Setting up a website

Many people are now trying to set up their own websites and if you are one of them I hope this information helps. Recently I had to compile a how-to on websites for my authors. I decided to research the topic and this is what I came up with. If you have any useful information to add please comment.

Many of my authors ask about websites and how to set them up. I can only guide you on this process but the most important thing is – GET A WEBSITE. Whether you hire a professional to set it up for you or whether you feel confident enough to design one yourself, a website is an important marketing tool for any writer.

You must research about website design before you decide what you want. You could read the helpful Web Design for Dummies which you can find at:,navId-322456.html  It’s nearly always available at the library and you can always book a copy. I’m sure there are other great books on the subject.

I’ve been a web editor but have not, as yet, designed a site from the ground up so I can only guide you on what I have researched through marketing and talking to Bruce who designed the Zeus Publications and Sell My Book websites.

Some of the sites you could have a look at as a starting point such as Bravenet which provides cheap domains etc.:

Alternatively there is:





These are to give you an idea ONLY as I cannot recommend any single site. You need to have a good look around the web or go into your local computer store for advice.

Most PCs have the program Front Page, Web Studio, Dreamweaver (Creative Suite), Personal WebKit, CoffeeCup Visual Site Designer, Expression Web 2 or Web Plus to design websites.

For Macs there’s RealMac RapidWeaver, IWeb or Dreamweaver. 

My advice (as an ex-graphic artist as well as a marketer) is to make your website as visually appealing as possible. Incorporate the colours of your books and make sure the book covers are big enough to read without squinting. If you are yet to have book covers to show on your site, create a preview page and use a font that is easy on the eyes (eg. Garamond, Times, Arial). I’ve found that black backgrounds  are the most difficult to read (especially if the font colour is any other than white). Unless you are doing gothic or horror novels I’d keep the background white or at least a light colour.

I like websites that are easy to negotiate with header bars and tabs. If they are too fussy people won’t bother with it. It’s a good idea to have a look at other sites and see what you like and what you need to include eg. intro, bio, books, checkout, blog, contact info etc.

My favourite of the Zeus authors’ website is Cynthia Rowe’s. It is interactive and attractive and a little bit unique:

Pat Noad has also just created one. Go to:

Here are a couple of nice writer’s sites Jennifer Bacia, Di Morrissey & Garry Disher’s:

Some international author sites include:

There’s also Zeus author Andy Semple’s site. This has been designed with the blog page first so readers can interact (he calls it his rant).

If you look at the bottom of each website you can usually see who they are powered (hosted) by. Hosting and domain name are almost as important as the design of your site.

Once you have designed your site and happy with it, then you need to publish it to a hosting site. Via this site you can acquire your domain name such as For about $9 – 15 per year. You can also get your domain name from a registrar who does not include web hosting. Hosting starts from about $9 per month. There are numerous sites so once again research your options. 

Rated highly on Consumer Search is Name but it does not provide hosting. Go is another that does provide hosting (both US-based). There can be a cost in transferring your domain to another host so you need to read the small print. You also have to find out if you have extra services like email accounts and that you can add shopping cart and PayPal if you need to. (Don’t forget the Australian ones I mentioned earlier in this blog. Again do your own research too.) 

Sometimes support is only via email so if you think you’d rather talk to a real person make sure they have phone support too. It’s also important to make sure your domain name is registered to you, and not your host or registrar, otherwise switching to a competitor may be difficult.

You can also go to:

to make sure your registrar is registered with The Australian Domain Name Administrator. Or if you need a world-wide website check that they are ICANN accredited.

Once your website is up and running  link it to other websites such as writers, writers groups and publishers. You can also include the link on your site to go directly to your book on the site of your publisher or Amazon (if your book is sold overseas). This would avoid the need for you to add a shopping cart as they could buy the book direct.

I also suggest that you join Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and WordPress or other networking sites and link them to your website. You never know how far publicity can fly on these types of sites.

You can also add media to your website pages as events happen. Take pictures at your launch or signing and load them on a gallery. Create a video in You Tube and upload it. If you receive a radio interview ask for the podcast which you can also upload on your site. Scan any magazine or newspaper reviews so your readers can see how well your book is being received.

I’m sure you get the idea now. So good luck and I look forward to seeing your website soon.


About bookszeus

I am the marketing Publicist for Zeus Publications. I am a novel, short story and article writer as well as wife, mother and friend. I have
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57 Responses to Setting up a website

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    • bookszeus says:

      Hi Isidro,
      I work in the publishing industry in Australia but am also a writer, marketer and graphic artist. I guess all these things give me a little insight into blogging. I love helping other writers and giving and receiving feedback is all part of that.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the blog on websites! Sign up so you receive updated blog posts. I’d love to hear from you again.

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    Just a quick comment 2 thx u for your joyful page article. Do you know where I can find more on this? well done. Rachel x

    • bookszeus says:

      Hi Rachel,
      A few of the comments about the blog are from website designers etc. who also read the blog so maybe you can have a look at them. I did a web search and researched for a couple of weeks about setting up a website. My own personal opinions are mainly from my many years as a graphic designer and a book marketer. There’s so much information on websites that it can do your head in. I just recommend you take your time and weigh up all the options. If anyone wants to comment further – feel free. Can you give Rachel advice?

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      A blog that is easy to read is best. The font needs to be at least 12pt or bigger. Two colums is usually enough any more and there’s too many places to draw away focus from the blog itself. If you want to get creative you can add pics etc. but since mine is mainly for writers I usually just stick to words. I probably ramble on a bit too much and my blogs should be shorter because they have more chance of being read then. You can break them up into smaller blogs. Keep it interesting. Keep it current and stick with your own style and voice. Be natural and most of all have fun blogging.

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