We got a lot of questions while on the panels at the Tucson Festival of Books. One that came up a couple of times was whether an author should have one website covering all of their interests or more than one.
For example, one author was also an artist. Should she display her artwork on the same website with her book? The book isn’t related to her art, but she has included some of her illustrations in the book. One author is an artist as is her husband. They do different styles of art. They did one book together which relates to his art. Should they design a website including the book and both of their art styles?
Yet, another author has a business aside from her book and she was hoping to combine both on one website.
My response—and the general consensus of the panelists—was to keep the sites separate. You want to showcase your book front and center so that anyone visiting your site is instantly aware of the book, it’s purpose, the theme—genre. They should not be confused by distractions.
I’ve seen websites that are very confusing. Is this a book? Is it for sale? How do you make the purchase? What is the purpose of the site? Why are all of these designs off to the side? What does the owner of this site want you to do? How do you move from one page to another? Where is the “about us” page?
Someone who has more than one book on different topics has a decision to make about how to design his or her website. Do you feature one book and make the other one incidental? Do you try to promote both books equally? Do you create a site that sells books on a variety of topics? Or do you build a website to feature the book on quilting and another one showcasing your recovery memoir?
If you want to do justice to your book, you will build a website around it without any annoying distractions. For the quilting book, showcase the book on the home page. Create links to your about the book page—table of contents and so forth, testimonials page—what are readers and experts saying about your book, quilters’ resources page and so forth. If you were to add your memoir to this website, it would just muddy up the otherwise clear message to your quilt book customers. You can, of course, have a link to another website where you feature the memoir.