As an author, having a clear, easily identified writing brand will help you successfully market your work. When you can be recognized by the topic, genre, or unique quality of your writing, your audience will be able to immediately distinguish you from other authors. So when you create your author website, maintaining the mood of your brand through visual continuity is a must when choosing design elements.
For example: If you have a reputation for writing whimsical, comical pieces, your visitors will expect a website that’s lighthearted and fun. Or, if your book series is set on Western ranches, a motif of horses and tumbleweeds will let readers know they’ve come to the right place.
Here are 4 elements to help set the mood on your author website:
Font: The font you use in your website header should reflect both your personality and the tone of your writing. Recently, the trend has been to use a large, stylized font for the author’s name at the very top of the site. For example, if you write about a journalist working in the 1950s, you could select a font that resembles old-fashioned typewriting.
For the content of your site, the main concern is to choose a font that is legible. If you get too creative with the body of your text, it may be too difficult for visitors to read for any length of time—and so they’ll be more likely to leave.
Color scheme: The combination of colors on your author website should reinforce your writing brand. So if you write murder mysteries, don’t choose a bright, cheery color scheme.
And be sure your color scheme makes the text easy for your visitors to read. While contrast can make your text easier to read, don’t use clashing hues. Instead, use complementary colors that are easy on the eyes.
Also, keep your color scheme consistent from page to page to solidify the branding.
Textured images and backgrounds: Adding texture will give your site a sense of dimension and contribute to the overall mood. A sandy texture could call to mind the island beach setting of your novels. In contrast, a background image of moss would evoke a cool, damp, forest locale.
Writing tone and style: Consistency is key in creating your writing brand, so make sure everything on your author website has the same tone and writing style that can be found in all of your work. If you write detective stories in clipped, tight prose, your blog should be written in the same hard-boiled style—not filled with goofy jokes or romantic poetry.
Just as in real life, be careful not to be too heavy-handed when setting the mood: A few candles may fan the flames of romance… Too many create a distracting fire hazard. When handled properly, these four elements can reinforce your writing brand, quickly identify you to your potential audience, and ultimately make your writing more marketable.
QUESTION: Have you ever visited an author site that just blew you away? What made the site memorable?