I know you’ve thought about it. You’ve probably even opened up WordPress, Wix, or Square Space and poked around. Then you told yourself since your book wasn’t published yet what was the point.
Well according to Jane Friedman, “If you plan to pursue writing as a professional, long-term career, I recommend starting and maintaining an author website even if you’re unpublished.” Need I say anything more?
Why You Need an Author Website If Your Book Isn’t Published
What is one of the first things you do when someone or something piques your interest? You Google! If an agent is curious about you after reading your query bio, or a Twitter follower is sparked after your first viral Tweet, what do they find when they Google you? It matters.
Your website is part of your digital footprint, your hub. A place to point all your social media accounts, share about your book or books, blog, boost other authors, and more.
I started my first website, Big Abilities, in 2018, after my youngest son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I hoped our family’s journey could help others. That website has been viewed over thirty-thousand times. One post has been read more than eight thousands times. My website led to two traditionally published autism books, a monthly paid blogging gig with The Autism Helper, numerous other features such as Scary Mommy, YAHOO, MSNBC, The Mighty, Muck Rack, and more.
And while my author website is in its infancy, I will cotinue to improve and use it as a tool not only to share information about my books but to inspire other writers in their journey as I do on my autism website.
How to Get Started
- Check out other authors’ websites. Make note of what you like, don’t like, what type of content they have, which platform did they use, etc. Here is a great article that highlights several author websites and what they do well. Fifteen Author Websites and What They Do Well. Additionally, here are two of my author friends’ websites. Ginny Meyer Sain and S. E. Reed.
- Research Platforms. – I’m a WordPress fan, but there are SO many options out there. Some are free and some charge fees on a sliding scale based on how many features you want. Here is a great article that highlights several of the most common platforms. 5 Best Website Builders for Authors in 2022.
What to Put on Your Website
Now that you’ve done the research and selected your platform and theme, what should you put on your website? Here are just a few ideas.
- About you. People are at your website to learn about you, so tell them! Besides writing, do you have another career, hobbies, family, etc.
- About your books. If you haven’t already, even for your unpublished books, make a mock bookcover (more on that in another post) and use that image on your website. Remember, you are building an author brand. Also, share the book blurb, if you are querying how agents can request materials, if it’s debuting, when it’ll be out, etc. You are your number-one marketer.
- Blog. You wrote a book. Even if it’s unpublished, you have some street cred in how to get to the words, “The End.” Share your knowledge of the industry to other authors. Share your querying journey. Share your publishing journey. I promise, other authors want to know.
- Resources. Which resources have been most helpful to you on your author journey? Craft books, podcasts, software, etc. Sharing is caring!
- Where to find you. You want to make it super easy for anyone who stumbles upon your website to find you on Twitter, IG, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.
- Elevate others. Feature guest authors, or offer to feature industry experts. The more people you can feature on your blog, the more other’s will shart it.
Writing is a business. And even if you haven’t sold one book yet, you’re building your brand. A website is a great place to start!