Best Author Websites in 2021: Top 12 Examples

Even if this is your first time creating a site, you want to make the best author website you can. BUT the whole process can seem daunting, with so many decisions about formatting, colours, and content.

How do you organize everything and tell the reader all you want them to know? What needs to stand out? What do you include? The seemingly endless questions can be overwhelming.

I know the feeling.

But it really doesn't have to be complicated. Most website building sites, like Wix and WordPress (given you have a theme builder like ThriveThemes or Elementor), are very user friendly.

To help you create your best-seller worthy website, we have compiled a top 12 list of author websites that are outstanding.

We have chosen the sites of both well-established authors and 2019 debut authors to complete our round-up of the best author websites.

What is an Author Website?

It's your little corner of the internet that you can call home. It's a place where you can send people to learn more about you, see your catalogue of books, and most importantly capture their emails to build your fanbase.

Most people get SUPER intimated. Afterall, when was the last time you created a website? If you're like most people, probably never.

Does an Author Need a Website?

In short, yes.

It acts as your 'homebase' for all of your marketing efforts. Your social media (Instagram, Facebook Page, etc) should all link back to it. If you meet someone in an elevator, you can quickly give them your website address (domain) and they can learn more about you before purchasing. Remember, people like to buy from people they know, like, and trust. Your page brings them one step closer to buying your book.

As a bonus, it adds legitimacy to you as a writer. 

Key Focus Areas of the Best Author Websites

Your website should be an extension of your author brand.

It needs to strongly resonate with your target audience. Keeping the tone and voice of your website consistent with your books will not only help people recognize and remember you, but it will also help create fans out of your readers

The examples we have chosen all exemplify that consistency. In addition, there are 4 focus areas that your website should encompass.

  1. 1
    A compelling Call-to-Action (CTA)
  2. 2
    Your library of books
  3. 3
    An about you section
  4. 4
    A contact you section

We will now look at each of these in detail and provide you with examples of our favourites.

Objective #1: Call-To-Action (CTA)

Your number one focus for your website should be a solid call to action that is enticing enough to encourage people to give up their emails.

Most people of leery of giving out their email just to receive another newsletter or something they think is either boring or just not relevant to them.

A great call to action is one that provides readers with an added value. Everyone loves to feel that they are getting something for free, at a discount or ahead of everyone else.

A report or e-booklet that provides value relating to your book, a sneak preview of upcoming books in a series, or the chance to win books are all great calls to action. 

One of the strongest CTA’s is offering a discount on your book during pre-launch. This not only encourages people to take a chance on you as a new author, it also boosts your first day sales and may catapult you to best-selling author status during your launch stage.

Here are 3 of the most compelling call to actions we have seen on author websites:

Call-to-Action Example 1:  Mark Dawson

Mark Dawson's homepage is dramatic and extremely intriguing, setting the tone for his thrillers. The contrasting colours and simplicity of the home page make his call to action;Join the mailing list for updates and your Mark Dawson starter library”; jump off the page.

It creates the perception that they require your email address to open the door into his world of suspense and intrigue.

Call-to-Action Example 2: Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz’s homepage immediately portrays strength and confidence, with the large and very direct call to action “entrepreneurship made simple, get the tools”. There is another link to “get the tools” in the top corner.

This clear and concise CTA uses simple and strong wording to convey authority. The bright orange CTA button is in stark contrast to the dark blue background and is impossible to miss. Similar to the above site, the home page is uncluttered, so the CTA is immediately visible.

Call-to-Action Example 3:  Emma Davis

Emma Davis' home page has a softer feel suitable to her romance genre but still, have a very prominent “pre-order now” call to action. It doesn’t come across as a hard sell like the example above, but with its positioning and bold red colour under the descriptive heading of “an utterly feel-good romance novel”, it is a strong call to action.

Objective #2: Your Library of Work

The second objective of your website is to clearly show your library of work, including links so readers can quickly buy.

These can also be affiliate links to add a little extra to the pot. 

The links can either be a “buy now” or the book graphic itself can be clickable to open the payment app. Two great homepages highlighting book collections are below.

Library of Work Example 1:  Marie Force

Marie Force has published several different series, so her home page shows one series at a time, rotating through each series.

As a new indie author even if you have 2 or 3 books in a series showing them off, side by side, really lends credibility to your prowess as an author. You can highlight the newest book as Marie Force has done, as well as promote upcoming books. You can tell at a glance she is a romance author and her book covers all have a very consistent look. 

While this page is excellent for displaying the library of books, it is missing a strong Call to Action as discussed over.

Library of Work Example 2:  J. Daniel

The home page of J. Daniel’s site is very minimalist except for her books scrolling across the screen, causing them to grab your attention immediately.

The books are all in the same romance genre but based on the covers have a distinctly different tone. To suggestion of a bedroom scene watermarked in the background brings the different images together.

Again, there no obvious call to action, but you can purchase any book just by clicking on it.

Objective #3: Contact Information

Your website is designed as a way for you to connect directly with your readers.

Instead of just creating a basic bland, and uninviting contact form customize your contact section to really create a personalized connection. 

Contact Information Example 1:  Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund is the author of inspirational books. Her contact page has clickable links to reach out to her on a variety of social platforms, as well as a photo of the author with a short, funny description, a message that she will respond personally to your email and the option to sign up for her newsletter.

It's a warm and inviting page, designed to create a sense that the author cares about you as an individual.

Contact Information Example 2:  Heather Sunseri

Heather Sunseri’s contact page is another example of an author clearly inviting her readers to connect with her.

It's written as a personal invitation, with a promise that she will read all emails. Her call to action is very subtle but may very well resonate with her readers.

Objective #4: About You Section

As an indie author, the about me section is an important section to allow your readers a glimpse into your life and the chance to feel they know you.

After all, people want to buy from people they feel they know and like. Remember your books are the most important piece of the puzzle, so your bio should be fairly light reading.

Keep it fairly short and entertaining and remember to constantly update it as you achieve best-selling status, win awards on GoodReads or release more books.

About You Example 1:  Collen Hoover

Collen Hoover’s about me page scrolls through a variety of friendly photos, making it seem like she’s just a friend on social media. The description focuses on her writing achievements and her charitable work. 

There are large examples of her Instagram and Facebook posts. The feeling overall is that the author is an approachable person who you could easily call a friend.

About You Example 2:  Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero is a best-selling non-fiction author, creating self-help books for many life situations. Her about page reflects the funny, irreverent and blunt books she creates.

Jen’s description of herself as a motivational cattle prod defies you not to read her books.

BONUS: Author Branding

As stated at the beginning, the best websites need to be an extension of your brand to resonate with your targeted audiences. 

The websites below provide readers with a sense of what your book is about right away. As writers we don’t necessarily like the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

However, you can’t dispute that these websites quickly grab the readers attention by providing a glimpse into the heart of the book. They are also a confirmation of how powerful and important your book cover is.

Branding Example 1:  Michael Grumley

Michael Grumley’s extremely vivid home page immediately draws you into the intrigue of underwater exploration and it also ties in a clear call to action.

Just look at it... it's a thing of beauty!

Branding Example 2:  Mimi Yu

Mimi Yu’s is one of the 2019 debut authors; However, her web page creates the impression that she is a well-established author. 

As an indie author, creating a dynamic home online is key to creating that all-important fanbase.

Branding Example 3:  Samantha Downing

Samantha Downing's use of a simple knife graphic is somehow as compelling as the large, full-colour images above. 

She has chosen a very minimalistic style, using negative space to draw your eye to the important elements.

Key Take-Aways

The examples above illustrate that author websites are as diverse and unique as authors. The top take-away from this article is to stay true to your writing and creative style when creating your website. 

Make sure the tone and voice of your site match your genre. Your website needs to be a place where your target audience wants to return again and again. 

Incorporate the 4 key focus areas–a clear and prominent call to action; an organized collection of your books, with the newest release or upcoming book, featured conspicuously; a contact page that offers several ways to connect, encouraging fans to follow you on very social media platforms and a way to capture emails and last but not least an about page that allows your reader to feel they know you.

Regularly update your website, adding new books, awards, and notable reviews as you soon as you can, and don’t make the mistake of starting a blog if you cannot devote the time to consistently post.

Crafting your website will take a bit of time and patience, but after all the work you put into writing, editing and publishing your book it deserves a first-class website. Use your site as a tool to capture readers and turn them into fans, eager to be the first to read your next book.

About the author

Denis Caron

I help you feel less overwhelmed with marketing your book so you can build a loyal fanbase who will enjoy and appreciate your books.