Updated April 2023
An author website might include excerpts of the writer’s work, some links to published pieces, and maybe even a link to purchase the writer’s latest book. Books that might compete for a reader’s attention usually aren’t referenced. However, the design experts here at Web Design Relief know that insights into great website design can be found tucked inside the pages of famous novels! Here’s some unexpected literary inspiration that can improve your author website.
Tips From Novels That Can Improve Your Author Website
The Great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel is overflowing with elegance and flair, much like the lavish parties Jay Gatsby throws to impress his former fling, Daisy Buchanan. However, the reason this novel is a mainstay in American literature is due to its complex thematic elements and social commentary regarding gender, wealth, and the American dream (or lack thereof). The Great Gatsby urges readers not to prioritize style over substance.
Similarly, even if you have a beautifully designed website, your content must be informative and engaging—not just glitter and fluff. Having solid, worthwhile content on your author homepage encourages your visitors to stick around and enjoy the party.
Brave New World: Aldous Huxley’s groundbreaking novel presents concepts and themes that are years beyond even our current technological understanding. Brave New World explores the links between consumerism, technology, happiness, and government control, which was unlike most books at the time.
Web design trends are constantly evolving to adapt to the latest trends among visitors. For a long time, most people visited websites on desktop computers and laptops. But as we move into the future, more and more people are viewing websites on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Be sure to keep track of the latest trends so your author website is mobile-friendly and ahead of the curve with up-to-the-minute design features.
The Goldfinch: Donna Tartt’s novel, filled with poignant moments for its protagonist, Theo Decker, is also a love letter to the arts. The Goldfinch portrays art as one of the most valuable aspects of life: While life is short, art can be preserved forever and have a lasting impact on all of those who appreciate it.
The fine arts have a lot to teach us about web design as well. Stylistic expressions popularized in the 14th century, such as the use of light and shadows, are still prevalent in today’s web designs. In fact, Renaissance-era art styles are trending in current web designs and in modern media! For your author website, don’t be afraid to consider timeless artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo for inspiration.
Invisible Man: One of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, Ralph Ellison’s novel explores racism, equality, and the African-American identity in America. Invisible Man’s unnamed narrator struggles to find both his sense of self and his community due to society’s preset expectations for him, thus feeling “invisible.” Ellison urges readers to remember the “invisible” members of society who don’t fit within the more visible categories.
In web design, it’s also important to remember the invisible elements. Many authors focus on the visible design aspects of their websites such as colors, fonts, and background textures. However, the unsung heroes working behind the scenes, like security tools and versatile plugins, are essential to keeping your website functional and safe.
A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving’s novel follows John Wheelwright and Owen Meany as they come of age and attempt to understand Owen’s premonitions of the future where he acts as “God’s instrument.” The novel is told across multiple time periods, particularly the 1950s and 1960s through to modern day. The use of time shapes the narrative and helps tell the complete story of both boys, from their childhood up to the moment and aftermath of Owen’s miraculous act.
As we see in A Prayer for Owen Meany, painting a complete picture is essential. For writers, this means crafting an author bio that allows agents, editors, and readers to get to know the person behind the words. The biographical information on your author website should be more than a list of accomplishments or publications—it should offer a well-rounded overview of your life, from your writing career highlights to your interests, hobbies, and unique personality.
When scanning the bestseller titles for your next read, keep an open mind: You just might discover a book that can also inspire your author website design! If you’d rather spend your time reading, the experts at Web Design Relief can create an inspired author website that suits you, your budget, and your style of writing. Schedule your free consultation today!
Question: What other famous novels might inspire a website’s design?