The Portfolio

Custom Author Websites

In addition to our premium templates, we also take on a limited number of custom website design projects for authors who want something built "just for them."

Barbara O'Neal

#1 Amazon Bestselling Author

Custom Squarespace Site

Project Overview

We were so honored when Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestselling author Barbara O'Neal came to us requesting a brand new author website. She was looking for something "clean, without frivolity, and a brochure of my brand." We built  her site on Squarespace 7.1, prioritizing welcoming, non-fussy imagery, and a clear focus on her amazing books.

Our Interview with Barbara

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Why do you think it's important for an author to have an official website (as opposed to relying on a social media presence, or Amazon page)?


Readers automatically seek out a website to find out more about you, to discover backlist, and you can offer extras there that you can't add to any other social media source (like book club questions, for example).

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When you initially came to us looking for a new website, what were you looking for? 

I wanted a clean, accessible and most of all PROFESSIONAL looking site. I wanted it to feel as if this was a little magazine about my books, with beautiful art, elegant design and an easily browsable interface.

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What's your favorite thing about your website and/or working with Last Word Designs?

I loved how easily I could make my wishes heard. I'm not a professional designer, but I knew what I wanted, and I loved how Last Word came up with a site that looks even better and more professional than I hoped.  It's beautiful and clean and perfect, and it's so easy to get updates, get changes done.  For years and years, I was deeply frustrated by the web page process, and now I never even have to think about it. I get compliments on it all the time.

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For fun, because Last Word is actually named after the Last Word cocktail): what's one of your go-to beverages?

  I love teas of all kinds, from milky black English tea in the mornings, to a masala chai I've perfected to my own tastes over the years. Recently, someone introduced me to rose tulsi tea, and it is so fragrant and reassuring that I'm madly in love.

Jennifer Probst

New York Times Bestselling Author

Custom Showit Site

Project Overview

The amazing Jen Probst came to us with our favorite kind of request: she wanted a website that prioritized her as a person and writer. She wanted lots of yellow, a little bit of red (her favorite colors), and something that felt warm, sunny, and uniquely her, unlike any other author site. We built her site on Showit, because it's ideal for building a truly unique, wow experience.

Our Interview with Jen

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Why do you think it's important for an author to have an official website (as opposed to relying on a social media presence, or Amazon page)?


It’s critical for an author to have a website in today’s world. It is their home, a place they own and control for business and creative branding. Besides blogging, listing book information, and fun extras,  a website offers potential readers everything they need without searching various social media sites and getting pieces of information.

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When you initially came to us looking for a new website, what were you looking for? 

I knew it was time to up my brand image and my new website did exactly that. I wanted my website to match my personality, my book brand, and be a fun, interactive place for everyone to find me. I loved picking bold colors and graphics that make me happy. When a reader visits my site, he/she will know exactly what type of person and writer I am.

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What's your favorite thing about your website and/or working with Last Word Designs?

This experience of building my website with Last Word Designs was so much fun! I was asked the right questions, given enough options, but also helpfully guided through the process. It was also extremely organized and I knew when things would be completed, and when I needed to deliver information. Honestly, I loved everything about this experience.

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For fun, because Last Word is actually named after the Last Word cocktail): what's one of your go-to beverages?

Hahahah – WHISPERING ANGEL ROSE!!!!

(From Lauren at Last Word: Same, girl. Same.)

Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author

Custom Squarespace Site

Project Overview

Jill Shalvis is legendary in the world of romantic fiction, and we were thrilled when she came to us looking for a new site! Jill wanted something fresh, on brand, and most importantly, straightforward for her readers to navigate. We created a Squarespace site for Jill highlighting the gorgeous Lake Tahoe, where she lives with her family.

Our Interview with Jill

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Why do you think it's important for an author to have an official website (as opposed to relying on a social media presence, or Amazon page)?


Because I like to have everything in one place, organized for the reader. Each series has it’s own place, and each book within that series. It’s so much easier for a reader to find what they’re looking for right on my website, from when a book is coming out to to if there’s a special order you should read a series in. Plus, it warms my OCD heart to be able to direct a reader to a specific book page with every buy link they might want, an excerpt, AND what books go with that book… :)

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When you initially came to us looking for a new website, what were you looking for? 

I needed a website to suit my needs, and I also needed it relatively quickly. I had specific mood, colors, and wants, most of which were making things easy for a reader to find exactly what was looking for. I was so impressed with how beautiful my site is, and also how easy Last Word Designs was to work with. Lauren and Anthony are a DREAM.

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What's your favorite thing about your website and/or working with Last Word Designs?

My favorite things about Last Word Designs are that they’re quick, responsive, professional, and know what they’re doing. They’re truly amazing.

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For fun, because Last Word is actually named after the Last Word cocktail): what's one of your go-to beverages?

My goto drink during the day while writing crystal light peach green tea. Which I realize is boring, BUT it keeps me caffeinated for long days at the laptop. :)

Rachel Van Dyken

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author

Custom Showit Site

Project Overview

Rachel Van Dyken was our first ever author client, and her branding and website continues to be one of our favorites. While Rachel's Squaresapce website is one of most popular referrers, we are so excited to take that edgy, modern branding to new heights with the Showit platform. New site is launching soon, but you can preview it here!

Our Interview with Rachel

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Why do you think it's important for an author to have an official website (as opposed to relying on a social media presence, or Amazon page)?


It's SO hard to be seen right now, facebook ads and amazon ads are getting more expensive and competitive by the day, it's almost terrifying, so having an classy profesisonal website to me, is key to gain new readers and also keep in contact and update my old readers. People are exhausted. They need it to be easy to find you and to find what books they want, a website helps do that.

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When you initially came to us looking for a new website, what were you looking for? 

My website was complete crap, I needed better branding, and constant updates, which Last Word Designs one hundred percent provided!

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What's your favorite thing about your website and/or working with Last Word Designs?

 Everything. And I swear that's not a Sunday School Answer! You guys  just make it so easy and brainless for me, I don't have to think and I KNOW my website is always up to date and gorgeous.

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For fun, because Last Word is actually named after the Last Word cocktail): what's one of your go-to beverages?

Sugar free red bull (the green can, please!). And I love a Manhattan at a restaurant, and vodka tonic at home!

Monica Murphy

New  York Times Bestselling Author

Custom Showit Site

Project Overview

Monica is one of our longtime clients, and an absolute dream to work with. We were so excited when she told us she wanted to upgrade her Squarespace site to Showit, to create something truly custom—an online home that her readers could visit over and over to get the latest info.

Our Interview with Monica

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Why do you think it's important for an author to have an official website (as opposed to relying on a social media presence, or Amazon page)?


As authors, we need a place where people can find all of our books. A place that belongs to us, and isn't reliant on the terms of some social media platform. Yes, social media is definitely important, but so is a website. You want to direct readers to where they can preorder/purchase your books, read excerpts, plus it's where we can share special/exclusive content with them.

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When you initially came to us looking for a new website, what were you looking for? 

I was looking for something with a more professional online appearance, and I loved the sites Last Word Designs designed. They're so professional and clean.

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What's your favorite thing about your website and/or working with Last Word Designs?

You are always responsive! Some website designers I've dealt with in the past are slow to respond. I would feel like they just flat out disappeared. You're prompt with responses, you listen to what your clients (me) want, and you delivered my vision. I am in love with my website, thanks to you!

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For fun, because Last Word is actually named after the Last Word cocktail): what's one of your go-to beverages?

Oh man, I am so boring. I don't drink many cocktails anymore, but I do love a cup of coffee in the morning, currently with peppermint mocha creamer (it changes with the seasons of course). It's my favorite way to start the day.