Below are some author websites worth taking a look at. The list includes a diverse array of authors: fiction and nonfiction; writers who cross over from adult to YA and children’s; writers with multiple series; authors who write books and journalism. I try to keep it up-to-date; if you have a suggestion, feel free to email me via the contact form.
If you're looking for a model author website, check out RebeccaSkloot.com. This site was created by the talented shop Being Wicked, and it's clean, open, and content-packed. A great place to go for ideas.
A very elegant, well-crafted website by the peerless author and journalist Michael Pollan. Note the Resources Section and the way Pollan combines his FAQ with "Useful Links." I also love the “Today’s Links” feature, which points readers to an article that Pollan found interesting. This is an excellent example of creating and featuring content that users can engage with.
I like the way that Gladwell breaks down each of his books and explains how they're organized and what each section contains. For most of the books there's a good deal of supplemental material, from the publisher's press release to extended excerpts and Q&As about the books. I also like the Etc. section, which points a visitor to websites of Gladwell's friends and miscellaneous articles and links.
This is an interesting site for many reasons: it has tons of stuff to read by a great variety of writers. It's a big tent for Palahniuk's work but also other writers he admires and nurtures. He runs a Writer's Workshop from this website and charges a fee to access it. There, writers can read works by others and get feedback to their own. It's a very busy site in terms of its design (a plus for some, a minus for others) and one you can lost in. Palahniuk has long been active and smart on the web.
The sci-fi writer's website is Hatrack.com. This site was clearly built a long time ago – June 8, 1996, to be exact – but there's a reason that more than 10 million visitors have paid a call: not only is Card an extremely popular writer but he has a great deal of interesting material aimed at all kinds of readers from adults to kids, writers, students, and teachers. The design this website doesn't enable him to display new content very well, but he writes a weekly column and runs a Writers Workshop.
This feels just a tad gimmicky to me, and old-fashioned as well – the home page and some of the interior ones load with flash animation and a soundtrack – but there's a lot of content and it's worth taking a look and seeing how Grafton decided to organize a huge and diverse amount of content.
Gawande updated his site recently and it now has a more high-concept (and, I find, slightly distracting) design, but it’s well-organized and there’s a lot of content for readers to discover.
Hiaasen writes for kids and adults and has sections for each. He also has a Q&A for each book and one about his movies and his personal life. He has a section I've never seen on a website before called "Friends," where he includes links to websites of his friends and organizations he likes. It's a nice feature. On the home page he's carved out a space to feature a news item – an interview with CBS "60 Minutes" or a review of one of his books, for example.
A content-rich site by an author who writes award-winning and highly illustrated books about gardening and landscape, has an active lecture calendar, and a deep, provocative “Recommended Reading” list.
Hoffman includes podcasts, essays, a blog, and a separate section for her films.
See how Macomber organizes all the different series she writes as well as other features like contests, a knitting club and recipes. This is a good example of an author on the web whose work reaches in many different directions.
He ain't The King for nothin'. Stephen King has been innovating online for longer than most authors, and he's got several excellent sites. Surf around, just for the fun of it, and see how he does it.
Includes a photo gallery with slideshows depicting the LA he writes about; lots of newspaper articles with titles so you have a sense of what they're about; lots of video and audio links. It has a simple design but there's lots of satisfying content. Connelly still has an old-fashioned (and not very active) message board, but also includes links to Facebook and Twitter, where there’s more action.
See Chapter One of The Author Online for some thoughts about this very successful website.
This is a site by an author who writes for teens.
Created by a novelist and short story writer, this site includes all the information a reader could want. It's simple but effective -- a great example of what an author can do to put her work on display.