September 14 , 2019
Sunbury Press does not create author websites, nor do we advise on hosting companies, platforms, or designers. We also do not provide technical support for any author websites. However, there are a couple of options listed that new authors can try if they wish. Having a website is the single most important marketing tool you will own. Don’t skip this!
- *URL – this is your website address. It is the link that goes at the top of an Internet browser (Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox). For instance, yourName.com, You can also get www.yourbook.com or www.yourbookseriesname.com. You do not have to have multiple URLs or websites. The most important one is your name, pseudonym or pen name as a web address (URL). If you only plan to write one book – ever, then you can use the book title as the URL. But, most writers at least dream of writing more books, so I recommend you go ahead and begin the branding process and get your name as a URL, or some variation thereof. (i.e. www.writerjohnsmith.com)
- *Hosting and design – this is essentially renting space on the internet. The URL is the address and the hosting is where your website is built. If you need easy and free, you can use Wordpress, Wix.com, or Weebly.com. If you are not comfortable with technology, get help! Be sure your website looks good and works on mobile devices.
- *Homepage – this is the first page that comes up on your website. It should have easy navigation to all the other pages, be on brand (your own style and genre). It should showcase your latest book, and always, always have a link to sign up for your newsletter and links to purchase. Don’t make visitors search for these. I recommend you put your newsletter signup in a footer that appears on every page. If you have a logo, or signature look, be sure it at the top of the page.
- *About – This page is about you. Include an expanded biography, any personal information you are not afraid to share and an author photo. You should NOT list your cell or address and you might not even want to list your personal email address, but at least link to your twitter or your contact page. If you’ve done interviews, and don’t have a separate media page, you can include them here.
- *Contact page – This page should include a form that allows visitors to get in touch with you. This is scary for some, but authors need to begin a conversation with their audience. Using the form, readers and others who want your attention can write to you. This gives them a way to communicate back to you (conversation) without giving them your personal contact information. Also include on this page, information for the press (if you don’t have a separate media page), links to purchase books for individuals and bookstores, and all social links. Anyone who has a question should be able to find direction on this page. Don’t forget the ever-present Newsletter signup link or form! (For Bookstore orders: “Bookstores can order from Sunbury Press directly at a 40% discount or can order through Ingram. Info at: http://sunburypress.com/wholesale/ )
- *Books – On this page, you highlight all your books. If you only have one, then you have lots of space. If you have multiple, then make sure your latest book is at the top, include the cover images, descriptions, great reviews, and links to purchase on Sunbury Press, and on Amazon. Also, list that it is available at most bookstores, simply request that they order it from Sunbury Press. Again, don’t make people go search for how to order your book, if they find your website, make sure there are clear links to purchase. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for a review on this page. If you have any videos include them. Here is a good book trailer example: https://www.adrienneyoungbooks.com/sitd
- *Social Share – This page gives readers who loved your book and what to recommend it to their friends online a quick and easy way to do so. Sunbury Press author, JC Gatlin has a good example: http://jcgatlin.com/share-hangman
Press Page – this is the page the press will go to if they are interested in an interview. If you are strictly a fiction writer, you don’t have to create this page, but you can if you see a need. Non-fiction writers should always have it. It is also a direct link you can send to reporters, reviewers, hosts, and bloggers so they have the information they need in one easy (printable) location. I would put the information on this page and also create a pdf that can be downloaded. Include:
- Your name
- Your headshot
- Your short biography
- Your book description
- Any great reviews
- A few sample interview questions
- Your contact information
- Your latest press releases
- *Blog – I highly recommend you write at least a monthly blog that adds content to your site and gives you content for your monthly newsletter. Remember write about things that will interest your ideal readers. Every time you release a new book, you should be writing blogs about the characters, settings, time periods and anything else that could be of interest. When you are about to release a new book, begin writing teasers to build interest. There will be another article later offering more blog ideas.
- Events – if you are doing a book tour or have a bunch of events lined up, you can create a separate page for these. If you don’t have too many, you can include this information on your contact page and/or your bio page. Don’t be afraid to repeat some information.
- FAQ – If you have a body of work around a genre, you might be getting the same questions again and again from your readers. To help, create a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Simply write out the questions and answers for all to see.
If you get this all up and running, you’re off to a great start. The bullets above with the *, should be the minimum. We’ll put out more examples as we find them, but for now, this should get you moving forward. A few comprehensive sites: Fiction: https://elizabethchadwick.com, https://bradthor.com/ Non-fiction: https://www.ynharari.com/ , https://www.jensincero.com/