The internet is a primary source of advertising for authors. Information about their books is available 24 hours a day. Anyone anywhere can visit a web site and learn about your past, current and future releases. But with so many web sites online, authors are competing for time. Therefore, a web site must be designed to capture as many readers and visitors as possible. Here are a few tips for authors when designing a web site.
1. Keep the home page simple. There should be just enough information to interest your visitors, but not so much they will get distracted and leave. Don't make them scroll down the page.
2. Make links visible. Whether you use side tabs or a navigation bar, links to additional pages should be easily seen on every page.
3. Keep your design simple—this includes fonts and graphics. Don't use blinking graphics or fancy fonts that are difficult to read. This is distracting and visitors will move on.
4. Put your most important content on the left side of the page, where visitors spend most of their viewing time.
5. Keep your design complementary to your genre. For example, if you write contemporary thrillers, you wouldn't want Western graphics or images, as much as you love visiting dude ranches.
6. Selling books is the main reason for your web site. Make titles easy to find, and include links for purchasing.
7. Give your readers a call to action. This may be purchasing your books, attending a booksigning, or liking you on Facebook. Have these buttons or links visible and up front.
8. Have links to outside pages open in a new frame. You don't want visitors to completely leave your page.
9. Keep current! Update your page as often as necessary. Nothing is more frustrating to visitors than seeing booksignings that are a year old, or "Upcoming" releases that have been out for six months.
Giving your readers a reason to visit will keep them coming back.