A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Guest Blogger Racquel Henry

7 Things an Author Website Should Have
by Racquel Henry

There's been much debate on whether or not an author should have a website before they're published. My take has always been, “what can it hurt?” Whether you're published or unpublished, if you're going to take the plunge and opt for a website, there are features every author website should have. I've compiled a checklist containing seven items.

1. A Homepage
In a way, a homepage is like a cover page. It looks nice, it's more professional, and it provides an overview. Your overview should include your name, what kind of writer you are, a picture of  yourself, etc.

2. An “About Me” Section

Also known as an author bio. Readers want to know about you. What do you do in your free time besides writing? What's your favorite book? Where are you from? How do you write? Obviously you  don't want to get too personal here, but a couple of quirky facts should do the job.

3. Publications
If you've been published, then you definitely want to have a section where readers can find out what you've written. If you have a book out, or it's soon to be released, make sure you list it and make sure    there's a buy button or link to where people can purchase your book.  If your work appears in magazines or  newspapers, add a link to that as well.

4. Blogs
Having a blog is always a good idea. It connects you to other writers and has the potential to draw more readership for your writing. You can either have a section on your site where you blog, or you can use a blog host such as blogger or wordpress. If you do choose to use a host, then provide a link from your website to your blog site. 

5. Latest News
If you've done any interviews, radio or TV shows then you should always have a link to those. If your novel or book is featured anywhere or is given a positive review, then link that also. The same goes for readings, speaking engagements or major projects.

6. Excerpts
An excerpt has the potential to wet the appetite of the reader. These days people tend to be more guarded with their money. They want to make sure they're spending it wisely. Having an excerpt of your book could have a positive outcome on the reader's decision to actually purchase the book.

7. Contact Information
You never know who is looking at your site. You need to be accessible. Someone could want to schedule an interview with you or maybe a big director wants to make your novel into a movie. You can include information about your agent if you have one, an email, an address, etc. If you do include an address, I would suggest a P.O. Box and not your home address. There are still a good deal of psychos out there.
So, when you're ready to start building that author site, include those seven things and you've got one awesome website!

Racquel Henry is an MFA student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is the editor and co-founder of The Black Fox Literary Magazine. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, music, and web design. Racquel is in the process of editing her first novel tentatively titled, What's In the Fabric. You can find her at her own blog, Racquel Writes http://racquelshenry.blogspot.com or on Twitter: @RacquelHenry


  1. Great post, Racquel--and helpful. :) Heart ya!

  2. Very informative! I don't have a website yet, but this gives some great direction for that day when I finally get there.

  3. Hello to you both.

    Good pointers, Racquel. I also believe it's a smart move for a writer to have a presence on the net.

  4. You are such a star, Racquel! These are helpful hints, too. Once I get the time, I might go ahead and set up a website...your mantra is right, what can it hurt?

  5. I thought I had left a comment, but was apparently moving too fast. I believe that serious writers should have a presence on the web. Good points.

  6. Hi Racquel,
    These tips are really helpful. I am all about #2, #3, and #7. I almost lost an opportunity for not having my email address available. Now I do ;) Thank you for sharing these tips, Racquel!

  7. This is a good checklist. Especially #7. A lot of editors/agents say that a lot of websites are missing this information.

  8. Thanks for stopping by everyone! And thanks Annikka for having me! :)