Author Websites – The Good, The Not So Good and the Well… Excellent!!

I have been looking at a lot of Author websites to see what works and what doesn't.  I have found some that I am going to share here with you.

I am starting with the very amazing site of Dan Brown.  The site does not come under any of the above categories – it has one of its own – WOW!!  This is not the type of website you should aspire to, but it is worth a look and a mention purely for its wow factor. Very impressive and I can imagine – very expensive!

Lulu Taylor – I really like that as soon as you look at Lulu's page you can see she is an author.  Her book takes up a big part of the front page – which is great!  Her page is warm and inviting and I think straight away that she is a person I would want to spend more time with.  The only thing for me is that she is missing many opportunities to connect with her readers.  The link to her Facebook page is written in small writing on her front and contact page and her Twitter link is hidden away on her contact page.

One Apple Tasted. The first thing I noticed was a video on the front page, which I thought was great, but it would not load.  The next thing was that the dates have expired. The book again, took pride of place on the page which if fantastic.  I did find it a little difficult to follow when certain bits of information ended and new began. I do like how she has a lovely picture of herself on the front page, so you know whose website you are on straight away.

Victoria Alexander, I love this website.  It is a little flasher than needed but I think it is beautiful! It has the book on the front page, there are links to social media, a lovely picture of the author.  I think this has been put together very nicely!! You can even sign up to her newsletter on the front page.

In my next post I am going to show you some websites you could easily put together yourself with some knowledge on how to use WordPress. The Lulu Taylor and Elizabeth Alexander sites are both WordPress websites but you would need the help of a designer to create the Elizabeth Alexander site, whereas you would be able to easily learn how to put together a site like Lulu Taylor's yourself, or get it done for you inexpensively.

A few points to take awaway are:

  • Put your book on the front page – you spend all of that time writing it, you may as well show it off as much as you can.
  • Have links to your social media sites highly visible so people can connect with you there.
  • Have links on your page so that people can share your content out through their social media channels.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the websites above.

Leave your comments below!!

Stacey Myers, getting started, wordpress trainingStacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports Authors and Aspiring Authors create an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make her the perfect go-to resource.

About the author 

Stacey Myers

Coaching entrepreneurial women who have decided that mediocrity is no longer an option. From ordinary to extraordinary.

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  1. It looks like an author photo is something you recommend 100% for the landing page. Oh dear – I’m not photogenic at all and look scarily earnest and geeky in pics. Would it work to use a family group photo or one of me safely in the distance, do you think?
    Thank you for the advice. Very timely since I’m about to start on a ‘proper’ author website for myself.

    1. Steph,

      I do think it is important, yes. So people can see who they are interacting with. If you feel really uncomfortable about it then, yes, if you wanted to have a family photo up, you could do that.

      Thanks for the comment!!

  2. Great article. I love Victoria Alexander’s website. I enjoyed your critique of each. Dan Brown’s is amazing, but indeed too costly. I am a new follower. It is nice to be here. I really like your blog.

  3. These sites are gorgeous! Do these authors post all their books on their sites? As a writer, I have so many eBooks floating around in my head…should I have a site just for my writing, or should I interweave my writing into my niche sites for yoga? Some of my writing is yoga and some is not…but its ALL “yoga living” or, my life so far with yoga in it…

    1. Rhonda,

      If it is all Yoga related, I would keep it all on one site, for sure. Yes, authors generally post all of their books on their site.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Stacey

  4. I always love reading your blogs. So informative and this one has certainly opened my eyes. I know mine needs help I just haven’t figured out exactly where I am going. Thanks for getting my wheels turning.

  5. This was a fascinating look at different author websites – what a great way to see what works and what doesn’t. I’ll be taking some of these ideas for showcasing my e-books on my website:-)

  6. Good post – some important things for authors to consider. Just thought I should point out, though, that although Dan Brown’s site is flashy, that’s because it’s authored in Flash. This means it’s a lot harder to optimise for search engines, and won’t work on Apple mobile devices. Big author, big website – bad accessibility, which for a smaller author can be a death knell for website traffic.

    1. Felice,

      Thanks for the comment. You are absolutely correct about Dan Brown’s site. It is a conversation I have quite often with people setting up their websites or redesigning them.

      They are also a lot more expensive!

      Stacey

  7. Wow, Stacey – this was such great information and as usual you provide it in an organized easy to read format. That is so helpful to someone like me who tends to be a little scattered. Thank you for keeping me sane and continually inspired!

  8. I’m a Marketing Consultant and can tell you from experience that even the sites you pointed out have some issues. While they may look pretty, there are many missing elements that cause them to be less effective.

    For example, Dan Brown’s website has a high amount of flash – a big no-no for SEO (search engine optimization) because search engines can’t “read” it. So while it looks pretty, the flash is a negative. Also, there’s no social media connection. While there’s some multi-media, it’s hidden instead of being available as a solid call to action. Multi-media is one of the most interesting parts of a website and should be front and center or he might as well not have multi-media (video, audio), not even a clip from the movies. The book images are not clear enough they’re clickable images and many visitors would miss that. The layout is too constrained and puts the text into a box that’s far too narrow, causing unnecessary page length and therefore user scrolling.

    And that’s just his site in five minutes of analysis. I won’t go into the rest of them – they have issues of their own.

  9. Stacey:

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice and tips. I wanted to know if you could write an article about how to get more comments on blogs. I write articles I believe are informative and helpful, but I rarely get comments from readers.

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