Key Features Every Author Website Should Have

Published: April 26, 2024
Author Website Design Features

Imagine having a dedicated online space where your readers can connect with you, explore your books, and stay updated on your latest projects. This is not just a fantasy – it’s the power of an author website! Neil Gaiman, the brilliant mind behind captivating stories like American Gods, sums it up perfectly:

“Every author, no matter how famous or unknown, needs a website. It’s your home on the web, the one place where readers can always find you.”

 Neil Gaiman

However, wait a moment; your author’s website should not just be a simple online business card. It should be a lively platform filled with activity. Why? Well, the numbers don’t lie: according to a survey conducted by BookBub Partner Content, 88% of readers are more likely to buy a book from an author with a professional website! (That’s a massive chunk of potential fans right there.)

Author website leads to 88% higher book sales

What is an Author Website?

An author’s website is a central hub for information about the author’s work, upcoming events, biography, and contact information. It’s a platform where readers can learn more about the author and their books and often includes features like a blog, news section, and links to social media accounts. Some authors also sell their books directly through their websites or provide links to where they can be purchased. Creating a website can be a valuable tool for authors to connect with their audience and promote their work.

But hold on, you might be thinking, “I have strong social media profiles with lots of followers, why do I need a website?” Here’s the thing: social media is fantastic for quick updates and connecting with readers in real-time. But remember, it’s like renting a space – algorithms change frequently, and your content can get buried.

Not having a website can make it difficult for readers to find you online since search engines tend to favor websites over social media accounts. It’s like trying to get noticed by yelling your name in a busy market versus having a bright, inviting storefront that draws in customers. Potential readers might hear you for a fleeting moment, but with so much noise, it’s easy to get lost. That’s the challenge of relying solely on social media.

Let’s now delve into the vital role and significance of an author’s website in enhancing your online visibility and establishing a stronger connection with your audience.

The Role and Purpose of an Author Website

A strong online presence is crucial for authors who want to connect with their readers. Surprisingly, there are still some authors out there who don’t have a website, while others have websites that seem outdated and lacklustre, like a dusty bookstore hiding in a forgotten corner.

A professional author website can help you overcome various challenges, such as:

  • Limited Reach
  • Reader Disconnect
  • Problems With Marketability
  • Difficulty with Book Promotion
  • The gap between your writing and the audience

A well-designed website can greatly improve your connection with readers through writing, and we are confident that you will find author website features here in our article that will showcase your work and expertise and connect you with loyal readers. Even if you are active on social media or promoting your work offline, operating without a website is a missed opportunity to engage potential readers and increase sales. Therefore, having an author website can help potential readers easily locate your work and get in touch with you, leading to better engagement and sales opportunities.

Let’s delve into the must-have features that every author’s website should incorporate to captivate audiences, promote their work effectively, and establish a lasting presence in the hearts and minds of readers.

Must-have Features for an Author's Website:

Here are essential features your author website needs to turn website visitors into loyal fans:

About Me Page (Author Bio)

Author Bio WebPage

The “About Me” page is crucial for an author’s website design because it provides a unique chance to connect with readers. This page acts as a platform for authors to share their story, their writing journeys, and the inspirations behind their work. By giving insights into their background, interests, and experiences, authors can make themselves more relatable to readers, building trust and empathy.

Forget a stuffy bio! Your “About Me” page is your chance to charm readers with your story, writing journey, and the inspiration behind your work.  Show them the real you, build trust, and spark a connection that leads them to devour your books!

Books Page

Remember to include a dedicated book page when creating your author’s website. This page is essential for displaying your literary works in one place, making it easy for visitors to browse your published books, upcoming releases, and other related materials. By organizing your books in this way, you are helping readers to explore your catalog and discover new titles easily.

Additionally, the Books page provides detailed information about each book, such as cover images, summaries, and purchase options. This helps readers to make informed decisions about which books to explore further. This organized presentation boosts your credibility and professionalism and shows your commitment to providing quality content to your audience.

In summary, the Books page is not just a display area—it is a valuable tool for effectively promoting your work and connecting with readers who share your love for literature.

Features You Can Add to Your Books Page

Books Page in Author Website

Retailer Links: By adding links to different retailers where readers can purchase your books, you can reach a larger audience and cater to readers’ preferences.

Include links to major platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or choose popular independent bookstores. These retailer links allow readers to choose between physical copies, e-books, or audiobooks, making it easier for them to access the author’s works across multiple platforms.

Online Store: Another excellent option is setting up your own book store. It’s like having your bookstore right on your website! With direct book sales, readers can easily purchase physical copies and digital downloads of your books without hassle. It’s not just about simplifying the buying process—it’s about creating a unique experience for your readers that could boost sales and engagement on your site. 

Highlight Your Latest Book: It’s essential to feature your latest book prominently on the Books page. By placing it at the top or in a highlighted section, you ensure that visitors immediately see your newest release. This generates excitement and encourages readers to explore your most recent work first.

Short Book Descriptions: Under each book image, include a brief description to entice readers. These summaries should provide a glimpse into the plot, themes, and characters, sparking curiosity and compelling visitors to learn more. A well-crafted description can pique interest and prompt readers to click through for more details.

Blog/News Page

This feature is essential for engaging with your readers, sharing valuable content, and establishing yourself as a leader in your field.

You can keep your audience updated with news, announcements, and insights about your writing journey, upcoming projects, and literary interests by publishing blog posts or articles. This is an excellent opportunity to provide your readers with valuable information, commentary, and entertainment, further strengthening your relationship with them.

Moreover, the blog or news page encourages ongoing interaction and dialogue between you and your audience. Readers can leave comments, ask questions, and join discussions, creating community and connection. This engagement is invaluable, as it provides valuable feedback and insight into the interests and preferences of your audience.

The blog or news page is a powerful marketing tool for you, increasing visibility, driving traffic to your website, and attracting new readers. Fresh and regularly updated content can improve your search engine rankings, making it easier for readers to discover your website and books. By sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses into your writing process, book recommendations, and personal reflections, you can create compelling content that resonates with your audience and encourages them to explore further.

Contact Page

Author Contact Page

(Image Source – Dribbble)

It’s a super important part because it’s how your readers can directly connect with you. It’s like your hotline for questions, feedback, or even collaboration opportunities. Having your contact details—like your email, a contact form, or links to your social media—makes it easy for anyone to reach out, whether it’s your readers, media professionals, or potential collaborators.

And here’s the cool part: having a contact page shows you’re accessible and eager to engage with your audience. It’s all about building trust and showing that you’re there for them.

Get Found By Readers and Publishers

Get an Author Website Design That Makes Your Books Shine, Grows Your Fan Club, and Impresses Publishers.

Portfolio Showcase

Adding a portfolio to your author’s website is like showing off your best work to everyone who visits. It lets people see your writing samples, which helps them decide if they like your style. Plus, it shows that you’re good at what you do and gives you a better chance of getting noticed by publishers and readers. Having a portfolio also makes your website more interesting and gives visitors more reasons to stick around and check out your books. Overall, it’s a great way to attract readers, show off your skills, and stand out as an author.


Testimonials on Author Website

(Image Source – Figma)

Incorporating testimonials on your author’s website can be a great way to enhance your online presence, build credibility, and connect with more readers. Positive reviews from satisfied readers can be social proof, showing potential readers that others have enjoyed your work. This can lead to increased trust in your writing and interest in purchasing your books. Testimonials can establish you as a credible author, validating your skills and expertise and encouraging new visitors to explore your work.

Social Media Integration

Social media is a big deal because lots of people use it all over the world. For authors, it’s super useful because it helps them talk to more people than just those who visit their website. When you add social media to your website, you can chat directly with readers, share their work, and make friends with fans. It’s like having a big online party where everyone can join in!

When authors use social media on their website, they can quickly tell their fans about new book releases, share secrets about how they write, or invite everyone to exciting events. This keeps fans interested and makes them feel part of something special.

A solid social media presence can also make an author seem more trustworthy. When people visit an author’s website and see they have lots of followers and talk to fans, it shows they’re legit, and people can trust their books.

Events List Page

Author Events

An events page on your author’s website is an excellent way to promote your work, connect with readers, and enhance your professional image. By showcasing upcoming book signings, readings, and author talks, readers can easily find where to meet you in person and get signed copies of your books. Hosting events also allows you to build anticipation, reach new readers, and foster stronger relationships with your audience. 

Additionally, having a centralized location for all your upcoming appearances can help readers stay updated on your schedule and plan to attend events that interest them.

Reader Community Forum

Adding a forum to your author’s website helps fans connect and talk about your books. You can join discussions, get feedback, and share extra stuff like sneak peeks(a brief preview or glimpse of something before its full release or unveiling).

It makes readers feel closer to you and each other, which keeps them returning to your site. This builds loyalty and helps you understand what readers like, improving your writing. Overall, it creates a fun community that supports your books and makes you a more successful author.

Media Kit and Press Page

Author Media Kit

Having a media kit and press page on your author’s website is like putting your best foot forward in the digital world! By having these sections, you’re showing off your professionalism and how seriously you take your writing career. Not only does it save time for journalists and bloggers who want to feature you, but it also elevates your credibility and establishes your brand. It’s a powerful way of declaring to the world, “Hey world, I’m here, and I mean business!”

An Email Newsletter SignUp

Stay connected with your audience by allowing them to subscribe to your newsletter. By signing up, they will receive all the latest updates on your releases, exclusive content, upcoming events, and special offers. Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your readers and ensure their continued engagement.

Interactive Quizzes or Polls

Have fun by making engaging quizzes or polls about your books, characters, or writing journey. Get your readers involved and encourage them to share their results on social media, boosting interaction and promoting your books.

Reader Feedback Forms

Provide a feedback form or survey where readers can share their thoughts, reviews, and suggestions about your books. This shows that you value their input and helps you understand your audience better and improve your writing.

Contests and Giveaways

Hold contests or giveaways where readers can win signed copies of your books, merchandise, or exclusive experiences related to your writing. Contests create excitement and incentivize engagement with your website and social media channels.

Virtual Book Tours

Virtual Book Tour

A virtual book tour feature allows you to reach a wider audience and go beyond local boundaries and traditional tour stops. With this feature, you can connect with readers from all over the world and increase the exposure of your books through online events like interviews, readings, and Q&A sessions.

Virtual tours also allow diverse readers to engage with you, regardless of location or scheduling conflicts. These tours are a cost-effective alternative to traditional tours as they eliminate travel expenses and logistical challenges. Both you and your readers benefit from the convenience of participating in or attending events from the comfort of your own homes and can engage in live chats and virtual signings.

Also, one of the benefits of these events is that, as an author, you can continue to promote your books long after the tour.

Book Recommendation Engine

A book recommendation engine on your website helps readers find books they’ll love by giving them personalized suggestions based on what they’ve liked. This makes visiting your site more enjoyable because they can quickly discover new books that match their interests. Plus, when readers find books they want through your recommendations, they’re more likely to trust your suggestions and might even check out your books, which can boost your sales.

When readers use the recommendation engine on your site, it encourages them to spend more time exploring and engaging with your content. They’ll click on recommended books, stay on your site longer, and return for more visits. Also, by including your own books in the recommendations, you can reach new readers who might be interested in your writing style or the topics you cover. Plus, the data from the recommendation engine can give you insights into what your readers like, helping you make better decisions about your future books and marketing strategies.

Author Podcast or Video Series

Author Podcast or Video Series

Podcasts and videos offer a unique opportunity for authors to connect with their audience personally, share insights and experiences, and promote their books. By hosting a podcast or video series, authors can humanize their brand, build stronger relationships with their readers, and reach a broader audience beyond traditional readers. Additionally, podcasts and videos provide content variety, showcase expertise, offer promotional opportunities, and foster community building. To make the most of these platforms, authors should research their audience’s interests, capture their attention with captivating openings, and keep things interesting by adding variety to their content.

Live Writing Workshops or Webinars

Live webinars on your website as an author have many benefits.

Interaction: Engage with your audience in real-time, leading to discussions, Q&A sessions, and workshops. This helps build connections and enhance their experience.

Expertise: Showcase your knowledge by sharing insights, tips, and advice on writing, publishing, and other topics. This establishes you as an authority and attracts readers and professionals.

Audience Growth: Attract new followers and expand your audience by promoting webinars on your website and social media. Introduce your books to potential readers.

Promotion: Use webinars to launch books, conduct interviews, host readings, and offer exclusive insights. This generates excitement and interest.

Value: Provide educational and entertaining content through webinars, enriching the reader experience and showing commitment to audience growth.

Monetization: Explore opportunities like paid workshops, premium content, or exclusive events to generate revenue and support your author career.

Author Collaborations

Team up with other authors for guest posts, interviews, and discussions on your website. This brings fresh content, expands your reach to new readers, boosts your credibility, sparks creative ideas, and opens doors to networking and future collaborations. It’s a win-win for you and your readers!

Writer's Workshop

A “Writer’s Workshop” feature where readers can collaborate in creating short stories or chapters of a novel. Here’s how it could work: Readers submit their ideas for characters, plot twists, or settings, and the author periodically selects submissions to incorporate into a collaborative story. This interactive experience engages readers and empowers them to contribute creatively to the author’s world, fostering a sense of community and ownership over the storytelling process.

We’ve explored the essential features that an author’s website should include. Now, let’s look into how various authors utilize their websites.

How Different Authors Use Potential of Their Websites

How Different Authors Use Potential of Their Websites

Fiction Authors

Writers of novels, short stories, and other fictional works often create websites to promote their books, share insights into their creative process, and engage with readers through blog posts, interviews, and events.

Non-Fiction Authors

Authors of non-fiction books, including memoirs, self-help, and educational works, use websites to showcase their expertise, offer resources related to their subject matter, and provide platforms for discussions and collaborations.

Self-Published Authors

Many self-published authors create websites to market and sell their books directly to readers, bypassing traditional publishing channels. Websites allow them to retain control over their work and establish direct relationships with their audience.

Established Authors

Well-known and bestselling authors often maintain websites to keep fans updated on their latest projects, appearances, and news. These websites serve as central hubs for their online presence and help maintain visibility in the literary world.

Emerging Authors

New and emerging authors use websites to introduce themselves to potential readers, share samples of their writing, and build anticipation for upcoming releases. Websites provide a platform to establish credibility and connect with readers from the outset of their careers.

Taking action is crucial. If you haven’t created your website yet, it’s worth considering teaming up with expert web designers specializing in author websites. They know how to make a stunning website that highlights your work and encourages reader interaction. It might be time for an update if you already have a website. Collaborating with web design professionals can give your online presence a modern touch, ensuring that your website showcases your most recent work and appeals to today’s readers.

Different Options for Those Looking to Make an Author Website:

Different options for building your author website

Self-Hosted WordPress

Gives you full control and flexibility over your website design and functionality.

Website Builders

Platforms like Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly offer easy-to-use drag-and-drop interfaces for building a website without coding skills.

Author Website Services

Some companies offer specialized author website design services, providing tailored templates and features to cater to writers’ needs.

Hiring a Web Designer

If you prefer a custom-designed website, you can hire professional author website designers to create a unique site tailored to your needs.

Blogging Platforms

Platforms like Blogger or offer blogging functionality that can be used to create a simple author website with a built-in blog.

Final Words

In conclusion, a well-crafted author website is more than just a digital calling card; it’s a dynamic platform that elevates an author’s presence in the literary world. By incorporating these essential features, authors can showcase their work and engage with readers, build their brand, and leave a lasting impression. As technology evolves, so must authors’ websites, adapting and innovating to meet the ever-changing needs of writers and readers alike. With the right blend of creativity, functionality, and user experience, an author’s website becomes a virtual home and a gateway to endless possibilities in the exciting journey of storytelling.

In addition to providing a central hub for your online presence, a well-designed author website can help you establish credibility and professionalism in your field. By showcasing your portfolio, events calendar, and other resources, you can provide value to your readers and demonstrate your expertise as an author.

Overall, having a strong author website is crucial for any author looking to succeed in today’s market. By investing the time and energy into creating a professional and engaging website, you can connect with your readers, grow your audience, and establish yourself as a credible and successful author.

Frequently Asked Questions

The average cost of an author’s website typically falls within the range of $1000 to $10000. Read our article if you need more guidance on the author’s website cost.

An author website offers numerous advantages, regardless of your publisher or genre. Let’s explore the key benefits.

  • Direct communication with readers
  • Control over branding
  • Promotion and marketing power
  • Global accessibility
  • Invaluable data insights
  • Centralized hub for book-related activities
  • Streamlined book purchasing
  • Journalist outreach
  • Community building opportunities
  • Professionalism and credibility boost

The sooner, the better! Even unpublished authors can benefit from an author’s website.

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