For years I’ve kept my author website and my blog separate. I’m not sure why. Maybe I wanted to keep my author identity and blogging persona as two distinct entities. Maybe I wanted different analytics for each one to see which got more traffic. Or maybe I just like being difficult.
Regardless of the true reason, I have now merged the two, porting over my author domain to my blog host. AdventuresinThirtysomething the blog can now be found under the ‘posts’ tab on ShannonHollinger.com.
As I’ve been making the transition, updating and condensing material, I keep asking myself – what, exactly, should an author page entail? There’s so much hype about branding and presence and social media that figuring out what to focus on to streamline the process can be overwhelming.
There are no cut and dry rules. I did a quick study of some other author’s pages, both those well established in their careers and those just starting out, and came up with the following 5 areas of focus:
1) How easy is the site to navigate? Can you easily find what you’re looking for? Is the site sparse, tasteful or cluttered?
2) How is the author’s “voice” represented? Is the tone casual, professional, personalized? Do you get a sense of the author from their ‘About’ page?
3) How is the author photographed? How are they posed, dressed, smiling? Is it a studio head shot? An outdoor candid? Do they show their personal style, or do they appear conservative for mass appeal?
4) What does the author place emphasis on? Is their site a billboard for their books, or a platform to meet their readers?
5) How well kept is the site? Are there broken links? Is the information up-to-date? Is the author’s social media presence well represented, or do they suggest you check out their MySpace page?
An author website doesn’t need to be a full-time job. If there’s anything you want to add to the list, any must haves, please don’ts, or random observations, I’d love to hear them!