Friday, September 28, 2012
Question from an author
I've heard lots of advice about having a web presence prior to submitting. But maybe presenting oneself as a blank slate is not such a bad idea after all? To an agent's perspective, is a blank slate too much work or a potential benefit (if the writer is malleable enough)?
This is a great question.
I am personally an individual that believes you don't need to have a web presence prior to submitting. In my humble opinion, that web presence is there to sell a product to your readers. Obviously, if you don't have a product, what are you going to sell. Now, with that said, I also know there are some agents who like to see what authors have out there. Where they find the time to do this, I simply don't know, but they do look. Not having something does not mean you will not sell though.
I think the biggest issue to deal with her is, IF you have a web presence, what is the image you are giving to the potential editors and agents. In other words, if I go to your website and I find a big piece of garbage, what does that tell me about you as a professional? If I find a blog that isn't updated on a regular basis, does this tell me you might not have the dedication to truly devote time daily to your writing? What about if this is a website or blog post that does nothing but complain about everything in the industry? Is this someone I would want to work with?
In the end, I would just recommend for authors to be prepared to get that web presence up and running as soon as possible. If you sign with an agent before selling to a publisher, you can certainly have more time to develop the site. If you sign directly with an editor, you will probably have to move much faster since you are closer to that "release date".
As far as a blank slate being too much work, I don't think that is too much of an issue, at least for the agent. The work may come from the increase work load for the author as they try to keep up with writing deadlines AND ALSO getting the website going, but that would be about it.
Hope that helps!
Have a great weekend.