Are you looking for website inspiration? Below you’ll find 10 of the best author websites online.
Every author needs a place to call home. Sure there’s social media, but who wants to be chained to the ever-changing algorithm?
When you have your own website, you don’t have to jump through hoops to get your content in front of your readers. If they sign up to your email list on your website, you can send them regular emails and have confidence that all of your emails will reach their destination—barring SPAM traps and wrong email addresses.
Another benefit of having an author website is that if you choose to sell books directly to your readers, you can eliminate the middleman (sorry Amazon) and earn more money on every book sold.
Finally, websites are the best way to engage with your readers without unnecessary distractions like other authors, books, or social media feeds.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the best author websites for inspiration:
What makes a great author website?
The best author websites are one part author introduction (e.g. who I am; what I’ve written, and where you can find my books) and one part “Welcome to my tribe, I’m glad you’re here!” Once you get that right, make sure it also includes the following:
- It creates an engaging atmosphere.
- The author bio is magnetic.
- The website is genre-specific.
- An email sign-up (e.g. newsletter, free books, coupon code, etc. where a reader will share their email and receive a gift from you.)
Outside of these must-have features, the sky’s the limit. Decorate your author website home so that it feels like you—authentically you.
Below I’ve listed a group of the best author websites to inspire you when creating your own.
10 Best Author Websites
Genre: children’s classics
Why it works: Shel Silverstein was a children’s book author and illustrator, among many other talents. The black and white website with bits of red sprinkled in offers an engaging backdrop for the beautiful illustrations that Silverstein was known for. There are also fun animation pop-ups when you hover over the navigation bar. Many of Silverstein’s stories have a depth that even adults can relate to. The minimal approach to design makes the website both child and adult-friendly.
2. Tim Sullivan
Genre: thrillers (medical and political)
Why it works: The first thing you notice when you arrive at author Tim Sullivan’s website is the movement. It is not a static site. On the contrary, it moves, shifts, and blinks in and out of focus as it transitions between each of his books. The backgrounds are constantly changing, fitting the thriller genre, which is often fast-paced and always changing.
3. Susan Cain
Genre: (Nonfiction) psychology, personal transformation, love & loss
Why it works: Named the Top 6th Influencer in the World by LinkedIn, author Susan Cain’s website offers visitors a well-rounded view of who she is, what she writes, and how to access her products and services. As a nonfiction author, the site is built around her, not just her books. You can find links to her courses, speaking engagements, and her books. The website colors are calming, and the website is easy to navigate.
Genre: Contemporary Christian fiction (Mystery & Suspense)
Why it works: Author Urcelia Teixeira immediately grabs website visitors with a stunning scene. Adding a hero (header) image to your website that reflects one of your stories or your genre is a great way to create an atmosphere. A scroll down her webpage offers additional landscape images behind each of her books. She also offers a shop page on her website where visitors can order her books directly—a solid strategy for increasing per-book profits.
Genre: magical realism, fiction sagas, historical fiction
Why it works: Here’s another author website that does a great job of creating an atmosphere for readers. Barbara Davis writes in a wide range of genres so setting a welcoming tone for her ideal readers can be tricky. The dark to warm color gradients on her website are easy on the eye and work well as a background for her books.
Genre: teen and young adult fiction (depression, mental health, romance, self-esteem, reliance)
Why it works: Jennifer Niven’s website embraces her audience. It’s quirky, youthful, and casual. The homepage looks more like an Instagram feed than a website. The site creates an engaging experience that fits the genre of her books.
7. Taylor Tyng
Genre: children’s action and adventure books
Why it works: This visually impressive website ignites the imagination of young readers. From the moving orange triceratops that crawls over a box of mini LEGO® figures to the origami bunny that casually points to a book excerpt, the design is just the right amount of fun to keep young readers glued to the screen.
Genre: coming-of-age fantasy, epic fantasy, dark fantasy
Why it works: Great fantasy books transport you to another world and spark your imagination. When you land on Michael S. Jackson’s website, you automatically know the genre. From beautiful illustrations to character introductions and fantasy world maps, you are pulled into the story before reading the book’s first page.
Genre: family life, domestic life, and historical fiction.
Why it works: Kristin Hannah is not just an author. She is a brand experience. Similar to other authors who offer more than just books, Hannah uses her website to share information about tour dates, her book club, and news. Her website offers a prime example of how to use your website to build a tribe of loyal readers.
10. Ta-Nehisi Coates
Genre: discrimination & racism, black & african-american fantasy and historical fiction
Why it works: When you make writing a career, books are only a small part of the bigger picture. Ta-Nehisi Coates is another author who offers readers an opportunity to experience more than just his books. His website offers links to his public speaking and a calendar of his events in the US and abroad. Since he offers books in multiple genres, keeping the focus of the website simple, but structured in a pure neutral palette is a smart choice.
The best author websites offer readers an experience. Sure you can have a static website that just highlights your books, but that’s like having a beautiful house with no furniture—not very inviting.
The authors listed above have created standout websites that invite their readers to step inside their world instead of having them peek through the windows and admire from a distance.
An engaging website doesn’t have to be expensive. Finding a professional website template is a good place to start. You can always invest more in website design later if you choose.
Always remember to include your readers’ needs in your design.
Ask yourself what you would want to see if you visited a website with similar books. What feeling do you want the website to have? Are popups okay or do they annoy you? What about the colors and the website design? How often do you like to receive newsletters in your inbox? How much is too much? What’s not enough?
Whatever your answers, keep them in mind when creating your website. If you can think of other ways to create a more engaging experience for your reader, try it! Outside-the-box thinking could be the key to your website’s success.