Linda Lehmann Masek writes, “I have been writing for over twenty years and have had numerous articles and poems published, including three books, Mag-ni-fi-cat (a children’s Christmas mystery), The Poison Tree (a romantic-suspense tale published by Avalon Books) and Soul Dance, (a mystery published by Fireside books on Kindle). My question is, would it be worthwhile to have my own website? Fireside Books does have a site and I’m not at all positive that this wouldn’t be enough. I’ve had more than one opinion about the matter and I need some expert advice about which way to go! Please help!”
Yes, it is expected (but not required) that an author have a web site. This will make it easier for fans, booksellers, agents and journalists find out more about you and your work.
The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or spend a lot of money unless you’re so inclined. There are several protocols set up for creating user-friendly author web sites. Those that happen to come to mind for us are Redroom, filed by author, booktour.com, and goodreads. If you belong to the Authors’ Guild (it’s a good idea to join) they also provide web hosting as a service to their members. These are all author-centric online communities. You can also find easy web hosting via the big search engines, such as Yahoo and Google.
If you want a cool, fun, personally-designed web site (like our own kathiandsam.net) it doesn’t have to be super expensive to hire a designer. Michael Waters, of Studio 678, built and maintains ours, and Lee Fenyves was the designer.
Remember to update the content with blogs, calendar listings, etc. frequently enough to keep it interesting. You’ll need to decide up front whether you want to add a direct-sales component or you’re just going to steer readers to the standard online retailers.
Best of luck—let us know when you’re up and running.