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Author Websites

Something I've never thought of, until someone mentioned it's a good idea to have an author website before you start querying. Oo-er, another thing to think about!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have one? Did you not have one, and still got an agent anyway? 

I don't have much to put on mine, other than the MS blurb, WIP (book 2), author bio... and maybe a couple of short stories that I can pop on. Is it worth it?

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Replies (62)
  • Have one - not yet.

    Is it worth it, absolutely. And having those short stories is the first part of the value, especially if you use it to build your list. One story, perhaps, free. Another behind the list; subscribers get it. You could also put that first story on Amazon for free, with the teaser link to the list-building page at the end.

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    • Cheers Rick, I'll have to have a look into it!

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    • I have a website. I started it once I had enough short stories and flash fiction published to create one to showcase them all under one roof. I don't have a subscriber list though but might start one later this year. 

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      • Rose, I've took a look at the sites and settled on Wordpress, but it's not free if you want the site interactive (I think). Don't ask me to explain that, but getting people's emails and other services to enhance your readership needs more than the 'free'. I could stand corrected.

        I'm about three weeks of finishing my second in series with The Blue Pendant. A website is a must for me considering I'll be self-publishing. To be honest, the thought of this online stuff scares me s...less. But I'm brave, 😎 got time on my hands, and will have a go at most things. 

        From reading so many comments on this site, I sense conservatism on many subjects. Difficult to accept, but that won't work in todays world. We grasp the future or we perish. Trad won't cut it unless it also changes.

        On the subject of social media promotions of one's work, I'll probably draw the line = just too difficult with so many options. My studies of the promotion subject has pointed me to advertising on sites such as Amazon, Bookbub, and a multitude of others. Several highly respectable authors have said these are the key to success. That's where I'll focus.i

        Who dares wins, fortune favours the brave, who persists, conquers, etc etc = that's me on the condition a bottle of nice red is within arm's reach.😈 


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        • Who dares wins the dog!

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          • WOOF! 😈 

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          • I don't think you don't need one before you start querying, but it isn't going to do any harm and if you get a publishing deal, the publisher will expect you to set one up.

            On the question of which to choose, I use Wix, I found it very intuitive and taught myself in an afternoon. I tried Wordpress at first but struggled badly, despite buying a book - I think it might suit blogs better, which wasn't what I was trying to do. Once I decided to migrate from Wordpress, I checked out all the others, including Squarespace, but just found Wix easiest, not that its without its wrinkles. I keep playing around with what I've got as I think of things, if you want to take a look at where I've got to and what Wix can deliver, it's here: www.paulbraddon.com.

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            • Thanks Lynn! It's actually out already, since the 18th of February, although no bookshops open to find it in!

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              • I remember looking it up a few weeks ago Paul - such a great idea. I'm excited for the adaptation 😊

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                • I don't think you don't need one before you start querying, but it isn't going to do any harm and if you get a publishing deal, the publisher will expect you to set one up.

                  On the question of which to choose, I use Wix, I found it very intuitive and taught myself in an afternoon. I tried Wordpress at first but struggled badly, despite buying a book - I think it might suit blogs better, which wasn't what I was trying to do. Once I decided to migrate from Wordpress, I checked out all the others, including Squarespace, but just found Wix easiest, not that its without its wrinkles. I keep playing around with what I've got as I think of things, if you want to take a look at where I've got to and what Wix can deliver, it's here: www.paulbraddon.com.

                  Hi Paul. I'm thinking of  migrating from Wordpress to Wix as it sounds much less complicated (I have struggled with the technical aspects of WP). Was it easy to carry things across? (I have a lot of flash fiction on my site). Also, is it possible to use the same host or do I find another? BTW, your site looks very interesting. Well done.

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                • I also have WordPress for my helicopter stuff. It is very easy to use, but I haven’t tried videos on it, only stills, so Squarespace might be better for that. I found the most important things was having links to FB, Twitter, Instagram etc, that is where most of the traffic comes from.

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                  • Believe me FB is mega good. I have more than 13 thousand followers on my helicopter site and that is wonderful for a niche interest. You can expect much more for writing. The only drawback being, I guess, there will be quite a few other author sites. But it really works. However, keep the option to approve every post. I got a solid stream of rubbish before I set that up.

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                    • When you wrote about your 'helicopter site', I thought you were being metaphorical in some way, but I see on your profile you were one! 13,000 followers is huge.

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                      • Thank you. It has taken some years to get to that level and much of it has to do with FB inviting people and algorithms, but even so I think FB is a good source of connections. 

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                      • I'm on word press. Used it to post flash fiction prompts, publishing news, author interviews.

                        It's fun but not really a proper writers site. There's a lot of free content in there - but she is that's a good thing!


                        https://lynnmlovewords.wordpress.com/

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                        • Cool, cheers Lynn! WordPress seems more content driven, doesn't it? I'm leaning towards Wix as I don't think I need too much on there, but we shall see! I shall keep my options open 😊

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                        • Thanks for this conversation. I'll take a look at Wix myself. 😊

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                          • They should give Rose and me commission for selling them so well!

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                            • I approve of that idea! 

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                            • Thank you to everyone who commented, you've all been mega helpful!

                              Website is now done, and live. Not bad for a few hours work, although it still needs a bit of work! At least it's live and there's something for people to look at.

                              Next step - author page on Facebook - but I'm gonna leave that for a little while, methinks.

                              Wix was pretty easy to use, and it's completely free, too. If anyone is interested, my site is: https://rachelhuntsborne.wixsite.com/author

                              If anyone needs a hand setting one up, I'd be happy to help, although I'm by no means an expert!

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                              • I can't figure out how to remove the photo on the mobile site...doesn't seem to give me the option.....I'll have to play around


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                                • I had to play around with the 'design' options to find a box to put the text in, if that helps?

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                                  • Jane, your site is great. You had me chuckling. And I love your taste in books and writers - Atkinson, Waters', Gaiman, Mitchell, An Instance of the Finger post. 

                                    You guys have given me serious website envy - I want one!

                                    After the hell of mother's Day is over, this florist is setting up a writer website.

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                                  • Your site is great. I had a good laugh- at the bits you intended! I loved the ‘I’m not a coffee shop’. Did wix supply the background or are those your pictures?

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                                    • Hurrah! Thank you so much. Yeah Wix provided everything but the words! Actually, tell a lie. The FAQ bit they provided some stick questions, and I thought they were too good an opportunity not to use on the first 2! 

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                                    • Opps sorry I see you answered that already Wix provided the pix.

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                                      • Wix is good but have to say Weebly in my experience is the best for a personal website, link for my website is below for an example, still in the beta phase which means still building it LOL, but in my experience it's much easier to make an author website on Weebly, Wix's platform and design tools as well as the templates are more suited for photographers and artists, just in my opinion anyhow!


                                        https://www.davidgraham86.com/


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                                        • Makes me want to revisit mine when I get time

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                                          • Thanks, great to hear you think so! :-)

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                                            • And just checked out your website! Nice stuff, and congrats on the publication and the BBC taking up the option rights!

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                                            • Rose and David, I love the look of your respective sites. Well done. I have mine on Wordpress but I think it's s**t (the site not WP) because I am so useless at technical stuff. I set it up in the first flush of excitement when I was submitting. But as that came to nothing so I've left it and my author's FB page to gather dust. I do agree that an author page/site is helpful, so I shall return to the drawing board and have a go at updating it. Wish me luck. 

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                                              • Thank you Julie. I have heard that Wordpress isn't the easiest if you just want a basic site. Might it be worth scrapping and starting again?

                                                Good luck with it all! 

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                                                • Thank you Julie. I have heard that Wordpress isn't the easiest if you just want a basic site. Might it be worth scrapping and starting again?

                                                  Good luck with it all! 

                                                  Thanks Rose. I do wonder whether I should start again. Cheers.

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                                                • Love looking at everyone's sites. Here's mine although it really needs updating.


                                                  https://www.caronmckinlay.com


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                                                  • It looks great! I love that image 💕

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                                                    • I love it! It's so professional, and the graphics are great!

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