Promote Your Books and Blog: A Look at Author Websites

Are you an author on WordPress.com looking to promote your books and daily writing? Get inspired by these three websites.

The comments poured in on our last two posts highlighting new books by WordPress.com authors. We’re happy to host such a prolific literary bunch! For those of you interested in using a website to promote your books, take a look at three authors on WordPress.com who do this well — each with very different designs and approaches:

H. G. Robert

We found H. G. Robert’s website from a comment he’d left on a previous post. I clicked on his link and was delighted to find a simple, clean, and effective homepage for his self-help book:

The black-and-white design is crisp and stylish, and with just a few elements to focus on, you can’t miss anything. A highlighted “Read more” button takes you to another clean, concise page with a book synopsis, excerpt, and reviews.

His menu at the top right includes just two links, to his bio and blog.

H. G. Robert uses the premium Portfolio theme, which offers a number of features; it’s interesting to see how users interpret themes to fit their needs, including stripping them down.

Stewart O’Nan

Award-winning author Stewart O’Nan, based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, includes links to his writing and important information in his header:

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 1.32.18 PM

Using the free Typo theme, Stewart includes a virtual shelf of his books right up top — it’s the primary element you see when you first visit his site.

He also has a custom menu for various modes of writing — from fiction and nonfiction to essays and book reviews — as well as audio and interviews. In this space, Stewart offers navigation to everything you need to know. While he uses a traditional blog format — with his recent posts listed first — his menu displays the right details to follow all of his work.

Pandaemonium

The website of author, lecturer, and BBC Radio broadcaster Kenan Malik is visual and dynamic. Pandaemonium, which uses the image-oriented Gridspace theme, is a great example of a non-photography-focused site on a photography theme.

Reminiscent of book covers, the front-page thumbnails draw you in — the grid layout is professional, allowing Kenan to showcase images that complement his work. (On Gridspace, you can also toggle between a grid and list view — look for the icons near the top right of the homepage.) He also has a custom menu to his About and Events pages, as well as a Books section that echoes the layout of his front page:

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 2.23.11 PM

Here, the strong imagery and unified design create a cohesive website.

You can promote your books and writing in many ways. We hope these examples offer some inspiration to build your own website — or expand on your existing one.


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Cheri Lucas Rowlands

50 Comments

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  1. gtylermills

    I love looking at authors on WordPress. I started my blog as nothing more than the idea of a “landing page” for myself as an author. A year and a half later and I’ve completely changed. Now I’d consider myself a blogger who has written a few books. I love to see how others display their work. As a reader I love reading more from my favorite authors and reading how their voice translates in their blogs. Great article!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Systemic Disorder

    I started a blog when I was looking for a publisher for my book, with the idea that a blog would raise my profile and provide me an assist in my search. But the blog soon became its own entity and became my primarily writing vehicle. I am still seeking a publisher for my book, but I am happy to have discovered an international community — I’m fortunate to have readers who regularly comment on, and challenge, what I write. Now when I am asked advice from people thinking of starting a blog, I always advise them to use WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brian James Freeman

    Always nice to see Stewart O’Nan get a mention! Great writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charles Garard Phd

    Yes, I am looking to promote the horror trilogy that I have completed and posted on Amazon-Kindle. I have the blog, virgostone.wordpress.com which I use as a paranormal site for book and film reviews, actual experiences from readers, and as a tool to mention my own e-book novels. What are you suggesting we do here?

    Like

  5. helena mallett

    I started out on WordPress blogging my 75 word stories but now mainly just use it as a website to promote my book.

    Like

  6. Cynthia Rosi

    Especially like the black and white site of HG Robert. I use a manual Royal for the first drafts of my books and love the old typeface and the sound the Royal makes as I type. The WordPress sites have been so useful for me as an author because they allow me to change the theme so easily. I’m always innovating and learning. I have a blog, an author website, and a novel website all with the same theme on WordPress. It allows the same look and feel across all the pages and so convenient to do it all myself instead of paying for a designer to make tweaks for me.

    Like

  7. M. Ziegler

    WordPress is great for blogging and setting up websites. I love how they can be customized to reflect the authors personalities. This is obvious is the 3 above mentioned sites. Thanks for sharing ideas of different sites. I am transitioning my wordpress hosted site to make it an actual website. Just need to find the time. The issue now is all the freedom in design i have.

    Like

  8. Ruth2Day

    I started blogging well before I wrote my book and have tried to combine both blog and book on one page. Hoping this will be successful

    Like

  9. L. Donsky-Levine

    As a WordPress newbie, I too appreciate this type of information. In between my writing, my blogging, my tweeting…every bit of added insight is extremely helpful. Thank you!

    Like

  10. sliceoflondonlife

    Thank you for this quick guide to how authors are using WordPress. I’ve had a photoblog on WordPress since 2011. It started off as a way to record events, places and people in London but I have since developed projects within my blog.

    I’m looking for a publisher and thinking about whether I need to move one of my projects over to another blog. But I don’t want to lose all my followers and start again from scratch. I really appreciate people taking the time to look at and like or comment on my work.

    Like

  11. thegardendiaries

    Having blogged using WordPress for 3 years now, I am still planning on coming out with a book using my blog posts as a starting point. Blogging gives you a voice and a chance to develop it before making the big move.

    Like

  12. Peter Hughes

    I think the best part of writing on here is the lovely community of authors built up! I’m sixteen and writing a novel on here to gather an audience when I publish, but there’s such a wide variety of lovely people giving feedback I’d never get by doing it all in private.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dena

    I’d like to introduce you to another WordPress.com author, Alan Bray. Al has 2 sites on: http://thehourofparade.com/ and http://alanbrayfiction.com/.

    Like

  14. akeem54

    Initially i used to think one of these days i would write my autobiography. I had gotten few charpters in place. But i now realisde that writing books is a great possibility and the feeling is becoming stronger even with just few months of blogging. Thank you for the enlightment.

    Like

  15. A.R. Román

    I have a bilingual blog for the books I’ve writen are in Spanish, but done many poems and short stories and essays in English. But mostly, I use my blog to host the books in a secondary way, for love to share in my blog my stories and poems and updates on my new fantasy book I am working on, and the daily life of a writer who is a 24/7 housewife and mother. Is a great way!

    Like

  16. diannegray

    I absolutely love WP. The community is supportive and genuine. I started my blog a few years ago to share as many writing tips as I could and I ended up making a load of friends in the process. My mother became very ill last year and could no longer visit me, so now our connection is through WP and my focus has changed from ‘writing tips’ to ‘sharing what’s going on in my life’. It’s been an amazing journey :)

    Like

  17. Jodie

    I was told to keep a blog, at a literary event. A top agent told me, that no publisher would touch you, without a blog. it started as an experiment, but turned into something more

    Like

  18. H. G. Robert

    Thank you for featuring my website. I appreciate the support.

    Like

  19. donahuedanielc

    First time author (‘A Glimpse form Christmas Past’ – a Philadelphia based family/children’s holiday story) who is learning the ropes of social media the old fashioned way. I started my grass roots movement in building a name for my work and myself as an author. I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and of course WordPress.com. My website is http://www.dcdonahue.com feel free to browse, offer feedback as well as ‘Sign’ my guest book page.

    I am currently looking into getting published two children’s books I wrote that I think will appeal to parents of children ages 2 to 5 through Mascot Books in hardcover. If you any feedback on this or would just like to suggest or offer other venues that would achieve the same results I would be more than grateful for your feedback. I would ask if you find my work worthy or entertaining to please share it with your contacts. My quest is to try and sell books in all fifty states and abroad in the markets that it is available via online bookstores e.g. Amazon

    Your help would be appreciated!

    Respectfully,

    D.C. Donahue.

    Like

  20. ywwp

    To start, Blogging at wordpress is an effective way to become a good writer.
    Writing the book from your blog posts is another effective way to publish a book.
    Publishing the book and marketing via blog is another effective way to bring an impact to the readers and online community.

    I started blogging a year back, and with my writing, it helped me become a self appointed innovator. regards.

    Like

  21. brookemanor

    The black and white design has a nostalgic quality to it. Nice.

    Melissa Brooks

    Like

  22. AUTHOR

    Thanks for posting this. I’m very curious to see how other authors are presenting themselves.

    Like

  23. stravaigerjohn

    I have found my WordPress blog an extremely useful tool for promoting my books. Both my Victorian set thriller “The Shadow of William Quest” and my detective story “A Seaside Mourning” have really taken off, as have my outdoor books promoted on my other blog Over the Hills stravaigerjohn.wordpress.com Thank you, WordPress!

    Like

  24. followthehumming

    Thanks for this, Cheri. I experimented with talking about my own book (or in fact the process of writing it) on my blog at followthehumming.wordpress.com for the first time this week, and I’ve been amazed by the response. I made it free for Kindle download at the same time so am getting feedback I never dreamed of. Just shows how enagaged and supportive the WordPress community is!

    Like

  25. soumyav

    A wonderful update for the authors. I started here on WordPress to share my world of poems and the response i got inspired and encouraged me more,which led to publishing of four poetry books in 2 years. And by now ,Iam into writing a novel. For me , my blog is my home ,where my poetry loves to flaunt. My other blogs are sort of communicative interactions on several topics. All in all, its great!

    Like

  26. Anita Dobs

    The wordpress blog is great for finding new readers as the community all finds each other through likes and re-blogs. Easy and intuitive to use. Love wordpress!

    Like

  27. Sheila

    I love HG Roberts black and white and it is fascinating to see all the different ways people use wordpress. I have loads of ideas now of how to improve mine as when I started it I hadn’t published anything.

    Like

  28. botanicalconceptsvlw

    I started using word press because everywhere I looked, new authors are encouraged to blog or have a web site. I never expected to have FUN with it! Word press is giving me a way to break from my current book and free write; this is making my writing time more creative and productive. Thank you WordPress for making blogging not only fun, but easy.

    Like

  29. R.L. Adams

    The minimalistic style is great, but I really like how Kenan Malik at Pandaemonium leveraged the Gridspace theme for his site. These are all great examples. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  30. dayparker

    Great examples, thank you for the post!

    Like

  31. Diane Phelps

    It’s interesting to see what other authors do to promote their books using WordPress. I teach a workshop on self-publishing and marketing and encourage authors to set up a blog/website using WordPress before the book is published so it can help launch the book when the time comes. My site, http://www.uncommonraven.com, functions as a website and logical place to send people who want more info about my books and to link to Amazon. I’m not the best example of an active blogger, but I try to post monthly.

    Like

  32. Dr. Sharon Yoder

    Thank you for this post. I have a lot to learn about posting my books and I appreciate all of your ideas. I loved the photos of the books and hope I can work out something similar.

    Like

  33. P WIlliam Ross

    I look at WordPress as another creative outlet as well as a promotional tool. The next evolution in writing, for me, is direct interaction with readers. Having a blog is a great way to spark the conversation between readers and writers.

    Like

  34. marilyncavicchia

    I am learning on my feet as I gear up for the release of my poetry chapbook, Secret Rivers (due out around June 1). WordPress is a great place for authors, and I continue to learn new ways to use it well.

    Like

  35. Kenan Malik

    Many thanks for highlighting my blog – and those of other authors. Much appreciated.

    Like

  36. pmarru

    I must say that I started to write on here because I wanted to experience a new way of expressing things. It has revealed to be a valuable way to practice article writing and scientific communication, which is something I would like to become a real job … someday. Now, though, I don’t know how to build a solid readership and to get feedback for my work. What do you suggest?

    Like

  37. Victoria K Gallagher

    It’s funny how my blog began as a space to write story’s and to stretch myself doing so, that as a result of writing from other WP sites’ prompts, a novel is now emerging. I had no idea this would happen. And the support from WP members have been tremendous in facilitating its beginning. I’m very much enjoying the process!

    Like

  38. Dana

    I really want to learn how to add images/visuals to my blog. These are great ideas and I enjoy seeing others’ blogs hit ideas. My flaw is that I’m so not visually creative and I am not good with graphics. Suggestions/Help?! Thanks, Dana

    Like

  39. kareninglis

    How great to look at other ways authors use the static front page. When I set up my self-publishing blog (link above) and separate children’s book dedicated sites back in 2011 this is exactly what I did – thought at the time had to hunt around in the back end of WordPress to find a way to do it. At that time nearly every blog I looked at seemed to have blog posts as the landing page, which I knew wasn’t they way I wanted it to work for me. As well as the blog I’m posting from take a look at http://thesecretlake.wordpress.com to see how I dedicated one site to my first book. As far as I could see at that time no-one else was including early chapters from their books, but I decided this would be good way as an unknown author to showcase my work. And it worked brilliantly. I’ve now sold around 6,000 copies of The Secret Lake and that book site certainly has helped. I used it as my calling card when contacting booksellers. Another example of static front pages – and in this case a whole site of static pages – in action. Thanks you WordPress for the flexibility you offer us authors!

    Like

  40. kareninglis

    I should probably also mention that I’ve since found it simpler to consolidate my separate children’s book sites (I have one site for each of my first three books) into one site aimed at readers. As with my self-publishing blog, for this catch-all site for readers I use static pages (including a static landing page) and include one Blog page. You can see it at http://www.wellsaidpress.wordpress.com

    Like

  41. loveechoedback

    So excited to join this community of new and experienced bloggers. Looking forward to learning from you all. My book will be coming out later this fall, and so, I am learning the ropes on blogging and book promotion. Blogging has been a great experience so far. I am excited to become more skilled at it. Elaine Lankford

    Like

  42. Kayla Hargett

    So inspiring and motivating! I’m new to the blogging community and hope to one day turn my stories and thoughts into a book, but for now love learning from everyone! Thanks for posting this! Good luck to everyone in growing your blogs and publishing your books!! I’m at myperfectlackofgrace.com , visit me sometime!

    Like

  43. tamarknochel

    I so appreciate this post! In reading it, and especially the comments, I’m realizing how similar my experience is with other writers. I wrote a book and started the blog because I was looking for a place to market that book. Lo and behold, here I am three years and 625 posts later and it’s the blog I’m working on marketing not the book!!! My blog has turned into my main vehicle of communication with my readers. About three months ago I decided to abandon print publishing new books and focus on the blog because the printing process was consuming way too much of my time without bringing back any of the results that the blog has! In today’s society we’re less likely to pick up a paperback book because it’s going to take up “too much time”, but we have no problem sitting and staring at our phones for hours on end without even realizing we’re doing it. Blogs are the way to go, and WordPress is by far my FAVORITE!!!!! WordPress, thank you so much for all you do for the writing community! YOU ROCK! :D

    Like

  44. fightlikeagirl333

    This is great stuff! I started blogging as part of the healing process after my cancer diagnosis, but I’ve decided that I’d like to work on a bigger project about it now like a book. These tips were great, really helpful!

    Like

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