5 WordPress Themes for Professional Authors

Today’s guest post is by Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader (@thDigitalReader).


When it comes to websites, one of the first decisions you have to make is your choice of theme or template.  A theme sets the tone for your site. It defines the site, and is the first clue users have about a site’s purpose.

When an author chooses a theme, they need to pick one that both captures a visitor’s attention and helps the visitor find—and buy—the author’s work.

If you’re getting ready to set up your author site, or you’re in the mood to refresh or rebrand the site, then you should consider the following themes created specifically for authors or that can be easily adapted.

1. Published

published wordpress theme

Published is much simpler than the last theme. It is designed for authors who want to promote their books first and their blog second. It features book landing pages which can link to all of the major ebookstores.

You can see the theme in use, find the demo at Original Themes, and buy it through Creative Market.

2. Author

Author WordPress theme

The Author WordPress theme is ideal for authors who want to promote their books while putting their blog front and center. You can find the demo on the Compete Themes site, and the theme can be downloaded for free from WordPress.org. If you like you can also see the Author theme in use.

3. Flatsome

flatsome wordpress theme

Flatsome is one of those themes which wasn’t built for use by authors but actually works very well. I found this theme through an author I know, and his site looks great. It is simple and clean, and fast.

UX Themes has the demo on their site, and you can buy this theme at ThemeForest.

4. Divi

Divi wordpress theme

Divi is a WordPress theme that allows you to build your site using a visual editor; such themes are sometimes called page-building themes. They do introduce a level of complexity (there’s a learning curve to using them), but are ideal for authors who want a high degree of control over their layout and design.

Bella Andre is a bestselling author who uses the Divi theme.

Find out more or purchase Divi from Elegant Themes.

5. SKT Launch

SKT theme

SKT Launch is a one-size-fits-all theme. It works for authors who’ve just finished their first book as well as for authors who have a long backlist. It is a simple, flexible, and adaptable theme which authors can use to sell direct to readers or just promote their work.

The demo is on the SKT Themes site. There’s a free version of this theme on WordPress.org, and SKT Themes also sells a Pro version with more features.

Bonus: Book Landing Page

book landing page theme

If you need a simple one-page site for your book then this is the theme for you. This free theme is mobile-friendly and quick to set up. You can launch your book less than ten minutes after installing the theme.

You can find the demo and download the theme at WordPress.org.

Other Themes to Consider

  • An earlier version of this post suggested Writer. However, problems have been reported by some users with installation. You may not have the same problems, but before investing, check when the theme was last updated and what recent reviews are like.
  • For authors who want a high level of customizability, consider a page-building plugin or theme. Read an extensive and insightful overview of these tools. (This site is built with a free page-building plugin, Site Origin.)

What WordPress themes do you use or recommend? Please share in the comments. 


Note from Jane: If you’re looking for WordPress help, check out Nate’s services for authors.

Posted in Digital Media, Guest Post and tagged , .
Nate Hoffelder

Nate Hoffelder

Nate Hoffelder has been building Wordpress websites and blogging about digital publishing since 2010, and offers Wordpress help for authors. You can find him over at The Digital Reader.

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23 Comments on "5 WordPress Themes for Professional Authors"

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Leslie Miller

Perfect timing! I have just started my author website and looking for the right theme. Thanks so much.

Harald Johnson

These are good suggestions. For me, I’m using Genesis from StudioPress. It’s a (paid) “framework” that you attach Child Themes to, and I’m using the free Genesis Sample theme. I love the simplicity of it, but most importantly for me, there’s a very robust (lifetime) support system including a Facebook page just for users (which I’ve used!). FYI: I have no connection other than being a satisfied user.

Dani

These are great themes. There’s a lot out there to choose from but I often feel left out because my website is on WordPress.com and not WordPress.org. Do any companies design for the dot-com version?

Jane Friedman

It’s not necessarily that companies don’t design for the dot-com version, but that WordPress greatly limits the themes available to dot-com users. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and the theme you like will happen to be available on both sides of the fence. You can easily browse/search dot-com themes here: https://theme.wordpress.com/

Dani

Thanks Jane. I didn’t realize that WordPress itself limits the available choices. I do browse the themes regularly, questing for a design that can be adapted for my purposes. I probably change my website design every couple of months, but the themes are definitely lackluster for the most part. I can see that I’m going to have to break down and make the change to wordpress.org soon!

Renea Guenther

I won’t be able to start my blog for a couple of months but I like the idea of there being so many themes to choose from. My favorite from this article is the Writer theme. I can’t wait to explore all the options WordPress.org has to offer!

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Marion Hermannsen

I used a free theme, “Hemingway”, which worked great. I eventually switched to a bespoke theme, not because Hemingway didn’t do its job, I just wanted something new. In hindsight I probably should have stuck with it because my new theme isn’t that much better but cost quite a bit of money…

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Greg Scott

Hey Jane – I’m curious. Looking at the source code of this website, I noticed you used a theme named Vantage. Your site looks clean enough, with a menu bar, plus another menu next to the main title. I should have built an author website a long time ago and now I need to get my rear in gear. You’re an author, blogger, and speaker – what are your thoughts on the Vantage theme you use for your own stuff?

thanks

– Greg Scott

Jane Friedman
Hi Greg – I’ve been using Vantage for a few years now and have been very happy with it. I also upgraded to the Premium version (not expensive) for the fullest functionality. The developers actively improve Vantage and release new updates, plus offer a good support community, so I don’t run into many bugs, and when I do, I can usually resolve it without much fuss or hiring anyone. Vantage works hand-in-hand with a page-building plugin called Site Origin, which offers considerable flexibility in layouts and customizability. It adds a bit of complexity to the backend, but it’s not a… Read more »
Leticia Toraci

Are these themes only for WordPress.org or for WordPress.com too?

Ann Stephens

Currently I use 2014 because I liked the 3 columns, but since they don’t translate to phones & other devices, I’m looking to change. This post is helpful in pointing me toward other themes.

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