DIY Tips: Author Web Pages

Creating an Author Website

Our key DIY tips:
—Make it simple.
—Make it so you can maintain the site yourself.

Here’s a wireframe for a basic author’s site:



Social Media — Basic Tips

—Author name should be in the URL – not your book name.
—Your main goal: Get sign-ups for your mailing list.
—Key strategy: A giveaway: Outtakes, short story, research notes, …

—There’s no evidence that blogging helps fiction writers find their audience.
Don’t do it if it’s not fun.
—Do it if you have specific content that appeals to your target audience.
—In 2016, WordPress is the most popular blog and web hosting site.

—It’s not a “sales” site; it’s for social engagement.
—Follow people who interest you.
—Do not spam “Buy my book!” or join mutual spam-tweeting groups.
—Do not buy followers.

—Do a personal page only if it’s fun.
—Create a FB author page to host your ad work and to engage with readers.

—Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. only if it’s interesting and fun.

Comprehensive Video Guide for Web Site Creation
This guide is a series of very detailed videos that step through every task:
– Obtaining a domain
– Getting a host for your website
– Building an Author page on using handy-dandy plugins and widgets
It’s quite friendly — no HTML, and no technical requirements.
It includes tips for how to create information if you do not yet have a book published. It’s free. All you have to do is sign up for a newsletter to gain access to the video page.
It’s 2 hours long, in 10-minute episodes.

Social Media Dimensions

Each social media site has different dimensions for banner art and even for your avatar (log-in picture). Sometimes the dimensions are easy to find. Sometimes they are impossible. If you’re working with a graphics artist to drive a “brand” for yourself as entrepreneurial author, you might get some digital art back, then have to make it fit for your web and social media site.

Here are sites with magical decoder rings, listing art dimensions for most social media sites:
The Ridiculously Exhaustive Social Media Dimensions Blueprint (Infographic)
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Networks 
Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet

Creating Art for Your Web Site

Here are free resources:
Canva—Simple online design tool for web and other graphics.
PowerPoint—Make your art, then save it as an art file or grab a screen capture.