Posted in Business Side of Writing, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing, Writing Life

Prepping Your Website Content

Prepare Content

  • Write your content into a document(s)and save. Revise, proof, get feedback, or at least run a grammar or editor checker. These files will make pasting into your new website easy. And if you’re hiring someone, they’ll need this information.
  • Gather book information. It’s perfectly acceptable to use the blurb about your book from your publisher. It’s easy to copy this information from the publisher’s website. Reviews could come from the same place or booksellers or fan or thank you letters you’ve received. Paste the gathered info into a document. You may want to add the backstory—what prompted you to write the book. Or titles of books for further reading on your topic.
  • Gather urls. Think about what you’ll link to. A review on Kirkus, a buy link, your publisher, your agent, your favorite writing organizations, your favorite blogs, a class, other author or illustrator websites, etc. I like saving them as a hyperlink in the actual text, but you can also paste them in at the end of your document.
  • For picture books… make sure you include information about your illustrator. You may want to link to their site as well.
  • Create or modify activities… to be shared on your site, if you desire. They could be in a blog post–which you link to from your Book page—a pdf, a separate page, a video.

Prepare Images

  • Choose photos and images. Of course you’ll want a good headshot, book covers, and/or images of your workspace, your view from your home, etc. You might have pictures of objects that are featured in your books. A friend writes historical so she had images of the real people she writes about. You may want some stock photos or illustrations for headers or spot art on the site. (A favorite resource for me is pixabay, where I get most of the images for my blog posts.)
  • Put your photos and images where you’ll find them. Create a folder and copy them into it. If you think you might use it, throw it in.
  • Rename files. Each image should indicate what it is. For example, Sue at age 9, or Sue headshot, My Shadow cover, my cat Luna.
  • Crop. Cut out extraneous background so the focus of the picture is clear.
  • Resize. Depending on the purpose of each image, you’ll probably need to resize. Photos from your phone and/or camera can be huge file sizes (easily 3-6 MB). Using them so large affects SEO and speed of a site loading. This helpful article says: “Optimal file size: Large images or full-screen background images should be no more than 1 MB. Most other small web graphics can be 300 KB or less.” Here’s a post I did on the how-to of resizing pictures.

Again, you can use other sites for inspiration on the kinds of text and images that you might want to use. I did a Website Q&A post over ten years ago, but it still has some good information and links.

Next week, I’ll talk about choosing a platform for your website. (If you missed last week’s post, check it out here.)

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4 thoughts on “Prepping Your Website Content

  1. Again, part 2 of the how-to Author website is as good as part 1. Clear and simple presentation is best for what feels like a daunting task for beginning writers, and you make it clear.
    I would add that a website will be a work-in-progress and doesn’t have to be perfect when it’s launched. This helps reduce the anxiety about premiering one’s digital real estate on the internet.

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