Whether they write fantasy, fiction, or non-fiction, are self-published or published by one of the “Big Five,” authors need a website.

The internet is one of the — if not the — first place readers and publishers will look to learn more about you and your work. A website is also a great way to connect to your audience, inform them of upcoming releases and events, and let them know more about you personally and professionally.

If you’re an author in need of a website, or just like looking at cool website designs, then check out some of the best author websites below for inspiration.

Free Download: 77 Examples of Brilliant Web Design 

The author websites below are categorized by the genre they write in (fantasy, non-fiction, and fiction) and whether they're self-published or not. It's important to note that many of these authors work in multiple genres, and have been self-published and traditionally published.

Fantasy Author Websites

1. N. K. Jemisin

best author website: N.K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin has one of the best minimalist websites that exemplifies how powerful a few words and details can be.

On the homepage, visitors immediately see her name, the typography of which matches the typography used on the cover of her latest book, The City We Became (a great touch!). Above that is a testimonial which informs new readers, diehard fans, publishers, and movie scouts alike that she's a widely-known and popular sci-fi and fantasy writer. Below that are three CTAs inviting visitors to read her bio, learn more or purchase one of her books, or read her blog.

What We Like
  • Minimalist design 
  • Clear CTAs across site
  • Blog is frequently updated and tone is casual and intimate

2. Neon Yang

best author website: Neon Yang

Neon Yang's website immediately grabs visitors' attention with its neon green accent color and bold typography. But it avoids looking crowded by striking a balance between text and images. In fact, it provides only the most essential information, starting with who Neon Yang is, what awards they've been nominated for, and some praise they've gotten in the press. At the bottom of the homepage, you'll find out how to connect with them over email or on social. 

What We Like
  • Accent color and animations keep users engaged as they scroll
  • Clearly lays out Yang's books, stories in anthologies, and standalone fiction so visitors can browse or find a specific work they're looking for 
  • Offers multiple ways to connect with author

3. Leigh Bardugo

best author website: Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo's website is a great example for prolific writers with lots of work. It features a carousel slider to promote multiple books, including her latest release Ninth House, recent sequel Rule of Wolves, and collector’s edition of Shadow and Bone, as well as a link to her author bio. It also includes a link to a reading order, which can help first-time readers figure out which book to start with, as well as the "Grishaverse." This microsite is designed to provide visitors with a more in-depth look at the fictional universe Bardugo has created.

What We Like
  • Carousel slider on homepage promotes multiple works and author bio
  • Can't miss newsletter opt-in form
  • News page outlining releases, acclaim, and TV adaptations

4. Rick Riordan

best author website: Rick Riordan

Visiting Rick Riordan's website takes you on a mini quest, like many of his characters embark on. Starting at the "Explore" CTA on the homepage, you can scroll down to learn about the many different series and books Riordan has written. As you scroll, the yellow-dotted line will turn solid and change color. It's a unique twist on the traditional reading orders you find on most author websites. 

What We Like
  • Interactive reading order
  • Lots of images and drawings make his website feel "bookish"
  • Book pages include audio files, YouTube clips, reading guides, and other resources

Non-fiction Author Websites

5. Ta-Nehisi Coates

best author website: Ta Ne-hisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates's website is an excellent example of user-centricity. It immediately tells you a little bit about the author and promotes his latest book, The Water Dancer, with clear and colorful CTAs. The homepage ends with a simple email opt-in form. If visitors are hoping to take another action on his site, the sticky navigation menu makes it easy for them to find info about his books, graphic novels, speaking engagements, and events.

What We Like

  • Minimalist design 
  • Color scheme and typography inspired by cover design of best-selling work, Between the World and Me
  • Email opt-in form appears in different variations on different pages, including as a parallax section and in the sidebar

6. Roxane Gay

best author website: Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay's website is designed to showcase her work first. On the homepage, her latest release, The Selected Works of Audre Lorde, is promoted above the fold. Next is a larger selection of her recent books with a CTA encouraging readers to view all her work. Only after does she have an About section that's linked to her bio page. Notice this order is reflected in the navigation menu: "Books" is listed first, whereas "About" is listed last. 

What We Like

  • Design tailored to promote and sell her work
  • Masterful use of whitespace and accent color
  • Images are engaging and informative

7. Joan Didion

best author website: Joan Didion

Joan Didion has won several awards, been the poster girl of Céline, and the subject of a Netflix documentary — so most people know who she is. That's why her website can focus on promoting her work first, just like Roxane Gay's.

Didion's homepage starts with a quote and title of an anthology of her work, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live." Below that is a carousel slider showcasing her large collection of work while taking up little space. Next there is an excerpt from her work The Year of Magical Thinking, with a CTA to read more. At the bottom of the page there is a short section about who she is with a CTA to read her complete bio. 

What We Like

  • Promotes collection of work before herself
  • Unique page dedicated to excerpts from her writing
  • Each book page includes a short description, reviews, quotes, and a longer excerpt to help readers make decision to buy

8. Ibram X. Kendi

best author website: Ibram X Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi is a best-selling and award-winning author, podcast host, contributor writer at The Atlantic and CBS News, professor, and Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Instead of having to go to one place to purchase his books, another to read his essays, and another to listen to his podcast, his website clearly displays and organizes all of his content, media appearances, and events so you can find exactly what you're looking for, or spend time browsing. 

What We Like

  • Website is a hub for all his works and accomplishments
  • His books, essays, pod, and press pages have grid layouts to display a lot of content in a clean and easily digestible way
  • Two easy ways to donate to BU's Center for Antiracist Research in header and footer

Fiction Author Websites

9. Miquel Reina

best author website: Miquel Reina

When landing on Miquel Reina’s website, it looks deceptively simple. There's his logo to the left, some navigation items to the right, and what appears to be an image of his book Lights on the Sea in the center. But if you stay on the page, then the book at the center is replaced by different translations and covers of his novel. This is an engaging and informative technique for visitors looking for the book in a particular language.

What We Like

  • Animated GIF displays each translation and cover of his book Lights on the Sea
  • Offers discussion guide, free excerpts, and signed copies that you can purchase directly on site
  • Simple email opt-in form and social media icons

10. Helen Hoang

best author website: Helen Hoang

Helen Hoang's website shows how authors can promote not just one, but multiple pieces of their work. Thanks to their position above the fold and colorful cover art, Hoang's trilogy immediately captures visitors' attention. Visitors can click to learn more about one of these books, or scroll down to learn about the author. You can find these options in the navbar as well. Here, you can also find a page dedicated to the many translations of her books and a page showing all the different places you can purchase her work. 

What We Like

  • Multiple ways for readers to learn more about her work and purchase
  • Page dedicated to translations of her books that are available for purchase
  • Color scheme based on cover of her first bestseller, The Kiss Quotient

11. Jennifer Egan

best author website: Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan's website is unlike any other author website on this list. It offers a completely immersive experience to visitors. Those landing on the page will see the title of her latest book Manhattan Beach. Encouraged to scroll down the page by the vertical lines, visitors feel as if they submerge into the ocean thanks to a parallax scrolling effect. As readers continue to scroll, excerpts from the book float to the surface. Once they're done reading an excerpt, they can click to reveal the next in the series. Photographs are included as well.

What We Like

  • Interactive website invites visitors to immerse themselves in her latest book, Manhattan Beach
  • Excerpt for each book available with clear CTA button
  • Reviews and testimonials throughout site help convince readers to buy

12. Sandra Cisneros

best author website: Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros is an international best-selling author whose won multiple awards, fellowships, and honors. Her website offers a more intimate look into who she is, with photos of her swimming, posing with her dogs, and traveling. She also includes a "guestbook," where she displays messages she's received and responded to. This includes a contact form so you can send your own message as well. 

What We Like

  • A very personal author website
  • Guestbook shows letters she's received from readers and responded to
  • Section for letters to her readers as well

Self-published Author Websites

13. rupi kaur

best author website: rupi kaur

rupi kaur has one of the best interactive websites that carefully guides the reader toward different resources and pages on her site. When visitors land on the page, they see a hero image with rupi holding a copy of her latest poetry collection, home body. As readers scroll, the navar transitions from transparent to solid so visitors who know exactly what they're looking for can click on one of those links. The rest can just keep scrolling.

A section featuring her latest collection of poetry with a CTA to buy slides in first. Then, videos of rupi on The Tonight Show and a trailer of her stand-up poetry special appear. Next is a link to her shop, books, and bio. At any point, readers can click on one of the links in the sticky navbar at the top of the screen. 

What We Like

  • Super easy to navigate and fun to browse
  • Unique layout with different text alignment and lots of whitespace so it looks like one of her poems
  • Includes shop with stationary, art, and other goodies

14. LJ Ross

best author website: LJ RossLJ Ross's website offers multiple navigation paths for readers with different preferences and familiarity with herself and her work. They can click on the "Find out more" link to learn more about her as an author. They can watch a trailer for the Audible version of her latest DCI Ryan installment, The Infirmary. They can click on one of the buttons for a specific book series, or browse her standalone novels and latest releases. They can even click on the "Read, Write, Walk North East" logo to access interactive walking tours based on her DCI Ryan series. 

What We Like

  • Animated background image and hover animations engage visitors
  • Fly-out menu with hamburger menu perfect for mobile
  • Unique grid layout for book archive pages

15. Mark Dawson

best author website: Mark Dawson

Looking like one of the covers from his best-selling John Milton series, Mark Dawson's homepage perfectly encapsulates his brand. Only two elements are overlaid on top of the background image. The most eye-catching is the email newsletter opt-in form, which pops thanks to its white shadow effect. There's also the navigation bar, which is split into primary navigation items (on left) and secondary items (on right). Notice that "Books" comes first, since they're the main focus of the website. 

What We Like

  • Consistent branding so readers can easily recognize relation to his book series
  • Multiple ways to connect, including email opt-in form and social follow buttons
  • Built-in shop for purchasing books directly on site instead of being redirected to third-party site

The Online Presence of Authors

Authors can use a website to attract new readers, inform their existing audience of new releases and events, and share some more personal and professional details about themselves. The websites above are all unique but they have one thing in common: like the best bookstores, they’re easy to browse for hours.

examples of brilliant homepage, blog, and landing page design

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Originally published Aug 20, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated August 20 2021

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Website Design