Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Web Presence a Must

by Rebecca Talley

We've all heard the advice that we must have a web presence if we want to be successful authors. Yet, many of us disregard that advice. Why?

Maybe we think it's too hard to create and maintain a website and/or blog. Or maybe it's too intimidating. The truth is, it isn't. If I can do it, anyone can :). Setting up a blog through Blogger is very simple. If you aren't interested in blogging but simply want a presence, you can set your blog to have static pages. Wordpress is also fairly easy but takes a little more technical expertise. Authors who want a presence need, at a minimum, a blog.

Websites may be more involved but there's plenty of software and tutorials on how to create and maintain a website. I host my website through Yahoo. I created the website using Wordpress which allows me to upload a blog entry each week (you can also set up entries to post automatically). My website is specifically dedicated to writing. I have articles about writing as well as tips and advice. My blog is more personalized and casual and allows readers a chance to get to know me. I have all the info about my books on my blog as well as my website.

Imagine a reader hears about your book and wants more information about that book. Or, maybe someone reads one of your books and wants to know more about you. When we want to know more about something or someone what do we do? We Google. Now imagine this excited reader tries to Google your name but comes up with nothing. No website. No blog. No information at all. At the very least you have a frustrated reader and at worst, a lost opportunity to introduce yourself and more of your books to someone who already likes your writing.

I discovered an author that I wanted to learn more about. He's a very popular author in the LDS market. I Googled his name but found nothing. I checked other search engines but still found nothing. I wanted to see if he'd written other books, but I couldn't because there was absolutely no information about him. This has since been remedied and he has a very nice website.

As authors, we want a web presence. We want readers to find us. We want them to know about our other books, if we have them. We want them to worship us--okay, maybe not that, but we do want them to find us. Some of my best experiences with readers have been through website contacts. I've received emails from readers that truly touched my heart--something that would not have happened if I didn't have a small web presence.

I cannot emphasize how important it is to have a web presence. If you do not have one, consider creating one as soon as possible. Even if you only have a blog. You never know when a reader will want to learn more about your work, contact you, or send others to your website or blog. When someone Googles your name be sure they can find you easily. Be accessible.


Wendy Swore said...

Well said.

Caledonia Lass said...

This is so true! When I find a book and author that I like, I always go look to see what else they have written. But if I find nothing, I get frustrated and just leave it at that.

Rebecca Talley said...

Thank you! And thank you for proving my point. This goes for all authors, traditionally published as well as self-published.

Tracy Krauss said...

Absolutely true! It's just part of the 'new order'. Gone are the days when authors could sit back and let their publicist, agent or publisher do all the work. Unless you are very well established (think John Grisham or Steven King) you will have to bite the bullet and make your voice heard on line.