Monday, February 19, 2007

Many people are under the mistaken impression that only people with published books under their belt need worry about websites. I say mistaken, because I believe the benefits of a website are in the marketing of the author, not the books.

For example, put yourself in an editor’s shoes. Say you have two manuscripts on your desk, both equally interesting, both well written, with strong characters and believable plots. Both have been submitted by unpublished authors, but one of them has a long list of marketing possibilities, thanks to the work he or she did before they actually landed a contract. Not only do they have contacts and subscribers, they have already developed a devoted following.

Which one would you buy?

Of course, an editor is going to lean toward that author with a following. But how does one go about developing an audience, especially if they have nothing to sell? What kinds of things go on a website if one doesn’t have book covers to plaster over every page?

Think of your favorite author websites. How many of their pages actually have book covers on them? One or two? And yet the website itself consists of several pages. The rest of the site is probably devoted writer’s helps, guest interviews, links and related sites, or newsletters. All of these are things you can develop on your website long before you ever get published. Update your site frequently with industry related news or topics of interest, and before long, you will have developed a following.

The same is true of blogs. While there may not be as many options out there as to which blog host you use, most of them are free, and the possibilities for what you can put on your blog are endless. Visit other people’s blogs frequently. Jot down ideas of things that you like and dislike. That way, when you’re ready, you’ll not only be familiar with the process of publishing on the internet, you’ll be ready and raring to go!


christa said...

LOVE the green guy!

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