Monday, February 2, 2015

Author Website - A Discussion

When creating author platform, few things are as clear as this rule: You Must Have a Website.

By Deb, clker.com
I'm clear on that. I've asked the questions and know you should have the website well before your novel comes out. I recently asked at a marketing panel whether this applied for having short stories published in magazines and anthologies, and the answer was a resounding yes. And I can tell you from personal experience that my blog has led me to more publishing opportunities than I would have otherwise had, so it has already benefited me greatly, and I had it long before I was published in anything other than articles.

But here's the question I'm not clear on, and that I'd love feedback on from those of you who know more about it or have experience with it:

At what point is your blog being your website not enough? 


By OCAL, clker.com


I figure that I'm good with my blog having a published works tab as long as I'm just publishing short works, but do you switch to a full website with a blog when you've got a novel coming out? I've seen plenty of both, and would love to hear what people have to say on this. It feels like you'd get more eyes on it as a blog, because you can more easily draw people to it by visiting others. But it probably comes across as more professional to have a website.

Where do you draw that happy little line?

Thoughts?

May you find your Muse.

28 comments:

  1. My fourth book comes out soon and I still just use my blog as my website. Websites can be rather static and don't provide interaction. I guess it's just up to the author though.

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    1. Good point on interaction. I wonder if it comes down to whether you were blogging before you were published or after?

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  2. I'm with Alex. We're on book seven now, and we don't want anything more than our blog. It's regularly updated, we interact with people through it, and above all, it has tabs that allow people to learn more about us and our work. I'd call that better than a static page.

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    1. You do have it set up so people can check out your books and everything. You guys and Alex have a healthy readership, too.

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  3. I guess it just depends on you. I recently created my author website because I plan to come out with my first print novel at the end of the year or early 2016. But I've already published two eBooks with two more on the way. I personally felt like it was time that I created my website, so I just did. My blog is still going to be my main focus, though.

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    1. My thoughts tend to run to putting up a regular website with a link to this blog on it (currently, I have the site, but it automatically directs here, anyway) when I have my first personal novel coming out, but we'll see.

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  4. I guess it just depends on you. I recently created my author website because I plan to come out with my first print novel at the end of the year or early 2016. But I've already published two eBooks with two more on the way. I personally felt like it was time that I created my website, so I just did. My blog is still going to be my main focus, though.

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  5. Author Gena Showalter used her blog as her webpage until she could afford a website. I changed my domain name, but now use my blog as my website, but I have yet to publish my novel. You should keep your blog if it works for you. It is already established and successful. Just my opinion.

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    1. Do you think you're close to publishing your novel?

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  6. Your website and your blog should be connected. On the same server, really. Mine is still not, and that's just because I haven't had time to redo my web presence. Once I started publishing, it became a daily job to promote. I am going to take some time this summer and clean up my act. Time to do it right. Well, it's very late, really. :-)

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    1. But not too late! I worry about switching from this blog to another, since I've established this one, so it's something I'll have to examine as I go.

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  7. I think this is a great question and I enjoyed reading the responses. Having a blog is great because you can connect with readers, writers, and other wonderful people. I think it is a good idea when it is possible to have a website that you own the domain name for. Then you can hook your blog up from the website and it is okay if most of your content is on your blog. On my website I only have a few sections, but one of them is a link to my blog. I hope now that my book will be out this year that I will have more content to add to my website. :)

    Good luck!
    ~Jess

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    1. Good luck with your book release! I do have the domain name, which is a start. It redirects here right now. I do like the idea of a website with some info that redirects here for the majority of information.

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  8. I've heard more and more people saying it's best and more practical to have a blog, since blogs can be updated more often than a largely static website. I have pages at the top of my blog which summarize my books and WIPs, which a website would also have. It just seems more convenient to have everything in the same place.

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    1. I do like being able to create tabs on here to give the necessary information, while sticking around here instead of a website I'd have to have my husband update for me. Or teach me how to update.

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  9. I think a "website" is for authors who don't blog. If you have a blog, you already have a website. By definition.

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    1. True. And I already own thewarriormuse.com domain, which directs here. I grabbed it as soon as I really started blogging. Unfortunately, my name wasn't available. I keep checking, though.

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  10. I've been thinking of a website as a way to gather all my blogs together in one place. That way, anyone (reader or agent or publisher) can see a bit of diversity but also focus on whatever they wish. Personally I think a blog is enough as long as it's still breathing!

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    1. You've just got to keep it breathing! Interesting on gathering all your blogs together. If I had multiple, that would definitely be a good way to go.

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  11. I used to have a blog and a website. I found I could do everything on my blog that a website can do. Not sure if that works for everyone but I felt I had to prioritize.

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    1. That's the thing, too. Does a person have time to update a website and keep their blog going? Picking one, especially one you're already comfortable with, seems to make sense.

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  12. I had a website for awhile, then a website and a blog, but then the information started to become redundant, and I thought it would be better for readers to have one central place to go. Of course, I also have an author's page on Amazon and on Goodreads but they do all link to each other somehow. :)

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    1. I didn't take into account the presence on Amazon and GoodReads. Good point.

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  13. Like others have said, a website that links to a blog is probably best for an author and maybe an essential. C.Lee's site is a very nice example. The visitor has options and the author has specific places reserved for marketing, samples of work, and whatever else they want people to connect with. The important thing is to make it very clear where a visitor should go for what they want.

    The negative side of blog only is that some people don't understand the concept and avoid blogs. Like I mentioned my blog to a friend the other day and he immediately said he didn't like blogs. Certain people have a distinct concept concerning websites as the place to go for marketing. If you start with the website, you can link to everything else from there.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. An excellent point about people avoiding blogs. I hadn't thought of that, but I know folks who shut down instantly if you talk about a blog. Definitely something to keep in mind. And, yes, C. Lee has a great website.

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  14. Thanks for posing such a great question. I've often wondered the same myself and now have some helpful answers.

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    1. I'm glad! I figured hearing from people who are already involved was better than me jabbering about it.

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  15. Shannon, A self-hosted website gives you more flexibility than using a blog-based platform like blogger or wordpress.com. One- traffic goes to you. Two-You own your site, so no one is going to report you to blogger or WordPress to flag your site. Be sure to grab the domain name/URL you want for a website if you haven't already. Your own name is ideal. I loved Blogger, but am really, really happy with a self-hosted WordPress site now. I love the flexibility.

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