Author Website Design 101

Recently, I spoke to a colleague who made her first sale. I remember the feeling for me, almost a year ago…a little numb, a lot anxious, and very excited. During my journey, I began establishing the social networking tools for publication: Twitter, Facebook, and a website. Signing that contract changed my perspective on my toolset. As a result, I refined my author repertoire in preparation for “release day”.

One of my big changes is that I completely revamped my website. Never having done a website or a blog before, I had started out with a free WordPress blog that doubled as my website. While that helped me get my feet wet, I wanted something with a little more pizazz. My domain was hosted through 1and1.com so I started there but ended up choosing Wix to create the actual website. Having a tech background, I didn’t mind rolling up my sleeves to figure out how to use the application, which is very user-friendly.

Below are some things you need to consider before you get started.

Branding

What is your author brand? Not your book brand, although the genre you write is a part of branding you as an author. What do you want your readers—yes, you’ll have them—to think about when they hear your name or first come into your site? If you write dark, paranormal stories or romantic suspense, you may want darker colors or a picture that will allow the reader to convey this at first glance.

Since I write contemporary, I struggled with my brand. Finally, I decided to keep it simple. I picked colors I liked and found an image of vines that reminded me of my Tangled Hearts series.

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