Should You Have an Author Website?

In this article we cover the reasons why an author website will make a difference and our thoughts on how to make the most of your website once live.
Writing from a publisher’s perspective, the answer is most definitely, yes, you do need an author website. However, if you’ve already invested a lot to publish your book, you may be feeling like it’s an extra cost at a time when you’ve yet to see any book sales. Below we cover the reasons why an author website will make a difference and our thoughts on how to make the most of your website once live.

Reasons why an author website will help you sell more books

There are no guarantees that you will sell more books by investing in your marketing. However, it’s a certainty that no-one will find you and your books, if you’re not online at all. Here are some of the reasons why an author website will help you sell more books:

  • A professional website acts as a pillar of your author brand and gives you the ability to regularly publish fresh content, your thoughts and musings for your readers to get to know you. (An alternative would be to publish your thoughts in a blog space like, but bear in mind, you can’t directly sell books from there.)
  • The book market is crowded. However, if your readers are engaging with you as a person and reading other content you’ve written (like blogs or poetry or short stories), they’ll be primed for your book when it’s out.
  • Readers may search for your name and your book when they hear about you, but it undermines your credibility as an author if they find nothing and stops them in their search. Most authors are visible on one or two of the social media platforms too, either Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn for business books. That interaction enables them to feel more connected to your story or expertise in the book.
  • A website gives you the functionality to include a sign-up for your readers to receive an email newsletter or update from you, which can link back to your blogs. Updates don’t have to be intensive, but if they offer interesting and relevant content to the readers, your website traffic will grow. The more people who see your pages, the more likely Google will show them to other web browsers, if they type in an organic search term which relates to your content.
  • Press and media contacts will do their research when you’re pitching to be interviewed. An easy way to help them find out more about you is to give comprehensive information and some of your quirky backstories on an 'About the Author' page. You can even include a separate 'Press' section, supplying ready-written news releases. Publicity on the radio or through the local news channels means more people will hear about your book and potentially look you up to buy it.

How to get the most out of your author website

A website should be professionally produced, working efficiently and intuitively for the reader, so they can navigate around and easily find the information they want. Your website should be proofread and nicely set out, because it’s part of your overall author brand and what readers see there gives them a flavour of what they’ll find in your book. Anything below-par could put them off and potentially lose you sales. To make the most of your author website:

  • Update the content at least once a month, every week if you can manage it.
  • Share different types of content, whether you’re commenting on the news, providing resources, writing short stories, sharing book reviews from what you’re reading or work in progress with your writing.
  • Build up an email subscriber list, offering giveaways and interesting downloads to attract new sign ups.
  • Include a wide range of links to buy your books (including the SilverWood Bookshop if you’ve published with us). This gives the reader freedom to buy from their favourite source.
  • Be available to respond to enquiries and questions from your readers via a 'Contact Me' page. This might be a web form or email details for them to use. Journalists will expect to reach you by phone, so include your number if sharing a press release on the site.
  • Set up Google Analytics; you’ll be able to see the spikes in your website traffic when you post new content to your social media or email subscriber list.
  • Learn more about search engine optimisation and social media hashtags to reach more readers.

Types of website that are easy to maintain

Building your own website is an option. However, you do need to ensure it looks professional, that it’s hosted securely and that you know how to add new content and maintain it. Regular updates will also help prevent hacking.

The three tools used by other authors are:

  • Wordpress (there are thousands of themes to choose from, pick one that is simple).
  • SquareSpace (this platform is designed for sites to include high quality images).
  • Wix (suitable for a basic entry level templated website).
If you’re not sure about doing this yourself, SilverWood can help. Contact us to find out more or click on the product link below.

If you’re not already a SilverWood-signed author but you’d like to explore working with us for your next book, please drop a line to publishing director Helen Hart here.

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