(Already know why an author website is important? You can go straight to my article How to Get the Most Out of Your Author Website here)
If you’re someone who isn’t particularly savvy with technology, you might be thinking: can’t I just skip this online publishing step? Why do I need one?
And who can blame you? I was in the same boat, too – visiting a website is one thing, but creating one is another.
However, having a website is the norm these days. No denying that. And I would say it’s an absolute must for every author – especially indie authors. Think of your own buying experiences and consider this example:
Let’s say you’ve heard about a new e-reader made by the Great E-Reader Company. Your friend tells you it’s a great price, has a great battery life, crystal clear screen, and so on. This thing sounds like the business! But you want to know more about this company. Except when you try to find their website, there isn’t one…
(Has a faint alarm bell gone off?) You find that every other e-reader manufacturer has a website…but the Great E-Reader Company doesn’t for some reason.
This would personally put me off. In a world where every reputable company or individual has their own website, a bit of doubt would creep in.
If you aren’t the kind of person to research products on the web, let me explain my point: a lot of people do research on there! A website (a well-designed, informative one) can make you – the author – come across as professional, and can also provide a lot of interesting information about you and your work. Interesting colour schemes, news and snippets of reviews can also help promote your book. This is good online publishing marketing.
Understand that people want to be interested in you and your work before they buy your book – so don’t deprive them of this one platform that every other author possesses.
Let’s say a reader is browsing Amazon. They find 5 interesting books by different authors. One is yours which is, unbeknownst to the reader, the best. The reader searches for all the authors’ websites and finds that Author A’s is fantastic, Author B’s is average, Author C’s hasn’t been updated for 5 years, and Author D’s is currently under construction.
Then they try to find yours, but…you don’t have one.
Which author do you think sounds the most likely to make the sale?
The answer is probably Author A. And the least likely is probably you unfortunately. (This is based on the fact of you being a new author with few reviews – early days!).
It’s absolutely not fair, is it? – your book is way better than theirs!
But the reader doesn’t know this. They haven’t read it yet. They’re just trying their hardest to make a solid judgement on which will be the best, and the fact that you haven’t provided them with a standard website hasn’t really helped matters. Remember, Author D’s website, though it was under construction, was at least live and available, and Author C had at least bothered to create one.
I’m not saying all readers think like this – they don’t. But the vast majority want to see that you own a website. It makes them feel a bit more secure, I think. And as an author, you’re not trying to entice a minority – you’re trying to entice as many people as possible. Think like a reader!
Also – and this is very, very important – you want to be able to be contacted easily. What if your readers have questions about your work? Consider this: what if an agent wants to contact you? If they have a long list of potential clients, how long do you think they are prepared to search for your details?
On your website’s Contact Page, you can have all email addresses and social networking handles in one place. Nice and organised. Whether a reader or agent, this is a central spot where people can easily find your profiles.
But what about the blog you mentioned, Sidney? Ah yes, please bear with me while I write this one up – the next online publishing article will discuss the importance of having a blog.
Until then, keep focused on your writing journey and don’t give up. You’ve come too far already! And if you’re after an unpredictable edgy thriller mystery, you can check out my debut novel, ALEX, by clicking on the cover to the right. I’m excited to say it’s now sold over a quarter of a million copies!
As always, your comments on this article are welcome!