Sometimes as an author, it’s difficult to get into the mode of thinking about your author website visitors and what they might want out of your site. You’re likely in the process of releasing your new book, after all, which includes tying up loose ends, scheduling publicity campaigns, and managing your release team. It can be all encompassing!
As an author website designer, I see it as my job to help my clients through the details of their author websites that might get overlooked in a busy time — details that help their site visitors get what they need/want out of your site so that they’re more likely to follow you and tell their friends about you. One of those details is sharing more information about you in a way that resonates with your audience. I’ve previously written about what you might include on your About page (sometimes known as your Bio page), and you can think of an Author Q&A as a “bonus feature” — not 100% necessary, but certainly nice to have.
The reason it’s nice to have is that it serves two simultaneous purposes:
- It helps your audience get to know you better in a framework that you control.
- It allows you to introduce the talking points you find most important about your work so that people who want to write about you (or interview you) have a solid jumping off point.
Creating an Author Q&A lets you establish a framework of questions you’re comfortable with, and get as creative as you want with the answers. If you’re unsure what questions you might ask, consider asking friends or family what kind of interesting things people might want to know about you, related to your work.
When someone wants to write about or interview you as an author (and you want to encourage them to do so), your sharing some questions and answers can help steer things in a direction you like and make sure topics that are important to you are covered, rather than relying on journalists to go in blind. When you watch late night talk show hosts interviewing their guests, it’s no coincidence that it goes smoothly — they’ve done their homework and have come up with talking points ahead of time, and so can you!
Finally, while you can make your Author Q&A part of your About page (or even your Book page), you might also consider adding a PDF version so that it can be easily downloaded, printed, and shared. It might even be part of a larger Press Kit download on your site.
The benefits of being shy are few when you’re marketing yourself and your projects on the internet, so embrace the easy wins that help you beef up your author platform!