I don’t pretend to be an expert on websites. What im going to post are a few tips to get you started.
First up, if you aren’t a web designer you will need a hosting site. These are websites that give you templates that you just edit to meet your needs. A few are, Yola (the one i use), WordPress, Wix. For a monthly fee they will ‘host your page and allow it to go live on the internet. Its usually about $5-$10 a month.
Site name. In order for your page to look professional you will need a web address. A lot of sites sell these and you just enter it into what ever host you are using. Most hosts will also offer you a web address. It costs around $40 a year. Its not much. This means that instead of your address being http://www.larisaofficial.com/wordpress/host it will be http://www.larisaofficial.com. It looks neater and more professional. People have a better chance of finding you and it looks better on promo material .
Your actual website. It should contain links to where to buy your work. Images of your books. An author bio is a good idea. Contact information and reviews/ awards. A good idea is to go to sites of your fave authors and see what you like about their pages then try and replicate it. Don’t make it too flashy, no blinking graphics and no music, i cant stress that one enough. If people are looking at your page at work you don’t want music to start blaring out of their speakers!
If you don’t want to do it yourself you can hire web designers to do it for you. This will cost about $300 for a simple set up. I personally would leave this until you hit the big numbers and write it off on tax.
Analytics. This confuses a lot of people. Analytics is a way to track traffic to your site. The one i use is Google Analytics. I just enter a code it gives me into the place on my web hoster and it tracks where traffic is coming from, how long they stay and how many pages they view. Its a great way to find out what marketing is working.
That’s it. Pritty simple right? The biggest mistake people make is to not ‘design’ their pages. Keep it simple and tell people what they want to know. Format it like you would a book. Make it logical and clear.