In today's world, you need a website. Especially if you have a book coming out! Your website is a landing page that lets readers know who you are, what they can expect from you, and where they can buy your book.
But it doesn't have to be a frustrating experience for you. Authors can create their own websites without becoming expert coders or super technicians. Here are three steps you need to take in order to get started.
How to Easily Create an Author Website Yourself:Today, there are a TON of website builders out there. Some popular builders are free sites like Wix and Wordpress. However, if you can afford to spend a little extra, I'd highly recommend you move past the free builders in order to have 100% control over your site’s content.
To do that you'll need these three things:
1. A Domain Name (About $10-$15)Before you can create an author website, you will need a domain name. This is the URL that people will use to find you. A lot of authors use their full names, but it's not a requirement. Just make sure it's something easy to remember and spell, and that it doesn't have any dashes.
Once you know what name you'd like to use, go to GoDaddy.com, or another domain provider, to make sure it's available. If it is, you’ll want to purchase it then find a place to host it. (Your host could be the same place you purchase your domain through or an outside source.)
2. A Hosting Account (Anywhere from $5/mth - $200 for the year.)A hosting company is the place where your website lives. They make sure that your site speed is high and everything loads correctly. You can also get email accounts with your hosting that are associated with your URL so you look extra fancy on your business cards. 💁♀️
There are quite a few hosting companies around, like Bluehost, GoDaddy, A2, etc. But out of all of them, I recommend using SiteGround. They have AMAZING customer service, awesome load times, and will help you set up your Wordpress account for free. Plus, you get a FREE SSL which is the https at the beginning of your URL, which is great for search engine optimization and having a secure site.
3. A Theme that Works for You (A one-time purchase between $0-$150)Finally, you need to purchase a theme. Your theme is what your website will look like to the outside world. There are so many beautiful themes that people have made that you don't have to worry about coding or writing HTML to make changes. Instead, search for what you want your site to look like.
When considering a look for your author’s website, I suggest you focus on clean lines and lots of white space. This will make your design look modern and fresh, as well as, allow people to find things easily.
Those are the 3 Steps! Once you’ve finished, you’ll build the website that’s perfect for you.
Now that you have purchased your theme, you will want to install it and start to add all the pages that are important for your specific website. The number of pages you have on your site will vary depending on everything you want to offer as an author. However, every author will need a home page, about the author page, and a page for the books you’ve written.
That’s the bare minimum, but I’d also suggest adding these pages:
- Contact me -- to add people to your email list and can link to social accounts
- Book a Visit -- for speaking gigs and school visits
- Blog -- if you want to keep up the writing, it’s nice to have a blog for tips, things about you/your life, and how your book journey is going, etc.
That’s it! You’re well on your way to creating an awesome website. Have fun creating and be sure to share with your family and friends after you’ve hit publish.
Brooke Van Sickle is the CEO & Founder of Journey to Kidlit - the best online resource to learn how to write and publish a children’s book. Her books have received honors like the Moonbeam Children's Award, Purple Dragonfly, and Mom's Choice for honoring excellence in children's books. You can learn more about her on her website www.journeytokidlit.com.
Plus, if you’re ready to get started writing your own children’s book, you can download Brooke’s children’s book template for FREE! Download your template here. Just Brooke’s way of saying thank you and a way to help you with your writing journey.