Last week we talked about standard pages for a fiction website.
Today, we’re talking to the non-fiction authors. While the pages on your site will mostly be the same, your strategy will be slightly different.
While the blog does not have to be on the home page, we strongly recommend it for non-fiction authors. Unlike a fiction website, one of the goals of a non-fiction author’s website is to establish you as an expert in your subject matter. By putting the blog front and center on the website (especially if you blog consistently), you knowledge of the subject is also front and center.
If you choose to have your blog on a separate page, make sure there are visible links to your latest posts on the homepage. As with a fiction website, make sure you have easy to understand navigation and clear calls to action.
Make sure your home page clearly shows who you are and what your subject matter is. Focus on making your design relevant to both your brand and your subject matter. A bright pink website doesn’t make sense if the subject matter is reducing domestic violence, for example.
- This week, @AuthorMedia is talking to non-fiction writers about their websites. Click to Tweet
- What are the standard pages for a non-fiction website? @AuthorMedia tells us. Click to Tweet
This is your bio section. Our advice to fiction authors also applies to you: you don’t need to rehash every detail of your life. Instead, focus on your credentials. Why should people listen to you? Why are you knowledgeable about your topic?
Choose a professional headshot for this page.
In the process of writing your first book? Include information about the book and a signup form for your visitors to receive book updates.
Just have one book? Use this page to give your readers information about that book–but not too much information. You don’t want your readers to just read about your book; you want them to buy your book. So give them just enough to hook their interest, then provide clear calls to action with “Buy Now” buttons and links to buy the book.
Selling multiple books? Have one page listing all your books, with a very short description of each book and links to longer individual pages for each book. That way, you’re much more likely to rank #1 on Google for your books, and you avoid crowding one page with too much information.
When listing your books, it’s better to list them by subject matter than by the date you wrote them.
Overwhelmed by the thought of listing your books? Check out our MyBookTable plugin, which was designed specifically for this issue.
People often visit a fiction writer’s website to find out more about the writer and buy their other books. As a non-fiction writer, you’ll have people looking for that information as well, but you’ll also have a good chunk of visitors who come to your site looking for information on your subject matter. Thrill them by pointing to other resources that give them information on the same subject.
You can recommend other websites, organizations, books, conferences, or whatever else you think would be helpful for someone visiting your site.
5. Speaking (Optional)
Not all non-fiction authors do speaking engagements, but many do, and it’s an excellent way to add to your credibility as an expert in your field. Include a page with a list of topics that you’re comfortable speaking on and instructions for booking you. You can also include a calendar of future speaking engagements, as well as a list of places where you’ve spoke in the past.
Include a contact form to make it easy for your visitors to reach you.
You may get questions related to your subject area that you either don’t know or aren’t qualified to answer. It’s good to have a list of individuals and organizations that you can point people to if you can’t answer their question. Again, people are often at your site because they’re looking for information. If you can give them that information, even if it’s not straight from you, you’ll earn their trust, which is invaluable.
Not sure where to start? Thinking of having someone else design your site? Consider having us build your site for you.Contact Us to Get Started!