By Cassie Smith
Having an author website is a bit like a business card – it establishes credibility, a point of contact, and an opportunity to showcase your work.
It can be well-agreed that in 2020, having an online presence as an author is essential, and an author website no exception.
As an author, you might have even envisioned what you want to put on your website – maybe a blog; an annotated gallery; links to events etc. What you might not have considered, however, is your domain name.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.
In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.
An example of a domain name is: www.google.com
Now that we have an understanding of what a domain name is, let’s move on to determining what the right one is for you!
Book Title vs. Author Name?
The two main natural categories for your author website title: your Author Name or your Book Title. The reason for this is simple – you want your domain title to be relevant and meaningful to your work as an author.
Using your Author Name
Should your name be unavailable, you can consider a variation of your name with an author-related term. Here are some examples:
Using your Book Title
But what if you write another book?
This is appropriate for authors who are only intending to use their website for one book, or have a series title they can use. It will help searchers who already know the title, but not many others. You can get the domain name of your book title if your title is unique or includes branding you want to carry over into the future.
For nonfiction authors, a book title website can be helpful, because book titles and subtitles usually contain important keywords. This can help people identify what your book is about, and make it easier to search.
Keep it Simple.
Hyphens, filler words (the, and), numbers (janesmith22, janesbooks4u) and miss-spellings (crrreativebook) are not going to help your readers find you. Keep your domain short (less than 15 characters), and avoid the use of special characters (!@#$%&…) and numbers.
- Spaces are not allowed in any Internet address. Therefore, never use spaces when creating a domain name.
- Capitalization does not register for a domain name. For example, it does not matter if you use uppercase or lowercase with “sarahsmithauthor.com,” it still reaches the same page.
Search to See if Your Domain Name is Available
Your first choice for a domain may already be taken, so it’s important to search before getting too far into the website building process. This is especially true for more common names and book titles. If your name is taken, consider the above strategies to make it more unique, while still being memorable and relevant.
You can use GoDaddy’s Domain Search tool to quickly look through different domain options.