5+ Reasons to Have an Author Website

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:

  1. Professional face. This means appearing more legitimate to readers and perhaps more importantly (especially for first-time authors) to potential agents and publishers. Why?
  2. 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!
  3. A personal website is a place to sell your work.
    No-brainer, right?
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. Lit Agent Janet Friedman lists three specific reasons why it’s good to have an author website even if you’re unpublished.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

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6 thoughts on “5+ Reasons to Have an Author Website

  1. Isn’t that what this is? I may be a tad naive, but you already have a successful website right here. Why can’t you post your links and such on here? Just a thought…..

    • Very true– this is indeed a website, but it (at least in its present form) is really more blog than anything. I might be able to add some Amazon buttons here eventually but I definitely think a formal website– separate from a blog– would be prudent to have. My main concern is that what people find when they look for me (as an author) on the internet (ideally, info about myself and my books) be straightforward, professional, and not cluttered by things like OH, senseless Photoshop comics about Shuffling and rants about pajama pants. Also, I want to look good for the day all those journalists and the likes of Colbert & Stewart come chasing after me for interviews 😉

      That said, it seems some successful authors keep a webpage WITH a blog; perhaps with some rearranging (i.e., featuring the book on the homepage, etc.) a WordPress site could be converted into something like what I’m looking for.

      Thank you for thoughts, Papi-z!

      • Ah, I understand. This format just seems a lot more interactive than a bland website, right? I would love to read Stephen King’s blog where he is ranting about technicolor pajama pants, or his doodles on Fresh Paint. That would be awesome. Don’t abandon us here Julie! 😀

        • Of course not! 🙂 I’ve really come to enjoy keeping a blog and blogging about unprofessional things is half the fun (and apparently author audiences actually like to see this kind of thing, too– so make no mistake, I don’t intend to leave!)

          I think the trick will be finding the right balance. It would be great if I could add a professional homepage to this blog and rearrange things just the way I wanted. I feel more research coming on!

          Thanks for your encouragement! Rock on.

  2. Actually Papzilla does have a fair point. When you look at an author’s website, what do you often see? Blog feeds.

    It’s actually quite easy to turn your blog into a fully functioning website for all the things you would need. The key though is that you do want to get your own domain. This has to do with google searches, which only become really effective when you have your own domain.

    I highly recommend getting an author website up, even before your book and better yet, to make sure it is a website you can blog on as well. It keeps people drawing into it. I even stayed connected to wordpress because it offered a chance to see plenty of new readers coming in through wordpresses method of searching blogs specifically.

    • Absolutely agree, and I have plans to do so (set up an author website, that is). In fact, I think that’s what I’ll tackle after I get my synopsis sorted out.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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