Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unpublished Authors and Having a Web Presence

Sorry it has taken so long to get this up and running this morning. Had a hard time getting moving.
I wanted to take some time today to answer a question I hear a lot from writers, either here on line or when I talk to them in person. "Should I create a website while I am still trying to market a book for the first time."

Ahh, the old web presence question.

In my humble opinion, the time, energy and money you put into creating that website for a product you don't have could easily be spent on making that current work in progress amazing. I don't know of many, if any, agents who go out there and start surfing the net for the next best writer based on their websites and their blogs. Honestly, I am not sure if we have the time to do that, let alone figuring out where to start to find the next best author. Yes, I am sure they are out there, but finding them would be a chore.

I would also add in the fact that an agent and writer have to want to work together as a team. If an writer really wanted to work with me or another agent, they would approach us and not the reverse.

Now let's talk about what that website will have to offer. As I said, you are selling a product that doesn't exist. You are attempting to get people, other than friends, to come and visit your site, learn about your writng and get overly hooked on something that isn't there.

I have heard some writers say this is a way to build a "readership" Pooey! (Now where did that word come from?) Those readers are, in most cases, people who already know you and would have gotten your book anyway. Even if there was a bit of word of mouth here, the numbers just aren't going to be there.

In the end, I want you to take the time and work on your story. When you get an agent, and certainly, when you get an editor, then get that website up and running. Until then, just write.


1 comment:

  1. Scott, your point about spending the time that a website would take and improving your manuscript has merit, but it's only part of the story.

    As an experienced web designer, I've seen a lot of sites fail and succeed. One problem with waiting until your book is ready before establishing a web presence is the way Google ranks pages.

    For some very good reasons, a site will not begin to climb in Google rankings for the first six month of its existence. A site will also get low rankings if it doesn't get regularly updated content. There are many other factors involved in getting a page ranked, but those two, which are important, suggest that a minimum of six months, and more likely a year of web presence, make a big difference in ranking and hence, find-ability. Sad but true.