As an Author, Do You Need Your Own Website? - EditionGuard

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As an Author, Do You Need Your Own Website?

Turgay Birand

January 21, 2013

The short answer is yes, you definitely need to have your own website. All writers—actually, everyone who has something to sell—must have their own site. In this age of globalisation, your market is no longer limited to your geographical area. You can sell to virtually anyone in the world, reaching readers from Australia to Zimbabwe as long as you can be found online. Yes, that includes you, whether you have already published your first book or not. You may be already active in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest; you may have hundreds or thousands of followers there. However, they should not replace having your own site. None of those social media accounts can represent you and your work as fully and completely as a website can. Here are some (compelling) reasons why: You can use your website to market all your books. According to a research conducted by the Codex Group, the pollster for publishers, most book shoppers and readers now go online to look for information about their favourite authors. Once they arrive at an author website, they are almost 40 percent more likely to buy more books than readers who did not visit any author’s site. You can use your website to serve as your online portfolio. Where else can you use a single site to showcase all your work, whether published or unpublished? You can publish pictures of your book covers, excerpts of upcoming books, or videos of you talking about your work! You can also use your site to announce book signings, sales, launchings, and other events related to your work. And it’s all in one place too! When readers, potential publishers, and other interested persons ask you about your work, you will just have one website to point them to. Setting up a website is easy and cheap. It is very easy to have an online presence nowadays. You don’t even have to spend hundreds of dollars; with less than US$12, you can have your own domain name, sign up for free at Blogger, and you’re good to go. One important thing to know, however, is what to put in the site so that your readers will come back. Ultimately, with increased engagement, your book sales will increase. You can put up a blog in your website. Having your own site means you will have a place where you can put static information about yourself, like a brief author biography, a complete list of your books and other published works, a section containing readers’ reviews , among others. Aside from all these information, you can also have a blog where you can write regular updates about your work. Having a blog means always having fresh content, making your website relevant in the eyes of search engines. Once readers look for topics that are related to your book, your website would come up higher in the search results than author websites with no fresh content. You will look more professional and more established. If you have your own site, your readers will see you as more professional (hence, worth following) than other authors who don’t. It shows that you are serious about your writing career, willing to go the extra mile to tell people about yourself and your work, and interested to connect with readers. Being an author nowadays require a lot more skills. Learning how to set up and manage your own website is definitely one that you should take time to learn, in order to do well in the long run in the publishing industry.

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