An author website is a must. When someone googles you, you should provide them with an official source of information about you and your book.

There are three main audiences for your website: potential readers considering your book, fans who want to know more about you, and reviewers/journalists/bloggers who want to write about your book.

For potential readers:

  • Tell them what your book is about
  • Show them the cover
  • Excerpt reviews and endorsements
  • Provide buy links
  • Include the fine print, like publisher, ISBN and on-sale date (booksellers will thank you)

For fans:

  • Tell them about yourself
  • Include a photo
  • Give them a means to contact you

For press/bloggers:

  • Have a short bio and short book description that they can copy/paste
  • Provide hi-res photos of you and your book for them to use when they write about you

These are some tools I use to check up on my website’s impact and effectiveness:

Google Analytics

This tool lets me know how many people have visited my site, and from where in the world, and from what source on the internet. Also, how long they stayed and what pages they viewed. Amazing!

Link Popularity Check (at Submit Express)
(For some reason, all my attempts to link to this site transform into a link for a WordPress page. Anyone know why??)

This shows me one measure of relative popularity. You can see your own ranking, and compare yourself to others.

Website Grader

This automatedly evaluates your website and give specific comments as to what features you lack or underuse.

What do you look for in an author website? What turns you off?

ETA: Oh, and Browsershots is another great resource. It lets you see what your site looks like on different browsers.