The one thing every author should have is a website. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to blog. In fact, unless blogging is something you enjoy doing and can do on a regular basis, you’re probably better off not having one.
We’ll start with the domain name. That’s the http://www._______.com that will take readers to your website. The best option is WWW.YOURNAME.COM. If you have a common name, then it might already be taken. In that case, consider using:
You don’t have to use the .com designation. Ones like .net and .org work too. But make it something that is easy for readers to remember.
I’ve seen authors who use the name of a series for their main website. I wouldn’t suggest doing this unless you only write that series. The reason being, if you write more than one series it might be harder from some readers to find you. What if you choose your first series as your domain name, but they haven’t read it? You want it to be as easy as possible for readers to find you online.
Which takes me to my next point.
When a reader finds your site they should be able to tell two things almost instantly; that you are an author and what genre you write in. If you write gay romance then you shouldn’t have pictures of scantly clad women plastered all over your website. If you write thrillers, then having cowboys and horses all over your website doesn’t make sense. Unless, of course, you write cowboy thrillers, then that’s a different story. You see where I’m going with this, right? Tailor your website to match the kinds of stories you write.
An author’s website is a professional platform. It is the face you present to the world. Make sure it represents you as a writer.
Things like personal photos of you, your family, your pets, your vacation, have no place on your author website. If you want to share those things, then I suggest keeping them regulated to blog posts. The one exception to this is, however, photos taken at conventions. Then I would suggest creating a page specifically for them, and remember, keep it clean and professional.
Once you post something online, it’s there forever.
In part two of author websites, I’ll talk specifics about things to consider when creating your website. Feel free to comment or contact me with any questions.
Lynley was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. She published her first book in September of 2012 and hasn’t looked back. When not writing she can found reading or coming up with creative ways to avoid housework. While Lynley Wayne may be a pen name, the woman behind it is very real and believes everyone is entitled to their own version of happiness. She looks forward to the day when who, or how, we love is no longer an issue.
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