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Why You (Still) Need an Author Website

Given the fact that I make a living building author websites, it’s not surprising that I firmly believe in their importance. You hear a lot of people today shunning websites for social networking and/or apps, but I think they’re missing the boat. Thankfully, I was reminded this morning that I’m not alone in feeling this way. In fact, a large majority of the author market agrees with me.

I stumbled upon a conversation on a message board this morning. The subject line? “Are author websites really necessary?” Here are highlights from some of the responses:

“I use mine to post links to interviews on other sites, for articles I write, and for building an email list. Fans can see what I’m working on and what’s happening.”

“Extremely important to have one. You need a place to build interest and a platform while you write the book. It’s amazing how many authors start their marketing after the book is done. Wrong!”

“It’s funny, in the Internet marketing world they’re always selling… here authors hate to sell. But if you want to be successful, you have to market yourself/book and a website is crucial.”

“I believe author websites are necessary, if for nothing else but to give people a starting place on how to find your work and how to contact you. It’s great to have all that information in one handy place.”

“Necessary? No. But a good cover isn’t necessary, because I’ve seen books with terrible covers sell. A good editor isn’t necessary, because I’ve seen poorly edited books sell. But I think everyone here would say that it’s important to have a good cover and good editing. So necessary? No. A very good idea, especially if done well? Yes.”

“People who’ve read and liked my stuff may do a web search to learn more about me and whether I’ve got any other upcoming works, so it’s nice to have that info readily available for them in one place. I wouldn’t want to rely on Amazon and some random bloggers who may or may not ever mention me as my sole way of reaching readers.”

“You want to set up the website early on so that you get all the search affiliations built up before you start selling. You’re going to want to redirect those readers somewhere. You’re going to want to get them signed up for new releases emails / mailing lists. That sort of stuff needs to be built out before you publish. If a new fan runs a Google search and can’t find you? That’s what I would classify as a disaster.”

“The cost is minimal and the reward is outstanding. I use my website to connect with readers, to let them know what I’m working on (and when it’ll be out). I get feedback on cover ideas and answer their questions in the forums (which were free to install on my site). And I sell signed books through my website (30-40 this week, so it makes financial sense as well).”

“Nowadays, the Internet is likely the very first place readers are going to look when they want to find out more about you and your books.  You want them to be able to find that information quickly and easily.”

“I use mine as sort of a gathering place for all my online endeavors — books, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It gets a decent amount of traffic and I have a number of fans who refuse to use social media. Plus the URL is my name (KathleenValentine.com) so, if nothing else, it makes it easy to tell people how to find me.”

“I’m new to this, but I track the traffic and it helps to show me which promotions are working. I’d say for me, it’s definately necessary. For Nora Roberts, maybe not so much. People are going to buy her books no matter what.”

Convinced yet? If you’re ready to get started on an author website, contact us today for a free consultation!

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