Before You Publish

Why Every Author Needs a Website

Even though, as an author you are used to being alone with your thoughts, you need an audience. While using social media is great, it does not give you absolute control over your audience.

A strong online presence is how authors build a successful writing career. Even before you begin writing your book, you should start your website and document the process.

Websites used to be clunky and hard to create and manage but now with all the easy-to-use tools available – creating a website has never been easier.

Let’s look at the crucial reasons why having a website is essential for authors to find success.

Building Your Author Brand

The first assets a publisher looks for is does the author have a platform meaning have they already established a base of fans who are not only interested in purchasing their book but also promoting simply by talking about it on their websites and socials.

If you don’t have a platform, it will be difficult to get your book published. And, if you self-publish you need that fan base even more to generate book sales.

A website serves the function of a central meeting place between you and your readers. Your publishers and the media will also use your website to access information about you such as your bio, marketing materials such as photos and videos, and your current and finished books. Plus, if you are a subject matter expert, you can also establish yourself as the go-to person for interviews related to your subject area.

For example, I’m a hiking expert and am the go-to person for interviews related to hiking, hiking with kids, hiking with seniors, local hiking, etc. I am interviewed by the media several times throughout the year and each interview results in a bump in book sales.

Your socials can direct back to your website and by keeping everything branded, you are establishing your unique authorial identity.

Connect with Readers

But you can’t just have the website and socials be a one-way street. You must engage with your audience to cultivate a dedicated fan base.

An author website is a great way to create a direct conduit to your audience through blog posts, newsletters, and interactive features.

Readers are engaged when they can join the group by leaving comments, sharing their thoughts, and participating in discussions. This back-and-forth communication fosters a sense of community and leads to loyal fans who support you.

Show Off Your Work

It’s time to crawl out of your writer’s cave. Yes, you can bring your coffee. A website is the perfect place to showcase your author portfolio. You can have your past work as well as your current work.

An author website is a terrific way to share your portfolio and can feature book covers, summaries, and excerpts, enticing potential readers and showcasing your writing.

Of course, including testimonials or reviews because third-party validation adds credibility and builds trust with new readers, publishers, and the media.

You Control Content and Presentation

You are not subject to someone else’s idea of how your work should be presented. You are not at the mercy of social media platforms or third-party publishing sites – you as the website owner control over your website. You control the content and presentation of your work.

Your website is not static, it is a dynamic portfolio and communication tool. You can experiment with different layouts, multimedia elements, images, and more to tailor the user experience.

Establish a Platform for Marketing

It is a whole lot easier to prepare for book launches, promotional campaigns, and media tours when you have a website that can function as a hub for all the information that needs to be shared.

It is simpler to send the media or your host promotional materials such as photos and images than to painstakingly send files to each request.

Plus, you can create landing pages, countdowns, and exclusive content to generate buzz before a book release.

Throughout your website, you can and should integrate social media sharing as it increases your audience reach which in turn increases your book sales.

Capture and Analyze Data

An author website can also collect valuable user data and via analytics discover who exactly is your audience.

When you know who you are talking to – it is easier to speak their language. By understanding your audiences’ demographics, preferences, and behavior you can refine your marketing strategies and tailor content to your target audience.

Increase Discoverability

It’s a big ole world out there and being found is a matter of numbers. The more people who see you the more you are discoverable BUT a search engine must find you first. That is why an author’s website is so important.

You need to have that connection and implement strategies such as posting consistently, posting relevant content, engaging with your audience, and utilizing effective SEO strategies to be discoverable by search engines.

This in turn drives organic traffic to your website and makes it easier for readers, agents, publishers, and the media to find you online.

Long Story Short – You Need an Author Website

Having a website is not a frivolous luxury, it is an essential tool for authors. An author website serves as a hub for your online presence, offering a platform to connect with your readers, display your work, and build your brand that extends beyond the pages of your books. By investing in a website early on, you are building the foundation for a successful and enduring writing career.

Get started with your website here.