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5 Best Author Websites That Will Inspire Your Own

These five best author/writer websites are great inspiration for how you can make your own website attract readers, sell copies of your book, and make you money as a self-published author.

Sp 012 5 best author websites that will inspire your own

When you’re a self-published author, your website is crucial to reaching new readers and making money as a writer.

Annik LaFarge, author of The Author Online: A Short Guide to Building Your Website, Whether You Do it Yourself (and you can!) or You Work With Pros, reports that author websites are one of the key ways people find out about books.

As more readers search for their next read on the web, your site is critical for hooking new readers, communicating with fans, selling more copies of your book — and ultimately making money as a self-published author.

So how can you make sure your writer website gets the attention and readership it deserves?

Here are five best author websites that are great inspiration for how you can make your own website attract readers, sell copies of your book, and make you money as a self-published author.

Jeff Goins

Before you enter Jeff Goins’ main site, his landing page tells you exactly how he’s going to help you — pursue your creative dream while making money doing it. Plus, he backs up his expertise with his experience as a successful author on that very topic.

This is great, because he directly communicates what you can expect as his reader, which helps establish his niche and attract the right audience for his content.

best author writer websites jeff goins

Positive reviews of his book — from a very influential individual — add more credibility.

He also offers a free guide to building your blog audience as a self-published writer at the top of his landing page. His blog is well-designed and maintained with valuable content, like interviews with powerful industry experts.

Takeaways for your own writer website:

Providing your readers with interviews and insights from other authors ensures that they’ll find content on your website that can’t be found elsewhere.

Plus, working with other industry experts establishes valuable relationships with other authors, who can be valuable resources (and future fans) throughout your writing career.

The Creative Penn

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Joanna Penn guides writers through a six-step process to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes throughout their self-publishing journey.

Her website is teeming with information and resources to help self-published authors reach their maximum potential, including a podcast, blog and courses.

One of Penn’s many publications, Author 2.0 Blueprint, is a free download on her site in exchange for email sign-ups. This freebie has tons of advice on how to make a living as a writer — both fiction and non-fiction.

Takeaways for your own writer website:

Offering exclusive content that your readers will want in exchange for their email is an effective way to build your email list. This way, you can stay connected with fans, promote your next book, and announce book signings and events.

John le Carré

Fiction author Carré’s creative website design perfectly reflects the theme of his thrilling spy novels. The content is presented in fragmented, puzzle-like images which feeds into his suspenseful and mysterious branding.

Fiction readers love immersion in the world that you’ve build for them through your writing. Making your website an extension of this world can intrigue and entice new and existing readers.

Takeaways for your own writer website:

It may feel overwhelming to design and maintain your website from scratch if you’ve never created one before. User-friendly site platforms like WordPress and Squarespace have easy-to-use, customizable templates available for free or under $100.

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner came out with the New York Times’ best-seller Freakonomics over a decade ago, but have since churned out three follow-up books, two of which also garnered best-selling accolades.

These authors have built a huge brand out of the socio-economic niche that remains relevant today.

Levitt and Dubner’s website is saturated with a weekly podcast, international speaking events, and extra content for readers, like a question-of-the-day podcast and exciting project participation opportunities for readers.

Takeaways for your own writer website:

Develop a monthly and yearly website strategy; don’t create a website and let it grow stagnant. Ask yourself these questions as you develop your strategies:

  • Who do you want visiting your website?
  • What sort of content will you launch with?
  • What will you add as time goes by?
  • How frequently will you post new material?
  • What will the voice of your blog be?
  • What will be the first ten things you write about?

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman has a long list of credentials: author of Publishing 101: A First-Time Author’s Guide, co-founder of The Hot Sheet and winner of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers.

Friedman showcases her industry expertise in her sleek and streamlined site. She has weekly and daily email updates about articles on her blog that provide great information for self-published authors.

She does more than just write: Friedman offers consultation services and hosts classes that about marketing strategy for self-published authors, including building an author website in 24 hours or less.

She makes each of these offerings easily distinguishable on her site, so just a quick glance gives you an idea of what she can do for you. And because many people will likely have questions about these services, she has a link to her contact information on the same page.

SP-012 best author writer websites jane friedman

Takeaways for your own writer website:

Make sure it’s easy to contact you through your website — and easy to find out how to contact you. If a potential client or reader can’t find your contact button easily, they’ll leave your site without ever reaching out.

Craft an author bio that will turn browsers into fans >

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

Flight cover

After a disappointing proof of my labor-intensive and much loved manuscript from another printer, I decided to try Steuben Press. Based on recommendations from many of my publishing team who are all members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), I submitted my book to Adam and his staff.

Their proof was perfect! The illustrations were crisp, the print clear, and the construction high quality. But the cover! Absolutely beautiful and softly glossed, Steuben's production added depth to the colors and popped the fine design by my cover artist. My book shimmers on the shelf!

Now I sell only Steuben's copies by hand and feel confident that my readers are receiving the best product reflecting my years of effort and passion for my subject.

– Sunny Weber, Denver, CO