99 WordPress themes for indie author websites that will actually sell books

I wrote recently about why you should use WordPress for your author website. Now allow me to recommend some themes that might work for you. But first, let me make sure you’re in the right place:

#1. You are not a celebrity

If you are, then you can make a totally personalized expensive website with bells and whistles, because your website doesn’t need to do anything. It can just sit there and be pretty, because you have millions of eager fans typing in your name, hoping for the chance to find you and buy your books.

#2. You don’t want a landing page

A landing page is a one-page “sales-letter” meant to motivate people to take action. They are great – if you are getting traffic. But you have to be advertising, networking, guest posting, handing out business cards or otherwise driving people straight to your site before it does anything. That’s probably too much work.

#3. You DO want a website that sells books for you

That means, you write interesting and useful content for your target readers, and they find it, accidentally, searching for some stuff, because they’ve never heard of you or your book, but they end up on your page and like your writing and see your book for sale in the sidebar. And if you’ve done everything right, they buy the book, love it, and then join your mailing list.

With a website like that, you don’t really have to worry about book marketing. You just keep writing great content.

I also made a free video series about setting up an author website in WordPress – I’ll make a new one soon; and I have a dummy site up at www.authoridentity.com. You may want to check out my fiction site also, to see the choices I made (clean, simple, functional).

OK, ready? Here are the sites.

Vivid Responsive Personal Blog


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PaulBlack – Personal Blog WordPress Theme

author websites wordpress

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minimy-author websites wordpres

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Hooray – Premium WordPress Blog Theme

hooray-author websites wordpres

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Fresh Blog

fresh-blog-author websites wordpress

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nanoauthor websites wordpress

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John Doe’s Blog

john-does-blog-author websites wordpress

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Genesis Framework

genesis-framework-author websites wordpress

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Beautiful Pro Theme

beautiful-pro-theme-author websites wordpress

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Lifestyle Pro Theme

lifestyle-pro-author websites wordpress

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Profile Theme

profile-author websites wordpress

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Ostrich – A Classic Minimal WordPress Blog Theme

ostrich-author websites wordpress

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NAMO – Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

namoauthor websites wordpress

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Since you’re here, let me repeat the qualifiers under consideration.

1. Simple and minimal is better than busy and ugly.

2. Avoid non-intuitive themes that are “neat” or “different.” Users won’t stick around if they can’t find the menu exactly where they expect

3. You don’t need to brand every part of your site with art that matches the book cover. Keep your site simple and white (or black). Let your book cover be the most beautiful thing on your blog, or it won’t impress anyone or stand out.

4. Look at the “blog” page, not the home page; most themes are set up “magazine-style” so they can display a bunch of content on the homepage at once, hoping that something catches somebody’s interest. But you don’t want a bit of everything: you want them to find your page, know exactly what you’re all about, and find some great writing immediately.

5. Fonts are easy to change, so if you like everything else, but not the fonts, no problem – you can change them to match the style of your book or genre later. (Colors are usually easy to change too).

6. Brand-building is almost entirely about the fonts and the logo / header. Choose a font for your blog title that matches your genre. That’s your brand. Use the same author photo everywhere. That’s your brand. Don’t try to reinvent web design and turn your website into your own little personal universe (you’ll be the only one who ever visits!)

7. Sliders – don’t use them. Use pictures to make people feel how you want them to; or to make yourself look awesome with big, full, professional author photos. Sliders are to show lots of different content. You don’t have that much content – just “My Book” / “About Me” … unless you are doing a lot of speaking events or something, you don’t need to catch their attention with a big moving slider. Get them with a great headline instead.

8. Don’t give them any choices. Don’t let them get lost, or offer 100 ways to share on social media, or 100 ways to follow you (Sign up for my email! Join my Facebook group, or Like my page! Follow me on Twitter! Oh yeah – and go buy my book! And leave a review!) Nobody will do any of those things, without motivation. The motivation is in the great writing. Get their attention first. Give them something first. Then steer them in the direction you want them to go. Try and get them to do ONE thing, and make it prominent and easy. Don’t make all the choices compete.

9. Everytime you post, ask yourself, “How am I providing value/making their day a little better?”

10. Most of these are “personal blog” style – often with an author photo in the top right. That’s to help build your brand awareness; it makes it easier for people to know and like you. You don’t want to be faceless. You need to build trust. Embrace these proven methods, because they work.



backstreet-author websites wordpress

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Preface – A WordPress Theme for Authors

preface-author websites wordpress

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Ethority – One Page eBook Landing

ethority-author websites wordpress

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Bookish – WP Theme for Book Authors & Marketers

bookish-author websites wordpress

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MagicBook – A 3D Flip Book WordPress Theme


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blogy-author websites wordpress

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Typist – WordPress Theme for Serious Writers

typist-author websites wordpress

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Arwyn – A Charming Personal WordPress Blog Theme


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Simple Article – WordPress Theme For Personal Blog

simple-article-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Brown – Responsive WordPress Theme for eBook

brown-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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WordPress For Writers

wordpress-for-writers_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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journal-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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twenties-_thumb4_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Ravage – Big & Bold WordPress Theme


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penoolis-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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buzzblog_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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feather-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Minimalista – Genesis 2.0Child Theme


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Wintersong Pro Theme

wintersong-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Time (Free)

time-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Themify Base (Free)

themify-base-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Author Theme for WordPress


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Published – Responsive Author Theme

published-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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journal-3_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Esperanza Lite (Free)


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Twenty Twelve (Free)

twenty-twelve_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Penscratch (Free)

penscratch-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Rustik – Minimalist WooCommerce Theme


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Minnow (Free)

minnow-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Manifest WordPress Theme (Free)

manifest-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Syntax (Free)

syntax-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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gravit-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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pocket-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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connect-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Readme – A Readable WordPress Theme

readme-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Dazzling (Free)

dazzling-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Less (Free)


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DW Minion (Free)

dw-minion-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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Cudazi Mono (Free)


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Hellish Simplicity (Free)


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InterStellar (Free)

interstellar-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

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MH Elegance lite


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origin-author websites wordpress

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highwind-author websites wordpress

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Bloggy WP


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Read WP

readauthor websites wordpress

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Blank – Elegant and Minimalist WordPress Blog


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The Cotton

the-cotton-author websites wordpress

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StanleyWP (Free)


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innocente-author websites wordpress

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Yin & Yang


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simple-mag-author websites wordpress

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literary-author websites wordpress

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Personal – Best Blog, CV and Video WordPress Them

personal-author websites wordpress

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bayse-author websites wordpress

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Blogex – Minimal Responsive WordPress Blog Theme

blogex-author websites wordpress

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velavo-author websites wordpress

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soho-author websites wordpress

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Literatum – Just Write


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Melville Theme for Poetry Blogs

melville-author websites wordpress

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place-author websites wordpress

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cassia-[3]author websites wordpress

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persefone-author websites wordpress

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GoBlog – Responsive WordPress Blog Theme


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MinBlog – Personal Minimalist Blog Theme

minblog-author websites wordpress

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Influence (Free)


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Hiero (Free)

hiero-[3]author websites wordpress

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Ascetica (Free)


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Respo Theme (Free)

respo-[3]author websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Great (Free)

great-author websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Graphy (Free)

graphy-author websites wordpress

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Fashionista (Free)

fashionista-author websites wordpress

Download / Demo


How to use them

First you need to get some hosting somewhere. I recommend GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting (managed hosting will make your site more secure and update automatically). Then you can buy a theme and upload it into your WordPress panel.

Put your business online! Get a $8.99 .COM/.NET from GoDaddy!

There are lots of videos and guides to start using WordPress.

You can also hire someone cheap on Fiverr.com to set up you site for you.


About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me
  • Pingback: Tips for Building an Effective Author Website –()

  • Cool – site looks beautiful. Covers could be a little better, but for specialized non-fiction it may not matter so much (I would use more white and space, less dominant colors, green and red… let the food and pictures give the most colors without being overshadowed by the color bands). But mainly just keep writing and publishing. Also you need a better offer on your sidebar, besides “Subscribe”. Maybe “Want a free list of life-improving powerful lessons? Sign up and I’ll email them to you.” (Your blog seems a little unfocused still so I’m not sure who your main readers are, and what the best thing to offer would be). By the way, love the sketches you’ve got up at http://christinecreative.blogspot.com/.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I have done a ton of testing on three previous websites that I owned for over 8 years in terms of subscribe offers. I had great success building *big* lists fast but ended up with huge increases in mailing list costs without conversion to sales. In my previous industry, we had long conversations about the true value of offering free stuff as a lure to convert buyers. Often, it is not worth it. I decided to take the route to encourage readers to subscribe at the bottom of posts IF they like what they see and want more of it. So far it’s working great!

  • m20quinn

    Is this blog a template? If so, where can I get it?

    • BooknookBiz

      FYI, this is Sahifa, a WP template.

  • Jesline Albert

    Perfect collection of WordPress themes you have shared with us. Thanks for sharing. I really like your collection. I will try to design such structural themes by myself using a designing software templatetoaster.

  • BooknookBiz

    I want to add to this that I am using “Typist” for a client, and while it’s easy to install and all that, the support so far is fairly woeful, as are the “instructions” about the admin and components. They say in the attached info that they have a contact plug-in included, but for the life of me, I can’t find it. So, I went to their support site (!), and sent a message. That was 5 days ago, and so far, nary a word.

    For authors that are not wildly technical, I *strongly* recommend that you check out other non-tecchie’s comments, reviews, etc., about any given template, BEFORE buying it or using it. I can finagle this theme into something that the client can use, but if he’d downloaded this, himself, he’d be STUCK.

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