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

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).

UPDATE: For most authors, I recommend Divi theme by Elegant Themes. It’s a WordPress theme with a drag and drop interface and tons of customization options. Someday soon I’ll create a default Divi theme setup for authors.

BUT we are also acquiring some great WP themes from Wow Layers – hopefully I can customized these into a genre-specific set of free web templates for authors.

Check back soon for updates!

The main thing is to get SOMETHING up quickly that looks good. After that, don’t screw it up by adding tons of crap. You need to structure your visitor’s experience and get them to take action (sign up for a content upgrade). Here’s a video of me critiquing 15 authors websites – if you watch the whole thing you’ll learn dozens of things that will help you sell more books.

OK, ready? Here are the sites.

Vivid Responsive Personal Blog


Buy this / Demo

PaulBlack – Personal Blog WordPress Theme

author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo


minimy-author websites wordpres

Buy this / Demo

Hooray – Premium WordPress Blog Theme

hooray-author websites wordpres

Buy this / Demo

Fresh Blog

fresh-blog-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo


nanoauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

John Doe’s Blog

john-does-blog-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Genesis Framework

genesis-framework-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Beautiful Pro Theme

beautiful-pro-theme-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Lifestyle Pro Theme

lifestyle-pro-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Profile Theme

profile-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Ostrich – A Classic Minimal WordPress Blog Theme

ostrich-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

NAMO – Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

namoauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

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.99 wordpress site themes for indie authors

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.

Looking for FREE wordpress themes? Try these:


backstreet-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Preface – A WordPress Theme for Authors

preface-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Ethority – One Page eBook Landing

ethority-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Bookish – WP Theme for Book Authors & Marketers

bookish-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

MagicBook – A 3D Flip Book WordPress Theme


Buy this / Demo


blogy-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Typist – WordPress Theme for Serious Writers

typist-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Arwyn – A Charming Personal WordPress Blog Theme


Buy this / Demo

Simple Article – WordPress Theme For Personal Blog

simple-article-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Brown – Responsive WordPress Theme for eBook

brown-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

WordPress For Writers

wordpress-for-writers_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo


journal-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


twenties-_thumb4_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Ravage – Big & Bold WordPress Theme


Buy this / Demo


penoolis-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


buzzblog_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


feather-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Minimalista – Genesis 2.0Child Theme


Buy this / Demo

Wintersong Pro Theme

wintersong-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo

Time (Free)

time-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Themify Base (Free)

themify-base-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Author Theme for WordPress


Buy this / Demo

Published – Responsive Author Theme

published-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo


journal-3_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Esperanza Lite (Free)


Download / Demo

Twenty Twelve (Free)

twenty-twelve_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Penscratch (Free)

penscratch-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Rustik – Minimalist WooCommerce Theme


Buy this / Demo

Minnow (Free)

minnow-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Manifest WordPress Theme (Free)

manifest-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Syntax (Free)

syntax-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo


gravit-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo


pocket-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo


connect-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Readme – A Readable WordPress Theme

readme-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Dazzling (Free)

dazzling-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo



Buy this / Demo

Less (Free)


Download / Demo

DW Minion (Free)

dw-minion-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Cudazi Mono (Free)


Download / Demo

Hellish Simplicity (Free)


Download / Demo

InterStellar (Free)

interstellar-_thumb2_thumbauthor websites wordpress

Download / Demo

MH Elegance lite


Download / Demo


origin-author websites wordpress

Download / Demo


highwind-author websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Bloggy WP


Buy this / Demo

Read WP

readauthor websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo

Blank – Elegant and Minimalist WordPress Blog


Buy this / Demo

The Cotton

the-cotton-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

StanleyWP (Free)


Download / Demo



Buy this / Demo


innocente-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Yin & Yang


Buy this / Demo


simple-mag-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


literary-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


bayse-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Blogex – Minimal Responsive WordPress Blog Theme

blogex-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


velavo-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


soho-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo

Literatum – Just Write


Buy this / Demo

Melville Theme for Poetry Blogs

melville-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


place-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo



Buy this / Demo


cassia-[3]author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo


persefone-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

GoBlog – Responsive WordPress Blog Theme


Buy this / Demo

MinBlog – Personal Minimalist Blog Theme

minblog-author websites wordpress

Buy this / Demo

Influence (Free)


Download / Demo

Hiero (Free)

hiero-[3]author websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Ascetica (Free)


Download / Demo

Respo Theme (Free)

respo-[3]author websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Great (Free)

great-author websites wordpress

Download / Demo

Graphy (Free)

graphy-author websites wordpress

Download / Demo

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.

PS here are some more great wordpress themes


  • Derek Murphy Posted

    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/.

    • Christine Smith Posted

      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 Posted

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

    • BooknookBiz Posted

      FYI, this is Sahifa, a WP template.

  • Jesline Albert Posted

    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 Posted

    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.

  • Stef Smulders Posted

    Hi Derek,

    I like the eBook template but that one seems more like a landing page which you say you do not really need …?

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *