Want to Be a Successful Author? Then Get a Website!
Innovative Editing has a brand-new and utterly beautiful website thanks to the professional efforts of Marketing 360 and Madwire Media.
Editor's Note: While Marketing 360 and Madwire Media do make beautiful websites that will get you compliment after compliment from anyone who finds your website, they've turned out to be unacceptably inefficient and unethical in their marketing tactics, as discussed in this blog post.
Don't go with them. I've since redesigned my entire website and cut ties with them completely.
You can check it out at www.InnovativeEditing.com, though – as pleased as I am with it – that’s not the real reason I’m writing today. This post is strictly about ensuring your future as an author.
Last week, I spent a lot of time reaching out to local authors, asking them if they’d like to be featured on my upcoming “Author of the Month” blog spot for the April or May positions.
That's to say I spent a lot of time trying to reach out to local authors.
It’s appalling how few of them I was able to find contact information for considering how many of them I was able to find in the first place! Apparently, the importance of an online presence is a closely guarded secret among the Lancaster, PA, writing community.
The utterly weird thing is that I found a whole list of these people through initial internet searches for “local authors, Lancaster, PA.” Entries like that would bring up little news clippings from libraries or Barnes & Noble or wherever about planned or past events featuring So and So, local author of Such and Such.
But then, when I’d open up a new tab and do a quotation mark-enclosed search for their name or book, I’d get nothing. No author’s website. No pretty pages promoting their novel or non-fiction work…
Writers, that is not the way to promote yourself or your novel/non-fiction work! Not in today’s online-obsessed age. You need to market yourself to the masses if you’re going to succeed, and the way to do that is with a website.
Now, in my case, I guess I paid a pretty penny for the new Innovative Editing url. But that was because it serves as my business site as well as a calling card for my novels. If you’re not working two angles at once, then you have plenty of free options, including but not limited to:
Google’s Blogger (where I hosted my blog before getting my spanking new site)
I’ve used all three of them before. And believe me when I say that, if I can figure them out, you’ll be able to use them too.
In the cases of WordPress and Wix – though not Blogger, as far as I know – they do have paid options if you want to spruce things up and have your very own url instead of something with the host company’s name in it.
But regardless, please do get some kind of website to highlight yourself if you care anything about all the hard work and effort you put into writing your book.
Otherwise, you’re as good as unpublished.
And if you really are unpublished, still in the process of composing your first draft or editing a third, the answer is still the same: Make an author’s website for yourself.
Use it to update people about your progress. Complain about the challenges you’re facing, and crow about the awesomeness of your accomplishments. Just post something!
Gain a following by making people think you're worth following and crave your not-yet published manuscript.
Otherwise, the next time somebody comes along wanting to promote you, they’ll have to turn away in frustration, leaving you – and your book – lying by the digital wayside.