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Author Platform: What Should You Put on Your Author Website? By Meg LaTorre

Whether you’re a published or aspiring author, all writers need to have an author website.

But for aspiring authors, specifically, it can be confusing to know what to have on your author website. One of the most popular questions I receive on iWriterly and Twitter is: “What should I put on my author website?”

Last month, I provided an overview of author platform in my blog titled, Author Platform Basics. If you’re uncertain as to the origins of author platforms and why you need one in today’s publishing marketplace, be sure to check that blog out. Today, we’re going to dive deeper into what you should have on your author website.

Whether you have published books, soon-to-be-published books, or are still in the drafting phase of your manuscript, you should have an author website. This website acts as a home base for you on the internet and allows potential readers to find and interact with you. Social media does not take place of an author website. The two work in tandem to form your author platform.

 

What Should You Include on an Author Website?

Both published and unpublished writers should have the following information on their website:

  • Homepage: On the homepage of your website, include a site header (usually an image of yourself) with your name and a line about what you write. Some writers will put their bio on their homepage. However, I recommend leaving that to your About page. Your home page should be more of the welcome committee.

  • Bio: Most authors will have a separate About page that includes their bio. Many times, you will see both the long-form and the short-form, but it is essential to have at the very least a 100- to 300-word bio about your professional experiences. It’s okay if it doesn’t all pertain to writing. Give a shout-out to your education or work experience, any publication credits you have, previously published works, and a little bit about you, personally.

  • Contact information: You should also have a Contact page on your website. You can either list your information or create a contact form. Of the two, I highly recommend creating a contact form rather than leaving your email or mailing address on this page. This way, you are less likely for people to steal your information and add you to lists you never subscribed too. (In other words, you are less likely to get spammed and are able to maintain more privacy.)

  • Portfolio: This page should provide a brief description and links to any of your work that has been published, including (but not limited to) magazine articles, short stories, and poetry.

  • Blog: Many website builders will automatically have your blog as your homepage. Personally, I prefer to have the blog on a separate page. That way, if viewers are interested in reading updates on your writing progress (or whatever you decide to blog about), they can then jump over to that page.

  • Links to your social media platforms

  • Email newsletter signup

For aspiring writers, it’s okay if your first author website isn’t the prettiest thing out there. If you start working on your website-building skills now, by the time you have a book out, you will have learned a great deal about how to create an author website (and hopefully won’t need to hire a website designer—unless you want to).

In addition to the list I previously mentioned, published authors should have the following information on their website:

  • Either separate website pages for each book or book series or single website page that lists all of your published books

  • Book cover images

  • Descriptions about each book (usually authors list the book jacket copy)

  • Links to all the major retailers where the books can be purchased

  • Contact information to your agent and publicist

  • Optional: A review page with your best blurbs and reviews

 

[box] About Meg:

Meg LaTorre is a writer of adult science fiction and fantasy, YouTuber, developmental book editor, writing coach, creator of the free query critique platform, Query Hack, and former literary agent with a background in magazine publishing, medical/technical writing, and journalism. On Meg’s YouTube channel, iWriterly, she geeks out on all things books—from the concept to the bookshelves (and everything in between). Meg also launched Query Hack, a query critique platform where writers can submit their manuscript queries or Twitter pitches for free feedback. She has written for publications such as Writer’s Digest and Savvy Authors on topics related to writing and publishing, participated as an editor in Twitter contests, including #RevPit (Revise and Resubmit) and Pitch to Publication, is a Resident Writing Coach at Writers Helping Writers, and can be found teaching online classes throughout the year. To learn more about Meg, follow her on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook, sign up for her monthly newsletter, and subscribe to her YouTube channel, iWriterly.

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Meg LaTorre is a SFF writer, YouTuber, developmental book editor, writing coach, creator of the free query critique platform, Query Hack, and former literary agent with a background in magazine publishing, medical/technical writing, and journalism. On Meg’s YouTube channel, iWriterly, she geeks out on all things books—from the concept to the bookshelves (and everything in between). Meg also launched Query Hack, a query critique platform where writers can submit their manuscript queries or Twitter pitches for free feedback. She has written for publications such as Writer’s Digest and Savvy Authors on topics related to writing and publishing, participated as an editor in Twitter contests, including #RevPit (Revise and Resubmit) and Pitch to Publication, and can be found teaching online classes throughout the year. In her free time, she enjoys reading, competitive sports, long-distance races, running after her toddler, and sleeping. To learn more about Meg, visit her website: www.iWriterly.com.