home > blog > why book writers need websites

Author Website: Why Book Writers Need Websites

What turns a book writer into a well-known author?

Exactly — readers.

The more — the better.

And we're not talking about your family and friends you gave your book for free, but the global audience who find your book interesting enough to pay for.

Sadly, you can't call yourself a book writer just because you wrote one book (or several). You have to sell your books.

Fortunately, when it comes to selling your books online, you'll find an army of allies ready to give you a hand with distributing your book for a tiny share. Someone like Amazon, eBay, or Goodreads. And that's fair — they have the audience.

However, after a little while, book authors find themselves in a weird situation, when readers search for their books but find Amazon. When people want to learn more about the author, but find Amazon. When publishers try to contact the author but find… Amazon!

So soon after getting the first money from sales, book writers start thinking about building a website to gain identity online and connect with the audience without a middleman.

What Is Author Website (And What's Not)

First of all, what it's not — it's not a bookstore. If you're a book writer, you don't need a website to sell books. Don't believe in lies that selling books on your website is a life changer. No, it's not.

For convenience, good deals, fast delivery, and looking for something new, readers go to Amazon, publishers' online stores, local bookstores, or book events.

An author's website is a communication channel in the first place. And it's not only about collecting emails to send out a newsletter. It's about building up an emotional connection — a bridge between you and your reader. If someone found your website online, it means he or she is interested in your personality, your style, your history. And they want more of that.

So, considering this, let's continue our journey to understanding the purpose of your website and how to build a perfect one.

#1 Reason For Having An Author Website


This is a short answer without playing around. But it's not about payments.

Talking about security doesn't always mean money. There are things in this life that mean more. Especially for one, who puts his name on the cover of the product.

Like what?

Using a website, the book writers can secure:

  • Reputation

  • Audience

  • Authenticity

  • Copyrights


Your website is a primary source of official information related to your name and your books. Whatever the internet says, your website is the only place to find the truth. Because it's 100% you who provides this information.

Plus, your website is your fortress to fight for your reputation if needed. Whatever other websites say about you, you can always answer in public and your voice will be heard.

And there's no one to stop you. Because you own this source.


Your website — your visitors. You can talk to them and you can let them speak. Even if everything burns, your fans will be able to find you (and your books) on your website. Plus, they can find your social profiles and sign up for a newsletter.


Your website is the primary source of information about you and your work. Not only does it provide fresh and trustworthy information, but also is the only resource to link to for other internet publishers. Imagine a blogger who wants to tell the world about you and your books. What resource do you want him to link to? To Amazon? Perhaps. But why not to your website?


It's easier to protect your rights when you control the resource that proves your ownership of the book, article, story, etc. If you have an official author website, you don't need to request information from other resources to prove your rights. You already have it. It's your official website, here's something published, here's your name and the publication date. Done!

Benefits Of Selling Your Books On Your Website

Although selling books on online marketplaces like Amazon is highly profitable (and reasonable), selling books on your author website also has benefits.

Connection with readers

We've touched this already. And that's important. A website for books writers is a fan club in the first place. A small room or a grand hall to gather your readers and talk to them and hear from them. Your audience is a primary source of inspiration, fresh ideas, criticism, and, honestly, income. So the next benefit is…

Higher income

If you don't have to share your royalty with book-selling platforms, you have more money in your pocket! That is clear. However, it doesn't mean you have to abandon Amazon. It equals shooting in your leg. Instead, promote both channels and offer your readers both options. One of them may have better delivery options, while the other one may have lower prices.

Plus (and this is important) you get your money instantly. You don't have to wait another 60-90 days after the sale.

Flexible pricing

When you sell books on your own website, you don't depend on fees and pricing policies. You can set your own prices and run your own promotion. Flexible pricing is extremely beneficial when you sell ebooks because you sell copies — digital downloads of the same file. So your discounts can go as low as you wish. However, you'll have to find the right balance to keep your income growing.

Low competition

Or should I say NO competition at all? You're the boss of your website and the dominant form of life. Your personality and your books are always under the spotlight there. And although you can feature other authors you like, review the books you read, and recommend on your website, it will never harm your sales. It will only attract traffic.

Challenges Of Selling Books On Author Website

As usual, with benefits come the challenges. Here're the problems you can face selling books on your website.

Technical challenges

Running a website can be complicated if you don't have a technical mindset. Not necessarily, but it can be. Website means coding, design, hosting, availability, authority, security. Lots of things.

However, much depends on the platform you choose for your website. And this choice depends on your goals.

For instance, it can be a hosted version of WordPress. It's big, complicated, and takes time to launch and maintain. But it brings flexibility, custom user experience, and thousands of plugins to the table that can improve website load speed, security, conversion rate, and more.

Or, it can be a SaaS solution, like Google Sites with basic design or marketing features, that doesn't require any technical background and needs nothing but a Google account.

Personally, I recommend book writers to use Google Sites for creating author websites — it's safe, easy to use, and simple as five cents. I've explained why Google Sites are awesome for book writers in another article. So take a look.

Leveraging reviews for success

Although reviews are an excellent trust signal regardless of the resource they are published on, for marketplaces like Amazon they mean much more than that. Your readers' reviews on Amazon influence your ranking — how often your books will get featured on the first page of the search result page. Also, the more reviews your book has in online book stores the more frequently it will be recommended to visitors that buy other books.

On your website, reviews and ranks also play an important part, but it's only about trust.

Delivery of printed books

If you decide to order a bunch of printed versions of your book to sell them via your website, you have to prepare yourself for several things — you have to store the books somewhere, you have to pack them properly before shipping, and you have to deal with carrier service. And you have to do it according to your shipping policy (and yes, you have to have one — just like those stores you shop at yourself).

This isn't a scary story if you don't have to ship more than three books per week, but if the sales suddenly surge up, you'll run into serious problems. You'll have to pack and ship books by a certain date, otherwise, your customers will eat you.

However, if you order printed books in batches, you'll get a very nice (meaning, low) price per unit. The larger the batch — the better the price. This will allow you to sell books cheaper than on any other website. Good reason to buy your books on your website.


Selling means sharing! Sharing your revenue with the tax authorities. Selling books online on book marketplaces is way easier because usually, they take the taxes on them.

But selling books on your own website is a different story. You'll have to pay taxes by yourself. And sometimes it's more difficult than it seems because you never know where your customers are located. For example, for the EU you have to pay taxes (VAT) in the country where the purchaser is located which is complicated. However, if you sell just a few books a month, you don't have to worry about it.


To sum up, if you're a book writer, and you want people to think of you as an author, you definitely want to reserve your own space online. Not only to sell your amazing books but also to turn your name into a publicly available brand.

Your website tells everyone that you are a real person, tells your story and history. Also, your website is an essential source of feedback and support from your readers. Plus, it's a great tribune for you to say everything you want to say.

But here comes another question — what should an author website look like? And what's the best solution to build one? Find the answer in the next article on how to build a perfect author website.

Buy Google Sites Templates