Earlier today, I posted two related tweets:
This all led to my asking on Twitter what information people expected to find on author websites. Here’s a list in no particular order, but I’ve starred the ones I think are especially important as a librarian who expects your website to be the authoritative information source about your work (yes, I’m trying to lay down some Irish Catholic guilt on you):
- Information about upcoming releases*
- Publication history about previously published works whether they are currently in print or not* – double points for printable (we librarians have patrons who still really prefer getting a piece of paper from us)
- Reading order information for series* (this includes “you don’t have to read these in order!”) – again, printable
- Contact information* – Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, other social media du jour, email (maybe I’d like to book you for a program if I were to book programs for my library), newsletter sign up link/form
- Biography – @surlyspice suggests two: 1 brief and 1 expanded
- Excerpts from past, current, and upcoming releases
- Every cover that your book has ever had*
- Direct links to where to buy your books
I especially liked this response:
Another common refrain in the responses is to keep your site updated. For example, on your upcoming releases list, the most recently announced book is from 2012. Really? Build it in to your schedule to update your website at least every six months, but you should really be doing it any time any information about your books changes.
For those who are considering building or rebuilding a website, I hope you find this information useful. My fellow librarians and I (as well as *your readers*) thank you.