Are Author Websites ‘Boring’?

I came across this post on a message board, complaining that author websites are always boring. That got me thinking: How do you define ‘boring’? To whom are these sites boring? Are author websites supposed to be entertaining? What could authors do to make them more entertaining?

Here’s the truth of the matter: author websites generally aren’t meant to be entertaining. Generally, an author has one or more “goals” for the website (otherwise they wouldn’t be investing the money in it), and that goal has a financial gain associated with it. Keeping people entertained isn’t usually one of those goals.

An author website is usually built with the aim of:

  1. Selling books to readers and potential readers
  2. Promoting the author as an author/writer/speaker/professional
  3. Enhancing the information offered in the book for the greater good (i.e. if the book is on alcoholism, including links to various rehab organizations on the website)

But what exactly could an author do to still accomplish these goals, AND make their site less boring? Well, I suppose an author could put games, puzzles, etc… on the website. Maybe readers would enjoy that. I’m just not sure if there’s really any particular benefit to the author for doing that.

So, you tell me.

  • Readers: Would you be more likely to buy an author’s next book if their website has fun, interactive elements on it?
  • Publishers: Would you be more likely to publish an author’s next book if their website is more fun?

If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, please share your thoughts on what kinds of things can an author add to his or her website to make it less boring?

I’m open to your ideas!