NOTE: My project schedule is currently open for the start of next year! If you’re going to need an author website in the first quarter of 2022, please send me a message and we’ll have a short conversation to figure out what kind of website you need and I can get you on my schedule.
As an author website designer I often work with clients who are facing one of two scenarios in their career:
- They’ve written books, maybe even a series, across multiple genres. Perhaps they have books for children, and also adults. Or, maybe they’ve written romantic fiction and also thrillers.
- Being an author is one part of their expertise, but on top of that, they are also educators, or speakers, or consultants, or therapists, or journalists, etc..
And if one of these scenarios applies to you, it’s possible you have the same question my clients frequently have: “Should I have one single website for everything that I do, or do I need different websites?”
And the answer is that it depends! If you’ve written books across genres, my advice is to create a single author website where you present all of the books that you’ve written. When you do that, here are some things to keep in mind:
- When you create a website for a book or a series of books you can tailor the design specifically. When you are creating a site for books with different aesthetics, across multiple years, you need to create a design that is neutral enough to work for all of those covers and all of the genres. The most important elements of the design are about your author brand and what you want to communicate about yourself as an author/person. Things like fonts, colors, backgrounds, and photos should be selected depending on how you want people to feel about you as an author as much as about your books.
- You should still be promoting each book or series both on your website and off. When an author has multiple books, each of those books should have its own landing page. That way you can optimize that page for SEO, and you can also tailor the design to the aesthetic of the book. It also gives you a direct link you can use to point people to the information they might need (like media kits). You can use the website’s Home page to feature the latest, and/or most popular, of your books so that site visitors know they’re in the right place and then invite them to explore the website further.
- It’s okay if you have different information available for each book. It’s common that your first books (unless you’re the unicorn with the bestseller right out of the gate, in which case congrats!) might not have the same amount of marketing collateral or reviews as your most recent work. You’ll want to present what you have available, even if one book has much more than another. An example is Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time vs The Joys of Love. Both are book pages on her author website, but obviously, there’s much (much) more content for A Wrinkle in Time. Despite that, we use the same model for all the site’s book pages, which also makes it easy to add a new book page when necessary.
- If being an author is one part of what you do, but you also want to feature other work on your site because it’s connected to your writing, then you introduce both components of your work on the Home page, and create a separate landing page for each. An example is Melinda Wenner-Moyer’s website where site visitors can learn more about her book on the How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes page, and about her work as a journalist on the Articles page. Similarly, author and podcaster Lian Dolan has a page for each of her books on her site like this page for Lost and Found in Paris, and also a landing page about her successful podcast, Satellite Sisters, and a land page for her work as a Speaker.
It’s time to consider having multiple websites when, for example, you use a pseudonym for some books and have no plans to indicate that Person A and Person B are one and the same. Or, if you are an author of romance novels and you also have a consulting career in public health — those two enterprises deserve different sites. Even if your career path results in two websites, you can (and potentially should) link between the two on the About page for each where you introduce yourself. If it’s appropriate for you to share information about your other career then it’s a good idea to do so. It helps people better understand you and brings more authenticity to your interactions with site visitors.
I work with authors all the time and there are sometimes nuances to these decisions. If that’s the case for you, I’d encourage you to talk with a professional website designer with experience in both cases who also understands marketing to help you make the best decision for you.
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