Tessa Elwood

Tessa Elwood - Web Developer

Kansas City, MO, USA

A graphic & web designer fascinated by story.

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Reviews (5)
In a society that googles everything, a website is a must—and a good website lends credibility and professionalism. More, it makes it easy for a potential client or reader to find the information they need to choose this book or that service. My designs are all about my clients, translating their likes and goals into a visual interface. Classy, professional, dark, whimsical, image-intense or highly minimal—everything from look to function is tailored to your tastes.

The process is easy. We'll discuss what you’d like in a site—style, mood, and function—and I’ll mockup some designs. These will grow and change as you provide input. All sites are coded for WordPress, giving you complete control of content. Once the site is finished and live, I will walk you through how to update your content yourself. Or if you prefer, I can maintain your content for you.

Services include:
• Branding
• Custom design
• Template for WordPress
• Full initial content setup
• Full content control, including design-specific elements update via custom fields
• Custom mobile theme
• Social media inclusion & contact forms
• The standard bookstore icon set for authors
• Maintenance if needed.

And fun stuff like:
• Image rollover effects
• Slideshows
• Full page images/scenes
• Custom photoshoots for design elements
• Themed social media & newsletter templates/headers to match your site
• Custom social media and bookstore icons
Children's - Middle Grade
Children's Picture Books
Crime & Mystery
Science Fiction
Young Adult & Teen
Works with

Work experience

Website & Print Designer

January, 2010 – Present (over 9 years)

Designed and coded websites and Wordpress templates to spec, for both individuals and organizations. Took preexisting or packaged content and reformated it for new designs and their archive base. Developed CMS tutorials and troubleshot errors. Designed business cards, bookmarks, brochures, flyers, booklets, book covers, CD covers, and t-shirts.

Graphic Designer

The Little Fig
January, 2017 – Present (over 2 years)

Laid out books for print, designed catalogues, logo and branding. Built and maintain the website. General troubleshooter for anything image or coding related.

Web Designer & Social Media Specialist

Jennings Social Media Marketing
January, 2009 – March, 2010 (about 1 year)

Designed and coded websites, blogs, landing pages, and CMS templates to spec. Troubleshot issues across all Jennings sites (10+), upgraded SEO practices, addressed client issues/worries and kept a detailed log of all work.


Jay Kristoff, YA & Adult Scifi and Fantasy, NYT Bestselling author

Jay has several series, so he needed an easy-to-update site with a lot of moving parts. The home page includes a slideshow and instagram feed. Each book page as the ability to added a custom background, and automatically generates the series links (covers) below the main content.

Kourtney Kristine, Artist

A site to showcase Kourtney's art and personality.

The Little Fig, Business Site & Logos

Sherry wanted clean, with a seamless slideshow and easy access to downloads and information. We redeveloped her business logo, and created the NWI logo for The Little Fig's collaboration with Park University.

Sarah Glenn Marsh, YA & PB

Sarah wanted to showcase both sides of her writing, for teens and young kids.

Emily R. King, YA Fantasy

Emily wanted a site that focused on herself as an author, clean and a little mystical with the ability to grow.

MarcyKate Connolly, MG Fantasy, NYT Bestselling Author

MarcyKate wanted dragons! A site both intense and fantastical.

Julie C. Dao, YA Fantasy

Julie wanted a full scene for her site and a sense of setting.

Sue Gallion, Picture Books

Sue wanted to feature type blocks from her father's printing press, which made for great photos.

J. Todd Scott, Adult fiction

For the first design, Todd wanted a site to showcase his book. After his series received new covers, I redesigned the site that would blend well with his covers but focused more on Todd as the author.

Meagan Spooner, YA Fantasy & Scifi, NYT Bestselling Author

Meagan want to feature both her books and her blurbs, while keeping the newsletter signup front and center. Since she writes both fantasy and scifi, she wanted a style that hinted at both.

Kathryn Purdie, YA Fantasy, NYT Bestselling Author

Kathryn wanted a sense of both fantasy and history to ground the visitor in the world of her books.

Heather Ezell, YA Contemporary

For Heather's initial design, we focused on her as an author. For the remake, we wanted her book front and center.

Condie Law Firm, Business Site

The firm needed a clean, mobile-friendly site with good SEO and clear calls to action.

Audrey Coulthurst, YA Fantasy

Audrey wanted something pretty and fantastical but still modern.

Elle Cosimano, YA Urban Fantasy

Elle wanted an author site as well as a series specific site, so we did both! The custom blood icons were for her first series, while the bookplate and bookmarks were for her next stand alone.

Lori Goldstein, YA Fantasy

Lori wanted clean with just a hint of her books. The same style carried over to her bookmarks. Her chapter preview booklets offer readers a sneak peak at the first three chapters of her book, plus a brief bio.

Jody Jensen Shaffer, Picture Books

Jody wanted to showcase various illustrations from her books in her design. For her bookmarks, she wanted plenty for space for a signature (in case a reader didn't have a book to sign). For the coloring page activity sheet, I created a vector outline from a selected illustration. The vector can scale up and down with ease, for quality printing at any size.

Amie Kaufman, MG & YA Scifi and Fantasy, NYT Bestselling author

Amie wanted a clean, mobile-friendly site with a touch of scifi. I setup the site to be easily maintained, with custom bookstore icons for buy links and user-friendly custom fields in the WP edit screen to generate those links. (See images for the Illuminae page and its corresponding backend page in Wordpress.) Now I get to take full advantage of the setup, since I also handle all Amie's site updates and maintenance. She emails me what she needs added/changed, and I plug it in.

Tessa has 5 reviews


Deborah Henry
Tessa went way beyond the norm to help me begin a website.

Deborah Henry, June 2019

Sarah Archer
Tessa was a pleasure to work with. She responded to questions quickly, gave me a diverse set of options to choose from for the website, and was knowledgeable about exactly what needs to go into an author site. I'd highly recommend her!

Sarah Archer, May 2019

C O’ Shay
I found Tessa to be an extremely responsive and creative professional. Highly recommend her services.

C O’ Shay, May 2019

Charlotte Bismuth
Working with Tessa was a breeze, from bid to completion. Her bid was detailed, accurate and professional. She followed through immediately -- actually, faster than expected -- and demonstrated excellent aesthetic judgment. I am so pleased with both the website and the Twitter profile, they have the perfect style and functionality!

Charlotte Bismuth, January 2019

Anne Hagen
Tessa was very helpful and kind to this newbie! Answered questions promptly and thoroughly. Made time for follow up to ensure satisfaction. Very pleased working with Tessa and will call on her again as needed.

Anne Hagen, October 2018

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