At Writer’s Relief, we’ve done a pretty thorough job discussing the importance of making a good first impression to editors and agents through formatting, following submission guidelines, and a great cover or query letter.
But in a world where everything is going online, Googleability can make or break a career. Agents, editors, and potential fans will Google you out of curiosity. Best to be ready for them!
The very existence of your author website shows that you take your role as a writer seriously. It’s an invitation for anyone who is interested in your work to get to know you better.
With an author website you can…
- Be in the right place at the right time…because the Web is open 24/7.
- Be more visible on your social networks…so friends can become fans.
- Help establish strong branding.
- Make it easier for important people to find and connect with you.
- Give people a reason (and a way) to stay in touch with you.
- Showcase your unpublished book or novel.
- Sell your book or novel.
- Showcase your short works.
- Link into literary journals and magazines that you like (and engage with them).
- Be linked into from online literary journals and other sites.
Here are just a few of the elements of a good author website that get readers excited!
Your Following (or the potential to develop one!)
Enthusiasm is contagious and your website is patient zero! When you build your page and visitors like what they see, they’ll be more likely to come back. As people become more interested in what you have to offer, they’ll comment and participate in discussions. Then, if an editor or agent happens to see a lot of feedback on your site, they will be more likely to pick up on the emotional connection that people have with your writing.
TIP: If you’ve expanded onto social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can link them to your site to further connect with your audience. (Just make sure you’re following social media etiquette if you’re going to be doing this!)
Your Writing Portfolio
Showcasing your works online is a fantastic way to hook industry players and fans (just be sure you know the rules about previously published writing before you post your words online). By putting up synopses, excerpts, or links to magazines and online literary journals that published your work, you demonstrate that you’re on top of your game. Your site is also the place where you can introduce other projects you’re working on too!
Hint: Many a time literary agents have approached our clients because of a short story or poem published in a lit mag. Having a Web site makes it easy for agents—and other key industry players—to find you.
If you’re promoting your author website, it’s very likely that someone important could read and become intrigued by your work. But if you don’t have an author website, it’s a bit more difficult for people to connect with you and your work.
Your Web Savviness
By expanding your presence online, you look like you have a sense of the way today’s world works. Some writers are okay with being a little dated, unenthusiastic about being accessible to readers, and standoffish. But that’s not you! How do agents and editors know? Because you have an author website.
If you’re writing in one of the commercial genres, your site shows agents and editors that you’re capable of promoting yourself and developing a strong “brand.”
A Look At The Real You
What inspired you to write? Who are your favorite authors? What made you decide to pursue trying to be a published writer?
A cover letter bio can only go so far. But a website has no limits! People come to your website hoping to get to know the real you. When you give the people what they want, you make fans and friends!
Your author website can show important people that you’re likable, friendly, professional, warm…all the things one hopes for in a partner. So relax, have fun, and be yourself! If your site gives people a good vibe, that energy will carry through into your other endeavors.
If you’re thinking that an author website is the next step you want to make in your career, take a look at the Web Design Relief website, consider which package best suits your needs, and contact us today!