What’s an Author’s Obligation to His Publisher?

I’ve said it before: an author website is a MUST. Even if your publisher has an author page for you on their website, it’s not enough. After all, a publisher’s goal is to sell your book. Your goal should be to sell yourself (and your book, too). Big difference.

With that in mind, I was asked a question recently that left me stumped. And I was hoping that a hearty conversation might help me figure it out.

An author asked me about his obligation to his publisher in terms of the website. For instance, should he use the publisher as the preferred vendor for selling his book through the website? Or is it okay to list all the sites where the book could be purchased (Amazon, B&N, etc…) and just include the publisher’s site in that list?

Is it okay to just include the name of the book publishing company on the one page of the site where the pub details are listed? Or should the company name and pub date be present wherever the book cover sits?

I must confess that I have never thought much about this. Nor have I heard about any publishers complaining about not enough prominence on an author’s website.

But it’s an interesting question. What’s common courtesy? What’s “the right thing to do”? Or does an author have no obligation at all to his publisher?

Share your thoughts!