One of my goals this week was to spend an hour a day researching web hosts and domain registrars in order to eventually get an author website up and running.
But halfway through the week I thought: hang on. I haven’t posted anything discussing why I decided to invest in an author website!
So I did a little brainstorming and came up with five reasons having an author website would be a good move lickity-split:
- Professional face. This means appearing more legitimate to readers and perhaps more importantly (especially for first-time authors) to potential agents and publishers. Why?
- Agents like to see that a writer already has a successful platform (a following/online presence)—or at least, has taken the initiative to set one up and is willing to do his/her share in promotional work. This increases your chance of finding representation and/or making a book deal!
- A personal website is a place to sell your work.
- A personal website is a place to showcase your work. If somebody likes one of your books, and they go online to look you up—oh, what’s this? You wrote another book? Voilà, another potential sale. Alternatively, somebody hears your name somewhere, goes to look you up, checks out some of your books—hey! That looks like something they’d read. Boom: another sale, or at least expanded awareness.
- Look up your favorite authors. They have a website, don’t they? That should be your first indication.
These are five simple reasons—but of course, there’s more to it than those alone and several experienced gurus give additional reasons as well as more thorough explanations below:
- Lit Agent Janet Friedman lists three specific reasons why it’s good to have an author website even if you’re unpublished.
- Writer Patrick Samphire gives a well-rounded reasons for/reasons against having an author website. Spoiler alert: he is for one, and provides five very good reasons why.
- Publishing Trends and The Codex Group put out a helpful article on what role the author’s website can have: emphasis on building an audience, being findable on the internet (and therefore not missing out on potential sales), and tips on what makes an author website effective.
What are your thoughts on the author website? Any other reasons in favor of (or against) author websites us writers should consider?