Jul 22, 2016
If you are an author today, you know how important having a website is. Your website is a means to communicating with your audience and stimulating book sales. To put simply, your author website plays an essential role in your book marketing.
But where do you start? And what if your book isn’t even published yet? And why do you really need a website when you can use Facebook and Twitter?
Where do you start?
Getting an author website is a big step toward telling the world you are an author. If you are on this page, it’s fair to assume that you’ve gotten most of the hard work out of the way, so you’re pretty much there already.
What if my book isn’t even published yet?
All the more reason to get your name out there! At a dinner party, I asked P.J. O’Rourke how to break into the publishing world today. Without hesitation he said, “develop your platform and start with a website and a blog. Get your work to people and let them know your name. Then, once you’re established, you can go from there.”
Having this information coming from a self-proclaimed Luddite (he still prefers to use his typewriter) seemed to be a pretty big endorsement for creating your persona online.
If you establish a following, you’ll be able to create some excitement before your book is published. Once it is out and available for your readers, you’ll have an extended readership, provided you’re on social media.
Leading to the next big question...
Why do you really need a website when you can use Facebook and Twitter?
This is a good question and one that is subject to quite a bit of debate. Some publishers doubt the validity of having an author website, but the truth is, pouring all of your marketing time into social media just isn’t enough. You need a place where all of your marketing efforts are tied all together--a place where you can send all of your online following from social media. Having an author site with a blog can also allow your followers to share your work online from a place where you control the content.
You are the master of your narrative. Let it be shared so you can find more readers, followers, and adoring fans.
Why don’t I just build my own author website?
Well, you very well could build your own website provided you have the time and the mental bandwidth for actually doing it. The big problem was that in building my own website, I spent my time wrestling with Php or dns problems. Writing my actual novel slowed to a standstill for three weeks.
However, if you’re a tech whiz (like I’m not), DIY websites might be right up your alley. For the rest of us, a good site is what you need.
My last piece of advice on the subject matter is do your research on the companies you use to build your website. Look for reviews online, check out their Better Business Bureau rating and look into the quality of their tech support (this is huge, guys). You have to be compatible with their style of tech support: If you aren’t an online chat person, it’d be best to avoid using a company that offers chat-based support.
So that’s it for answering questions, but I did want you to REMEMBER ONE THING: You are a writer, first and foremost. Hone your craft and write to your heart’s content. And then, in the little slivers of free time during the day, market yourself.