Last Updated January 2 2023
Websites have become more important as an author’s job now often includes cultivating an online presence to form deeper relationships with their audience. The website is also a chance to tell a story, sell books directly, build a mailing list, and much more.
The best author websites have all these elements: modern design, an about page, a store to buy author’s books/links to wherever the book is sold (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, etc.), a blog, an email sign up form, a contact page/email address, links to official social media pages, testimonials, press/media links, latest news about engagements and appearances, and more.
Besides, if the author is involved in other things like podcasting, YouTubing, charity, etc., there are sections or links to those as well.
You will find all these elements in the author’s website examples listed below.
Note: These author website examples are of “great websites of authors” and not “websites of the best authors.” Also, we have explained why the websites belong in this list for only the first ten or so examples to avoid repetition — feel free to analyze the rest.
John Green is a bestselling author well-known for his novels The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, etc. Some of his books are also turned into popular movies. In addition to being an author, he also runs multiple YouTube channels (with his brother, Hank), with over 18 million subscribers combined, and a podcast with over 300 episodes.
It’s safe to say John is an accomplished individual. So how should he — or anyone of his stature — go about his website? Exactly as John does!
John’s Squarespace website is clean, elegant, and modern. Right at the top of the homepage is a concise bio of John and a picture of his latest book. Another element you see right away is the navigation drawer, which on being clicked, shows you all the necessary pages on the website - bio, blog, YouTube, podcast, appearances, store, contact information, etc. Then, if you scroll down the homepage, you’ll find about his latest book, latest appearances, latest podcasts, and latest videos. Nothing on the website is a waste!
Overall, John’s website is well-designed both from an aesthetic and user experience viewpoint. You can pretty much replicate how the website is structured and have a great author website!
Tomi is an award-winning writer from LA, California. She has been featured in Vogue and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. She has also been called one of the “Top 100 most influential people of 2020” by Time.
Her website is another modern author site you’d want to customize and replicate.
The homepage follows the latest website design trends, including a text-only hero image, great typography, professional photography, and a good contrast of maximalism with the section background color scheme and minimalism with text. The navigation bar is minimal, with links to pages either the visitor would like to visit, or she would like them to visit. For example, because her go-to platforms to connect with the target audience are Instagram and TikTok, links to them are prominently placed.
Kylie Howarth is a published author from Australia. Her long list of children’s books is both written and illustrated by her. In addition to her books, she offers school visits and hosts fun workshops for children.
Her home page is minimal, with just one illustration and simple text, “KYLIE HOWARTH. CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR.”
And as you can see from the navigation menu, the website surely has all the elements we mentioned in the introduction. However, the menu looks messy and confusing because of the ten visible items — we’d recommend either hiding half of those under “more” or moving a few items down in the footer.
Hyewon Yum is living in New York as an author and illustrator. She has 12 published books currently and has several more colorful and heart-felt stories on their way to completion.
Her website is similar to Kylie’s. In fact, it’s a bit better because of fewer menu items. However, the website loses some author website elements like a proper contact form, links to all modern social media profiles, a shop section or links to buy the book, etc. Moreover, the website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, which is sort of a must-have in 2023.
Fareed Zakaria hosts a show for CNN Worldwide and is a columnist for The Washington Post, a contributing editor for The Atlantic, and an author.
Given his profession, the “formal” look of the website with the current UI/UX works great. On the homepage, Fareed has showcased his latest book and links to buy it front and center. For everything else, one can navigate from the simple menu bar.
William B. Irvine is a professor of philosophy at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He is known for his essays and books on Stoic philosophy.
The author’s website gives a Kindle vibe because of its classical fonts, boxes around the sections, the centered 500 px-600 px width of the container, and overall presentation. But the website looks good, unlike the loud website of Ryan Holiday - a fellow proponent of stoic philosophy and a very popular non-fiction writer.
Malcolm Gladwell is a famous non-fiction writer known for his books Outliers, The Tipping Point, Blink, and David and Goliath.
His website is a no-nonsense, simple author website. You’ll be introduced to his new book and a few CTAs to learn more about the book or buy it as you enter the website. Next, there’s a short bio and links to his social media profile. Below that, there are a couple of sections about his other works. You hit the footer with an email sign-up box next. And that’s it.
This website is one to copy if you want to make your website fast.
Austin Kelon is famous for his non-fiction trilogy Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work, and Keep Going. His physical book covers and dimensions of the book are a work of art itself.
As a first-time visitor, when you visit Austin’s website, you’d feel, ‘how is this website (with filled left and right sidebars) eligible to be featured in the “beautiful author website designs” list?’ That will be until you notice the website opens by default on the blog page and know more about Austin’s audience.
You see, Austin built an audience online, unlike traditional authors. His followers visit the website to read his blog; that’s why the blog is the homepage. The website’s purpose is to serve the visitor — and by that definition, Austin’s website is excellent.
Note: You can see similar instances in other online-heavy authors. For example, Atomic Habits author James Clear runs a popular email newsletter, so his homepage focuses on newsletter opt-in instead of book marketing. Similarly, Seth Godin’s website is his blog.
Michelle Douglas is a romance author and has a pretty mediocre website. However, the above-the-fold section of her website is unique, beautiful, and direct — something that might be a good inspiration for you if you are an unknown author and want to introduce and distinguish yourself as soon as someone visits your website.
Khaled Hosseini has written some of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed novels of this century, including The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
His website is simple but elegant and definitely gets the job done. There are no unnecessary animations, loud color palettes, or unneeded menu items. On the landing page, from top to bottom, you’ll find:
Laura is the bestselling author of the book We Are The Luckiest. Her website is more like a marketing funnel to get people on her email list and sell her courses than an author platform for her author brand or book marketing.
Kimberly Stuart has authored many novels, including the Heidi Elliott series, Act Two, Stretch Marks, etc. She has kept her website landing page very minimalistic, with only three sections:
Apart from that, there’s a footer and a menu, which act as a navigation map.
Stephanie Kane is a crime and legal thrillers writer of the books A Perfect Eye, Quiet Time, Blind Spot, Extreme Indifference, and more. She is also a lawyer.
Sarah Bessey is an author of 4 books, including New York Times bestsellers A Rhythm of Prayer and Jesus Feminist. Her website is an excellent example of a personal-cum-author website.
One of the most popular authors of the 21st century, Dan Brown, has a worth-looking-at one-page website. The website template is around his popular and recognizable works, which you might not be able to pull off for your site.
Chef Pierre Thiam not only creates delicious food in the fine-dining world, but he also writes and teaches his skills in the kitchen to others. He has catered huge events that have involved the President and big-name celebrities too!
Minaa is a mental health professional who is truly passionate about what she does. Aside from her general services, she focuses on self-care and learning tools that support a better quality of life through the guides she’s written.
This author and illustrator adds fun and sassy twists to classic stories such as Little Red Riding Hood. She has won several awards for her illustrations and unique storylines overall.
Based out of Columbia, Claudia has more than 30 books that have been translated and sold at a global level. She acts as author and illustrator on most of her books but also collaborates with other writers as well.
Connor Grayson is a kids’ book author with a wild imagination. He has two book series, one of which is called Magic Eaters and the other Boss Monster Wannabe.
Debbie is the author and illustrator behind the books made for middle-grade kids. She is originally from Florida but has lived in 5 different states pulling inspiration from each.
Katie Petrinec writes a series of children’s books called Mya and Crash, based on a little girl and her pup. These books have a scientific and educational tone with fun and colorful illustrations.
Making books for young people is the goal of author Stacy McAnulty. She has published dozens of successful books while still being a busy wife and mother.
Many different awards have been given to Jory John for his brilliant books and writing abilities. He has been on the NY Times best selling list time after time and also writes here and there for big-name publication companies.
From Springfield, Ohio, David Catrow has a long list of over 70 children’s books that he has written and illustrated. He has made the NY Times Best Selling list more than a couple of times.
Maryann has 60 plus books and counting that feature her writing and illustrating expertise. Among her books, a common theme is seen that recognizes the struggles in a child’s mind.
Robert Scully and his wife Anne Scully often work hand in hand on their many book creations. Currently living in New York, his love of creation continues to unfold and grow with each new project.
Jennifer is an author with a degree in psychology. Her books are made for children and emphasize a child’s curiosity and hope to make learning fun and silly.
Eunice and Sabrina Moyle are the sisters that make up this popular team of book creators. Sabrina is the author, and Eunice is the illustrator. They have successfully sold over 700,000 copies of their publishings.
Jose Lucio has three colorful children’s books that he has written and illustrated. He has won awards for best local book and best local author in his hometown of Savannah, Georgia.
James is the man behind the popular book series Bird and Squirrel, which is known and translated worldwide. He has other publishing’s beyond this series, and his illustration skills were even used in some animated films prior to writing books.
Paul Meisel is the proud author and illustrator of 10 different books, with even more on the way. He has also illustrated over 80 different books and does editorial and educational work.
Most examples in our list include authors with a Squarespace website. And we recommend you also use Squarespace because it's beginner-friendly and has stunning templates. Other than Squarespace, WordPress is also a popular choice for author websites.
You can make one yourself with a DIY website builder. Website builders include everything you need for a professional-looking website easily - domain, hosting, drag-and-drop editor, templates, etc.
Yes. It acts as a digital center for the author's brand. Plus, it enables authors to sell books online and build an audience for their marketing channels (email, blog, etc.).
A good author's website follows the fundamental website principles and has pages readers might want to see. Top elements include modern & responsive web design, an about page, a store to buy author’s books/links to wherever the book is sold (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, etc.), a blog, an email sign up form, a contact page/email address, links to official social media pages, testimonials, press/media links, latest news about engagements and appearances, and more.