Tag Archives: Author website

Guest Post: Why You Need an Author News Page on Your Website

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This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief.  Whether you’re just starting out or a best-selling author, Web Design Relief will improve your existing website or build you an affordable, custom author website to support your author platform, boost your online presence, and act as a hub for your social media outreach. Web Design Relief is a division of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. Sign up for their free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit the site today to learn more.

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Have you considered creating a News Page on your author website? Don’t be too quick to dismiss the idea, even if you’re not a famous writer (yet!). Web Design Relief knows that all writers—from newbies to best-selling authors—can benefit from having an Author News Page on their websites.

But what if you think you don’t have any news to post? You may be surprised how much you really do have to share, and how much a News Page can help you!

What Is Considered “Newsworthy” For Your Author Website?

New publications. Do you have a new book about to hit shelves? Did a literary journal pick up one of your poems, stories, or essays? Announce this to your fans! We know authors tend to be more on the shy side and not naturally inclined to brag. But think of it less as bragging and more as sharing your good news—your readers are sure to be just as happy as you are! And they’ll want to celebrate with you.

Updates on your publication journey. There may be a long gap between when you announce your poem, story, essay, or book is going to be published and when it is actually published. So when publication finally happens, be sure to update your readers. You can also share important steps on your path to publication. Some ideas: signing your contract, learning your publication date, revealing your book cover—all newsworthy moments!

Book signings and readings. Giving public readings from your book and having book signing events are great ways to boost your sales and build your fan base. Plus, they’re fun (once you get the hang of them)! Of course you want as many fans—and potential new fans—as possible to attend your events, so get the word out on your Author News Page as soon as you know the details. You can also promote the event again as it gets closer.

Speaking engagements. You can also build your reputation as an author by sitting on panels, speaking at writing conferences and seminars, and so forth. These events let you use your expertise as a writer, and they’re excellent fodder for your author website’s News Page too! Just like book signings, nudge readers about the event as it gets closer—and remember to post the details as early as possible so that everyone interested can put it on their calendars.

Social media posts. If you’re worried about having enough “news” to regularly post on your author website’s News Page, consider integrating a social media feed or two into the page. Depending on which programs and widgets you choose, this could also ease some pressure on you—especially if you’re busy or not totally comfortable with social media. You’ll be posting updates in fewer places because your pages will sync automatically!

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How To Keep Your Information Safe On Your News Page

Host events only in public places. Bookstores, libraries, and even venues like cafés are perfect for author events. Once you plan them, definitely announce these events on your author website’s News Page right away—but be sure to only share the address of the event, not your own home address or contact info.

Be careful when you post photos. If you’re going to share photos of yourself at home—signing a contract, for example!—make sure the location can’t be accessed. Though geotagging can be incredibly helpful in the modern age for public events, it’s just not a good idea concerning your home address. To protect your safety, you shouldn’t post the town your home is in. This is something to also be careful about when using social media sites. Some social media sites strip out location info, but some do not. For example: Be sure to turn off Tweet Location if tweeting from home! 

For more tips on protecting your personal information on your author website—such as your email address, phone number, and legal name—check out this article! 

And Remember—You Have More News Than You Think!

Sure, a handful of best-selling authors will have national tours and fancy awards to post about—but literary agents and literary journal editors won’t expect that from every writer. Even smaller news is worth sharing—genuine connections and fan interactions matter so much more in the long run! Plus, these news items make readers feel like they’re really getting to know you.

Ready to build an author website with a News Page? Don’t worry if you’re not tech savvy—Web Design Relief is always here to help! Reach out for your free consultation to talk us through your vision and get a price quote today.

 

Question: Would you consider adding a News Page to your author website? What would your first post be?

Guest Post: How To Make The Most Of The Cover Art On Your Author Website by Web Design Relief

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Thank you to the people at Web Design Relief for these excellent ideas for making your author website show off your book cover to best advantage.

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Your book’s cover art is an invaluable marketing tool. A well-designed book cover will seriously boost sales by attracting more potential readers. And using cover art in smart, creative ways on a website will make your author branding instantly recognizable and effective! You can find the following author website examples, and more, at Web Design Relief’s website portfolio.

How To Amp Up Your Website With Your Book’s Cover Art

  1. Keep the design simple—let your book cover be the focus.

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If your book cover has bold, striking colors or visuals, keep the rest of your website design simple to let the cover art really stand out. When people visit your website, their eyes will immediately be drawn to the image of your book, making them more likely to click on the link to purchase it online! To make sure your book is the main focus on your homepage, consider a minimalist design for your site.

  1. Feature an image from your book cover as your website’s background.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Guest Post: 6 Cool Ways to Incorporate Your Favorite Quotes into your Author Website by Web Design Relief

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Thank you to the folks at Web Design Relief for today’s tips on including quotes on your blog or author website.

 

Who are the Internet-savvy marketing experts who are often quoted as saying, “Posting a quote on your author website will make it more personal and unique”? Okay, it’s us—but it’s true: Sharing your favorite quotes on your author website will offer your visitors a window into your interests, beliefs, and aspirations. If you’re wondering where quotes will work best in your website design, we have some great suggestions! (And you can quote us on that!)

Where To Feature Quotes In Your Author Website Design

1. Homepage

Since your homepage is usually the first page a visitor will land on when checking out your website, it’s a great place to feature one of your favorite quotes—especially right at the top where it can’t be missed. For extra impact, consider using a program like Photoshop to create a graphic banner of your quote!

2. Sidebar

Your sidebar can feature more than just the navigation to your recent articles and social media links. A short quote can liven up an otherwise mundane sidebar and make your website more memorable.

3. About Me Page

Many writers like to include a short “About Me” page that features a formal bio that mentions published works along with details about hobbies, interests, or other personal info. If there is a quote that holds special meaning for you, share it on your “About Me” page—and maybe even explain why it is so significant to you. This is a great way to give your fans insight into your own personal story so that they feel a stronger connection with you and your writing.

To continue reading this article, click here.

34 Issues That Will Scare Readers Away From Your Author Website

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34 Issues That Will Scare Readers Away From Your Author Website

Thank you to good people at Web Design Relief for today’s guest post.

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief, a highly recommended author website design service. We understand writers and their marketing goals and seek to design websites specific to those needs. Visit our site today to learn more.

Posted on October 15, 2015 by 

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Would your author website pass the blink test? According to marketing specialists, you have about three seconds—the approximate amount of time before one blink—for visitors to judge your website and decide whether to stay or move on. If the answer is “no,” your potential audience will quickly leave and be off to the next site. So it’s vital that your website doesn’t have any issues that will frighten people away, such as unattractive, dated design elements; super-slow loading speed; or confusing navigation. And a homepage that greets visitors with a black background and flashing advertisements will have people clicking away from your site in seconds flat.

Don’t scare your potential readers away! Here are thirty-four issues to avoid on your author website:

  1. Your site has no clear purpose. Visitors must click through several pages and read too much text to figure it out.
  2. Users are forced to read something or watch something before they can move on.
  3. It’s unclear what you write, what your genre is, or what you’re promoting.
  4. Your site doesn’t have an author bio so that visitors can learn more about you.
  5. The design elements of the site don’t reflect you or your work: For example, your thriller’s cover is featured against a flowery backdrop with lots of hearts.
  6. You don’t allow visitors to buy your book on your site, and there’s no link to an external sales page.
  7. There’s no way to contact you—which means you have no way to harvest interested readers’ contact information.
  8. Readers can’t comment or interact with you and other visitors.
  9. There’s no current activity on your blog—all the entries are weeks (even months!) old.
  10. You’ve copied and pasted articles from other websites onto yours without permission.
  11. Your content is displayed in huge paragraph blocks. Remember: Using headlines, bullet points, and short paragraphs helps visitors to read through and take in your information.
  12. The website doesn’t have any social media buttons. See our article on How To Cross-Promote Your Author Website And Your Social Media Pages For Max Results.
  13. There’s nothing to engage the reader. No contest to enter or sample chapter to download. No sign-up for mailing lists. No way to follow you on social media or “like” your site.
  14. Your favorite song immediately starts playing—and your visitors immediately leave.
  15. You have no press kit or information for literary agents who may be checking out your site.
  16. The domain name doesn’t make sense. It’s the name of your first book (but not any of the others), or you’ve chosen some “writerly” name like WindWhisperer.com that has nothing to do with your work. (Learn more about choosing a professional domain name.)
  17. Your author photograph is unflattering, unprofessional, or cropped from an old (bad!) Halloween photo of you. (Check out how to create a flattering headshot.)
  18. You’ve made the wrong color choices…really wrong.
  19. Your site has been proofread by a friend, who needs new glasses—not by a professional.

Other design problems that will send visitors running:

  1. An all-black background with white text.
  2. Teeny, tiny text, unreadable fonts, or ALL CAPS! (See How to Choose the Right Font for Your Website.)
  3. Too many images and not enough text.
  4. Too much text and not enough images.
  5. Text is overloaded with keywords.
  6. The writing is unnatural; heavily SEO-driven.
  7. No links; broken links.
  8. Links that aren’t underlined or a different color, so they don’t stand out.
  9. Overly long links that are 10 to 20 words or more.
  10. Too many pages to navigate.
  11. Too many pop-up ads, animations, whistles, and beeps.
  12. Amateur, poorly done photographs and cartoonish images.
  13. Too many unnecessary design elements cluttering things up.
  14. The site isn’t mobile-device friendly.
  15. Readers are forced to install plugins.

Most of these mistakes may seem like no-brainers—things even brain-deficient zombies would know to watch out for. But the design issues that might scare visitors away from a website aren’t always so obvious to you, the website’s owner. So don’t be afraid to ask trusted friends or total strangers to give you some honest feedback about your site before it goes live. Your author website is a reflection of you and your work—make sure it passes the blink test!

At Web Design Relief, we design author websites with readers in mind—the people who will actually use them—and we know what converts visitors into fans. Contact us if you need a spook-tacular site to showcase you and your writing!

QUESTION: What design issue scares you the most in an author’s website?