Three Absolute Essentials for your Author Website

person in dress with laptop on knee writing in notebook beside them

If you’re an author, you need a website. It’s that simple. Fortunately, it’s not complicated. I’ve whittled down what you need on your site to just three components, the three absolute essentials every author website needs. Ready? Here they are:

Your name

This sounds simple, doesn’t it? Would you believe I’ve seen websites without it. Put it right at the top, in big letters – that’s what you want everyone to remember.

And to be clear, this is the name you write under. You may choose to have a pen name or to use your initials or your middle name. There’s no need to have the name your mum calls you, or the name on your passport, anywhere in the site. Your name is your brand, so make it prominent.

Where to read or buy your work

After all, your writing is the whole reason you’re building this site. Most of all, your readers want to know where they can find more of it. Maybe they read a short story and love it and want more… your novel’s just out but with no link to it they don’t even know it exists.

The exact form this takes will depend on what you write – and how much of it there is – but as a minimum you should have the title of each work, and a link to where readers can find it.

A contact form

You can have an email address if you choose, but a contact form will help you sift through spam. Either way, make sure there’s an easy way to contact you (and remember not everyone uses social media).

This isn’t just for readers. I’ve heard from editors who want to commission a story but can’t find how to contact the author. They’ll probably find a way eventually, but if they have to waste time going through a publisher or looking you up on social media, that’s not the best start for your relationship. What if someone wants to invite you to be a guest at a convention? Or to give a book signing? Or they want to make a movie out of your story? You might think you’re not well known enough just yet, but stranger things have happened…

At this point, I can hear you saying: is that all? What about social media? What about a photograph of myself? What about Amazon links? What about my beautiful cover art…

You’re not wrong. There are many other elements that I recommend for your author website. But sometimes it’s good to start small. So many authors see complex, wonderful, websites that may have been built up over several years and immediately get overwhelmed. So start small. Start with the three essentials, quell the perfectionist, and you’ll be ready to get a site up and running.

Next time, we’ll talk about some of those other things…

I’m an author as well as a web developer, so I know what goes in to building an effective author website. We can work with you to build your website. Check out our packages and pricing or get in touch – and good luck with your writing!