typed in four W's (Whimsical World Wide Web?) and it was that address directing me to Homestead. The correct address takes me to the correct place.

Melanie Avila said...

I'm toying around with a site for myself right now, and the only blank page is the writing page. Well that and the homepage. (I plan to incorporate my design stuff too). I plan to start perusing other author sites for ideas.

Deleyna said...

[Thanks, Julie] One thing I recommend for writers is to make sure you can customize your site and add to it. This is supposed to reflect your personality. If you're chatty, then blog away and have latest news, etc. If you're the quiet type, then you can go with the minimums...but make sure your site reflects your personality and showcases your writing and your writing style -- even in the casual links.
A good writer's website should be fun for you -- as the writer -- to interact with on a frequent basis to keep it fresh.
When you're putting your sections together, think about each type person that will come to visit (agent, publisher, reader, friend, new fan, etc.)...and try to put in something that will give them what they're looking for. You're doing the right thing -- asking lots of questions.
Have fun!

Janet said...

Melanie, sounds good. Maybe you'll end up like Deleyna, both writer and web designer.

And speaking of Deleyna, thanks for stopping by. Some good advice there.

Janna Qualman said...

Ooh, I think Deleyna's thoughts are extremely helpful! Thank you.

Melanie Avila said...

Well my day job is graphic designer, so I'm already halfway there... :)

Janet said...

And there's the niche you can exploit. ;o)

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