Writing Hacks: Great Websites

A few weeks ago, we covered the 5 Things Your Website Needs to Do. Sometimes getting there is easier said than done, so here are a few great examples of sites that get it right. These examples are clear on author brand, are easy to navigate with a clean, professional feel, and tell the reader just what the author writes and where it’s available.

Check out some of our favorite sites below:

Sarah J. Maas

Sara’s site is clean, the gorgeous book cover art speaking for themselves instead of a lot of extra graphics. Despite the ample amount of information, the site loads quickly and navigation through its many pages is visible at all times. Drop down menus take you to each series, as well as Sarah’s social media sites. Her logo is unadorned but professional and while I might normally recommend an author mention their genre in the tagline, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author trumps the other titles.

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Scroll down on the homepage, and you can see each of Sarah’s books, clickable to their own page by immediately recognizable covers.

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Sarah also has a sister site for fans: The World of Sarah J. Maas.


Susan Dennard

Susan’s site is clean and pretty, and her image presented on the home page will create recognition among the many social media sites that rely on a tiny icon of the user’s face. Her logo is cute and geeky with pixelated hearts and an open book, and her links are easy to find. Susan’s header also includes a small call to action to join her author newsletter. My favorite aspect of the homepage, is the book images below that transform to title links when you cross them with a pointer. It doesn’t seem like much, but those small details can drag a reader in.

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Once the reader clicks a book image, they’re taken to its page where they can find book trailers, reviews, and a gorgeous full size image of the cover art. Also: easily identifiable store icons where the titles can be purchased with a click.

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Jasmine Walt

Jasmine’s site screams Fantasy, and while I love the logo and overall feel of the site, I’ve included it because it does a wonderful job of adding even more information than some of the others. Her navigation bar includes not only her books and contact information, but also links to audiobooks, her newsletter, signed editions, and her reader group. The newsletter sign up is front and center on the home page, as well as an unobtrusive footer on the remaining pages. Each title page has not only links to buy, but also SoundCloud samples of the audio edition that play right from the page, as well as links to the other series books.

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The site also includes series pages, where you can see the sign up footer with the enticement of a free book.

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Dean Koontz

Dean’s site is dark and lovely, but I’ve included it as an excellent example of how even prolific authors can have clean and easily navigable sites. The site also includes fun downloads for fans such as PC and iPhone wallpapers.

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Nora Roberts

Nora is also a prolific writer, both as Nora Roberts and JD Robb, but the site still manages to display each book by cover. Her homepage scrolls banners highlighting her new releases and a New York Times Bestselling Author image.

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My favorite aspect of this site is the brilliantly done “other books you might like” at the footer of each single title page.


Kami Garcia

Kami’s site manages to be pretty and open, despite the dark feel of many of her book covers.

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It also includes a note from the busy author that’s friendly and honest and directs readers where she wants to be found.

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Karen Marie Moning

Karen’s home page rotates between two full-coverage images and the result is striking. She’s also got extras like fan tattoo and artwork pages.

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Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence has a similar homepage, though the feel is decidedly more epic. The book pages have links to each story’s map and characters, and the site also includes free short stories you can read right on the page.

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These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate your many books into a site that gives your readers a good experience. The easier it is to find what they’re looking for, the more chance they will click to purchase or learn more about you and your products.

What are some of your favorite author websites? PottermoreLeighbardugo.com? MaggieStiefvater.com? Let us know in the comments below.


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