Your new book is coming out soon, and you are going crazy thinking of ways to promote it. A dedicated website is tempting, as is a Facebook page. Your book is called Moby Dick: the Sequel, so you go online and register www.mobydickthesequel, grateful to see that it has not been taken. Then you start pushing your audience to this site via email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Is this a good plan? It depends. It’s hard to argue with success, so if you get a lot of traffic to the site, that is good. But what happens when you write your next book, For Whom the Bell Doesn’t Toll? Do you need to start another website, www.forwhomthebelldoesnttoll.com? Do you have to manage both websites at once? Are your readers supposed to go to both websites? That’s expecting a lot of loyalty. When you message people, do you post on both at once? Is it the same post? Or do you tell your fans to abandon site #1 and head to #2?
Most authors won’t only write one book and will have other projects going besides books, such as speaking, blogging, and the occasional massive movie deal. Given this reality (and hope), it is probably best if you create one website that is dedicated to you and all your work where you can do all of your promoting. That way fans of one book will learn about others, and will also be able to learn where you are and what you are doing, all at one handy site. Facebook pages are useful for this purpose, as well.
In short, you are a brand, and you want to brand yourself (in the marketing, not the cowboy sense).