Just about every author thinks that they book they’ve written is a wonderful piece of work. Sometimes they’re right. Sometimes, they’re not. But that’s for another day. Unless the author website reflects the quality of the book, an author is shooting himself in the foot.
With that in mind, here are some interesting points from The Creative Penn about common mistakes that authors make in regards to their websites:
Mistake #1: Not putting the necessary time and energy into website development.
Examples includes sites that look like they’re a decade old, and ones that seem to have no design at all.
Mistake #2: Underestimating the importance of a website.
Many authors know how important first impressions are, but don’t realize how that translates to a website. They go to bat for good cover art design, but not for website design. A website is just as important as a book cover in terms of how a book should be seen by the public eye.
Mistake #3: Thinking that a beautiful design is all that an author website needs.
Unless the site is easy to navigate and contains valuable information, even the best design in the world won’t make a potential reader stay long enough to get sucked in.
Mistake #4: Not engaging with readers via the author website.
Think you just need to build a website and then it will sell copies of the book all by itself? Think again. Use your website to feature upcoming events, share news, and allow readers to talk with each other. Blogging, of course, is another great way to communicate with fans directly. Ditto for a newsletter. All this makes it much more likely that readers will be there for you when you ask them to show support for your new book.
Mistake #5: Building a website that doesn’t reflect you.
You need to be comfortable with your website. It should look like you your books. And you should feel that the colors and images are a nice reflection of you and your work. After all, if you’re not comfortable in your own online skin, then no one else will be either!