It’s possible, as an author, that you’re a relatively private person. After all, for many writers, one of the things that appeals to them about writing is that they can do it alone, without distraction, regularly. It’s an activity preferred by someone who is at least a little bit of an introvert. As an author website designer, I have conversations with my clients regularly about their author website’s Contact page. What I always recommend is that they provide as many ways to contact them as possible, and here’s why:
- While you may have a preference for how you like to contact people online (email, Instagram DM, contact form, etc..), everyone else does too, and their preference may not be the same as yours. The most important thing about contacting you via your author website is that it’s easy. Not easy for you, but easy for the people who are contacting you. You do not want to miss out on an author interview, or a message from a potential publisher, because you’re particular about how people reach out to you. After all, you can get back to them in the method that you prefer based on what they tell you. If you ask for a phone number, for example, you can call the person directly.
- Showing that you’re flexible, approachable and connected is a good thing. If you’re Bill Murray you can get away with not even owning a phone, but most of us aren’t. Most of us are hoping to use our website to make connections to further our careers. If you intentionally cut yourself off by providing an email address that you never check, you are leaving money on the table. If you have an agent, provide their information, if you don’t want to provide your own, but make sure whatever information you provide will be checked regularly.
- You get to decide who you reply to. You might hear from fans, journalists, publishers, and more… but if you receive a message that you don’t want to reply to, then don’t. No one is keeping track.
- Link to this page throughout your website wherever it makes sense. For example, on the page that links to interviews with you, you might provide a link to your Contact page if someone is interested in interviewing you rather than making them scroll up to the navigation menu to find the Contact page. This might also be true where you talk about speaking engagements, book clubs, podcasts, bulk orders, etc… Don’t make your website visitors have to hunt through your site to find it.
One final thing to consider is that your Contact page is a way for you to make a connection with someone. Something that helps in making a connection is for someone to see you, and for you to write a few words about contacting you. That means you might include a photo of yourself here, and it’s a nice place to use a more casual shot than your official author headshot. You might also write an introduction that says something about how you love hearing from people, are available for ____ and ____, and how quickly you might get back to them.
To illustrate this point, although I am not an author, I include a screenshot of my website’s Contact page here: