Anyway, Carrie is going to give us some tips for not mucking up our websites. Take it away, CB!
10 Things to Consider When Making an Author Website
Thank you for having me over, EJ! I'm so excited to talk about author websites.
I decided to make mine right before I started querying, because I wanted a centralized, easy to find web prescience. If you're thinking about making a website, here are ten things to consider:
1. Which category do you write in? (Adult, NA, YA, MG, etc.)
Why I ask: If you write adult, you probably shouldn't make a website in bold, primary colors.
2. Which genre do you write in? (Romance, thriller, science fiction, etc.)
Why I ask: Someone who writes romance would probably opt for "softer" graphics than someone who writes science fiction.
3. Do you write in multiple categories/genres?
Why I ask: If they can't be thematically blended, you might decide to take a more neutral approach.
4. Who is your audience?
Why I ask: Like writing, you should try to appeal to your target market. Think demographics here.
5. When you go to other author sites, what are the things you want to find as a reader?
Why I ask: Those are the things you should implement, i.e. bio, books, press pack, contact, etc.
6. How can you convey your personality, while still keeping things professional?
Why I ask: You're building a brand. You'll want to keep common colors and themes across all of your sites, i.e. blog, Facebook cover photo, Twitter background, etc.
7. Where will you get your domain?
Why I ask: This one requires a little research.
I obtained my domain (www.carrieabutler.com) through GoDaddy.com and sprung for the privacy service. (Read up on ICANN and WHOIS.) It amounts to less than twenty bucks a year, and I consider it a career investment.
Side note: This was the only money I spent on my website.
8. Which host will you use?
Why I ask: Again, you'll need to do a little research.
I use Weebly, and I love it. Not only do they have a free option, but it's highly customizable. If you're willing to put in the time and effort, you can create something truly original.
9. What will you put on your website?
Why I ask: It's best to plan this out ahead of time, especially if you're trying to save money.
The images you see on my website are Creative Commons, public domain, or of my own creation. The content is mostly what I had strewn across the Internet prior to this, i.e. social media links, my biography, information about my book, etc.
10. How often will you update your website?
Why I ask: It's something to think about, especially if you include time-sensitive material.
I update my website at least once a week, but I'm very hands-on. You may choose to only update yours once a month or whenever something needs to changed. The key here is consistency.
And there you have it! If you have any questions, I'll be in and out today. Thank you for stopping by. :)
Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.
Thanks a heap, CB! By the way, Carrie has an awesome new book out. It's called Strength, and there's a highly shirtless man on the cover. I blogged about it not long ago. Feel free to ogle the cover before clicking the link below for more details. :)