Ken Hughes lives in Los Angeles and has worked as a technical writer for missions to Mars and the governing body of the Internet (ICANN). He writes paranormal thrillers and urban fantasy, and has been known to argue over the difference between the two in his blog, www.KenHughesAuthor.com
His novel Shadowed was nominated for a Global Ebook Award. The series he’s launching with the upcoming The High Road is meant to prove one thing: how writing a thrilling cliff-hanger for heroes who can fly takes writing to a whole new level. (Don’t get him started on puns.)
Writing down the fantastic is the only thing he has ever wanted. He looks at a car and wonder how it would fare in a screeching backstreet chase… or how it competes against someone who’s just learning to fly. He wants to capture what it’s like to leap into the air and struggle to keep that getaway car in view, with the wind pulling tears from his eyes and what fears and joys are going through his head. Most of all, what it would take to make a very real person take that leap, and how deep he can put his reader into his viewpoint.
He invites you to take that leap with him. See what it’s like to push through Paul’s search for answers about his superhuman senses (Shadowed), or Mark’s and Angie’s aerial battles with… well, you’ll see what actually blocks The High Road as you read it. He can promise you one thing: he’ll use every emotion, the sound of every footfall (or its absence), every twist of pacing and why characters have to do what they do to make you believe you’re caught up in an adventure that pushes them to their limits. How he uses magic changes with each story and what he is trying to do with it. With The Knights of Breton Court trilogy, since he was essentially re-telling the Arthurian saga, the roadmap was laid out for him. With the story being told through the lives of homeless teens, his approach for it was that magic would stand in as a metaphor for homelessness: both are all around us if we know what to look for.
We had a bigger responsibility to get him an exposure on international level and we knew what we create would decide his upcoming way of success as he would be representing his work and amazing books through it.
This web portal has gained him a lot of popularity as it stands for him 24×7, belive us no employee would do that.
We have made it easy to use:
This should go without saying, but LOTS of people break this rule. It doesn’t matter whether you have a single book or dozens, if your site isn’t easy to use, it’s not working for you. Before we got into the business of building websites fulltime I worked in software usability, so we have sat there watching people struggle to use things that are “super obvious.” Trust us, no matter how simple you think your website is to use, someone will struggle with it. Remove all barriers to usability, even if they’re beautiful or fancy or “the latest technology.” You can have a beautiful website that is easy to use & there’s no reason to do otherwise. Sometimes people are worried that their website won’t be “unique” — but I’m here to tell you that no one else is going to visit an easy-to-use website and think to themselves, “wow – this is sort-of similar to that other website we visited so we’re not going to their book!” Instead, they’re not going to have to think about using your website at all and are going to (hopefully) follow through and buy your book because you’ve made a compelling case for them to do so. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to be memorable, creating an immersive visual experience that coordinates with your book cover(s) art without sacrificing usability (for the site updater & the site visitor) is ideal.
Visitors know exactly what the website is about.
If you’re an author, and that’s not immediately obvious when someone visits your website, it’s not a good website. If you’re marketing a book, and someone visits your site and it’s not immediately obvious that you’re marketing a book, it’s not a good website. This is often as easy as just putting a 3d graphic of your book(s) front and center. Even if your book is only an ebook, or is 130 pages and not 180 pages like the page count in the graphic might suggest, it doesn’t matter — just pick a clear 3d book graphic and make sure it’s on the Home page right at the top. No one is going to count the number of pages in the graphic and think to themselves, “but this graphic shows at least 210 pages and the book is only 160 pages!” — instead they’re going to see the graphic and know, “oh, this is about a book.” And that’s exactly what you want — making sure your site visitors don’t have to think about what you do. And Step 2 is to make sure site visitors immediately know what kind of book(s) you write — this will be helped (hopefully) by your book cover art, but the introductory text and the look of your website will help with that too. Beyond that, there are lots of ways to bring your particular personality to your website to engage the reader and you can learn more about that here.
Website provides a way to get in touch.
You don’t need to give everyone your cell phone number, but you do want to make it easy for people to contact you. Remember that the point of a website is to market yourself and your book. You WANT people to get in touch with you to write about you, interview you and include information about your book(s) in their articles, etc… If it’s not easy, there are lots of other people they can talk with instead. I’ve written about that in the context of what to include on your website’s media page.
It is playing the long game.
You absolutely want to market your most recent release, but don’t set up your site so that if you release another book it has to be redone. Also don’t let any books you’ve already written get totally lost in the shuffle (unless you want them to). Your publisher is most likely very interested in sales of your current book (or series), and will focus on that when working with you without really thinking about how your website will fit into your career in the long term. But you should never lose sight of that. Keep your author branding consistent across not only on your website but also your social media profiles from release to release — being a writer is a business, for better or worse, so learn what it means to brand yourself and then implement your brand strategy on your website and beyond. If your new book doesn’t fit in your brand strategy, it’s time to revaluate how your web presence & brand can accommodate that.
It’s easy to engage directly on his website.
This one isn’t relevant for you if you’re not active on social media (and that’s likely a minority of folks), but if you are, make sure it’s easy for people to connect with you on your favorite platforms. Don’t just link people to your Facebook page, put the “Like” button right there so people can engage directly. If you have an interesting & dynamic Twitter feed, put it on your website so people can participate right there without having to leave your site to go to Twitter. Even if your website doesn’t have much more on it than information about your book(s) and your social media widgets, it’s acting as a central hub that you control to point your audience to the relevant places they can find you online. There’s tremendous value in aggregating your online presence in one place that you control.
Check out his extraordinary & thrilling collection right now at