As a writer, it seems a strange thought to have to ‘get technical’ and create an author website. However, if you want to find the perfect reader for your books (well, ideally more than one!) then you need to have somewhere they can find you but also find out more about you.
It is a little like the Victorian custom of having a calling card, only this is a 21st Century calling card and setting up an online presence isn’t as scary as you might think. You’ll need to choose a name for your site that no-one else has and then find somewhere to host it. (If you don’t know what any of that means, don’t panic, it’s easier than it sounds. You can find out a bit more information on how to set up a basic author website here.)
Obviously you don’t have to stop at a website as people interact on the internet in many different ways. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or any of the other social media apps out there. (Warning! You have to be careful not to spend your whole time on Facebook or Twitter and the rest though. As I’m sure you know if you have a Facebook account, hours can be ‘accidentally’ lost, um, working?)
If you are online and have somewhere that your fans can go to connect with you, you have a ready-made audience for any new books that you publish but what should you include on there? The answer to that is, pretty much anything you want. It’s your little corner of the internet for you to use as you like.
You can tell people about yourself and your writing process and it can be as extensive as you want. You could have a page about you and what you write and leave it at that. Or you could blog about your writing process, other books in your genre and just about anything that interests you.
The other benefit of having your own site is that you are not governed by Amazon or wherever else you choose to sell your books. You can also sell your own books directly from your site cutting out the need to pay commission and having your own list of people who have bought from you. As amazing as Amazon are as a marketplace, and I think it is great as I use it myself, it is nice to also be in control of selling your own book to your own list.
Obviously the more you can connect with your fans, the longer they will stay around but if you don’t want to continually update a blog, a website can still be useful as a way of connecting with potential readers. It is quite straightforward to set up a basic site so I would wholeheartedly recommend that you try to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of setting one up. You don’t necessarily have to keep going back to it if you don’t have the time but having somewhere that you can publicise your own books and yourself can only be a good thing.
If you have set up your site, let me know what the hardest part of that was or if you haven’t, let me know in the comments what is the biggest thing that’s stopping you.