How to construct your website’s home page

The first page of your website that most potential readers and the media likely will see is your home page. This page serves as an introduction to your book.

Because of this, your home page should aim to get readers and the media interested in your book. If they don’t click “Order this Book” after visiting your home page, then they ought to at least click onto another page to find out more about the author or to read free, sample pages from the book. Hopefully this in turn will get them to either purchase the book or to write a news story or a blog entry about you (which in turn hopefully will get other people to buy your book!).

Generally, text that acts as a blurb for the book works best for the home page.

To that end, consider including these elements on your home page:
• Header – The goal of every header is to tell the reader exactly what the page is about. A simple title often will suffice (see the home page of the website for my hiking guidebooks as an example). You may want to go for something splashier, however, such as “‘The Letters’ – Bro Craig’s Stunning Debut Novel”.
• Dramatic quotation – If you’ve written a novel, reprint some lines from the book that capture what the story is about. The quotation shouldn’t go longer than eight lines of type on the web page.
• Synopsis – For a novel, write a plot summary. For a nonfiction book, describe what the volume is about, specifically explaining how it offers what readers can’t get anywhere else. For either a novel or nonfiction book, go no longer than 10 lines of type on the web page, however.
• Author’s bio – If writing a nonfiction book, readers will want to know why the author is so qualified to write such a book. Your bio should answer that question in no more than six lines of type on the web page.
• Closer – This is a one- or two-line appeal to purchase the book. For example, “THIS IS YOUR FIELD MANUAL TO HIKING WITH KIDS!” or “NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM!”

Vary the size of the text for these various elements of your home page. The header should be the largest type and in boldface. The dramatic quotation, synopsis and author’s bio should be in the same type size and type face as the rest of the text on other pages at your website, though you might set off the quotation by italicizing it. The closer should be a larger text size than the synopsis but smaller than the header; it should be in boldface as well and perhaps set off by capitalizing it.

Don’t feel that you have to get everything about you and the book on the home page. Visitors to your site will see that you have other pages on the website and are more likely to navigate to them if intrigued with brief, interesting text than they are to wade through a long article on a single page.

Finally, this method hardly is the “only” or the “right” way to construct a home page to promote a single book, though certainly all of the elements listed above should appear on every home page. Remember, the goal here is to construct a website quickly and easily. After all, while you want to promote and market your book, you also want to get on to writing your next one.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.