Having an author website can be a great way to promote yourself as a short story writer! People are always curious about the writer behind a great story. Editors reading your cover letter and intrigued by your pitch may want more information about your publishing credits and range of experiences. Literary agents reviewing online journals and magazines might be impressed by your short prose and want to see more. And avid readers hooked by one of your stories will want to see what else you’ve written.

So how will all these curious folks learn more about you? They’ll type your name into a search engine! And if you’re a savvy short story writer who understands the value of self-promotion, here’s what your potential fans should find: a brilliant author website designed to show them exactly what you want them to see.

What Web Design Should Focus On For Short Story Writers

As a writer of short stories, you need to take a slightly different approach to online marketing than book authors do. You may not be selling anything directly on your website, but you’re still promoting something vital: your professional persona.

Your web design should focus on:

  • You, the writer. Unless you’re trying to boost sales of a published short story collection or other work, consider crafting a landing page that focuses on your biography.  An engaging, professional photo and a smart, personal, well-written bio can go a long way toward warming the cockles of an editor or agent’s heart.
  • Smart design. Since your primary goal is to get folks to read your amazing content, make sure to design your site accordingly. Make the reading experience effortless by using a clear font with a nice contrast between background color and the text color. Readers become intimidated by large blocks of text, so take advantage of line spacing and between-paragraph spacing to ensure your website is easy on the eyes.
  • Building a platform. A blog is a great way to display your short prose skills as well as your interests. By gathering subscribers to that blog, you’re developing that all-important platform. Magazines and online journals love when an author has a following, because you will likely direct that audience to their own site when they publish your work.
  • Making connecting easy. Authors of short stories don’t generally earn millions, but you never know where a new networking contact will lead. Always provide a dedicated contact page so editors, agents, film scouts, celebrities (it could happen!), and readers can immediately zip you an email.
  • Showing you’re a pro. A page dedicated to a list of your published stories allows you to tastefully brag about your accomplishments. It also gives editors and agents an easy, clickable way to explore the range of your work.
  • Highlighting any freebies. People love generosity. As a gift to new arrivals, consider offering a free short story in the inner pages of your website to entice new visitors into reading more. Alternatively, you could post the first few paragraphs of a story on your author website and then offer the rest as a giveaway to anyone who joins your mailing list.

In the new millennium, writing short stories can bring great benefits to writers who maintain a professional presence in cyberspace. A targeted, well-designed author website is like an online résumé. Done right, it’ll put your best face forward to the world.

QUESTION: Have you ever been curious enough about a short story author to look them up online for more information?

1 Comment

  1. Victoria Marie Lees

    Websites are important to short story writers as well as novelists. Thanks for these tips to set up a website. I’ve shared on social media.


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