Post by: Sarah Holroyd
As an author, should you have your own website? Short answer: yes. Absolutely. Every author needs a platform from which to sell their work, and a website is an integral part of that platform. Whether you’ve been published by a traditional publishing house or have self-published, you and your work need that web presence in order to reach your readers, and to find new ones. In fact, having a platform (and website) already in place when you query or submit to an agent or editor is a vital part of gaining acceptance. In addition to solid writing, publishers want to see that you are dedicated to marketing your own work, as they generally have very little time, money, and staff to do it all for you. If you can show that you have an audience and marketing in place in your query or submission letter, you’re that much closer to gaining a contract.
Do you need to pay for web hosting and register your own domain name? Not necessarily. Your author web presence can certainly be at your own name, or your book’s name, but you can just as easily build your platform on one of the blogging sites, such as this one. Many authors have done exactly that. Blogging is a great way to keep in touch and connect with your readers, as well as gain new ones if your content is interesting to them. In addition, many blogging sites allow you to add other pages to your blog, and plug-ins, that can give you the opportunity to create an actual web “store” from which to sell your work. Some authors even share previously unpublished work for free on their sites in the form of serial blogs, posting one chapter at a time, to keep their readers engaged.