Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Truth About Author Websites

Digital Book World - 26 September, 2013

For some writers, their author website is a thing of pride of beauty. It’s an active well of new material, a place of engagement and connection, an extension of their books, even an invitation into their writing life. It gathers email addresses, expands audience, benefits SEO, and is their personal beachhead on the Web.


For others, the author website is an annoyance, an obligation, and a static reminder of all they hate about digital media’s encroachment on their writing life. The landing page is three books old, and the author photo three years outdated. The blog page whose latest post is dated 6 months ago makes them feel both guilt for not updating weekly as they’d promised, and resentment that anyone would expect them to.

What exactly is the purpose of the author website? Is it essential or decorative? A primary focus or an afterthought? An effective tool or a waste of time and money?



David said...

Interesting questions, Graham!

My answer is that in an extraordinarily competitive marketplace, in which books are coming out literally one after the other, by the minute, the author's website is just another tool that has to be used to try and ensure people are aware those books even exist!

Having just launched my first book, I've been amazed by the never-ending flood - extended, of course, by the advent of e-books! One evening last week "Athens - The Truth" was the latest e-book distributed by Smashwords (for Nook, Apple, Sony, Kobo, and other e-reading devices). Well, by the next morning it had been pushed back by about 40 other new e-books that Smashwords had published OVERNIGHT!

Extraordinary. Unbelievable. It's crazy!

Fifi Colston said...

I used to post weekly on my blog but I post less often now that I use a public Facebook page where I often post twice a day.I can interact with my followers there in a far more vital way.But I have made sure that my blog and fb posts also have a twitter and linkedin feed.And I post freebies like templates on my blog from time to time and pin them.I can then see who has got to me through Pinterest, Facebook etc. And in the end I'm not convinced much of it results in book sales. But it does create buzz. And buzz creates opportunities you might not have anticipated. Plus, I like to be noticed ;) And I could wait a lifetime for that to happen in the publishing industry!