Do you need a website or not? Welcome to the twenty-first century–yes you need a website!
Consider your website part of your manuscript-marketing arsenal even if you’re unpublished. Having a website shows potential agents and editors that you’re serious about a career as a writer. It’s the twenty-first century version of a business card. Be honest, don’t you search the web to validate a company you’re doing business with? What is your opinion of that business if they have a less than professional site or no site at all?
Starting a website is an inexpensive way to give your work credibility. So what should an unpublished author include in their website?
Index–commonly called your home page. This can be a quick welcome telling people what your site is all about. Update your home page with all your latest and greatest writing news.
Bio–a short page about your background and writing history. Interject your passion for your art on this page.
Publishing History— – Clips of articles you’ve written, etc. No matter how insignificant you think it is, a publishing credit is a publishing credit.
My Books Page–give a short synopsis of the projects you are currently marketing. If you’d like you can include a short excerpt for each manuscript. Include an awards or accolades for each manuscript–this is where unpublished contests can really pull their weight.
Blog Link–your own blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website and creates a back link to your site, which is important for search engines.
Contact Me–give an agent or editor a way to get in touch with you. Believe it or not, I’ve sent out a query by mail and thanks to my site’s tracking ability I was able to determine that their request for more information came from my website.
Last but not least offer something to keep people coming back–articles, humor, giveaways, book reviews.
This is obviously a simple website. You can add or subtract as you would like. If your books have a lead character whose a chef, a quilter, or some other profession you can add a tie in on your website and offer recipes, a quilt pattern, etc.
Use the web to put your best foot forward. That way by the time you receive “the call” your website will already be established in search engines and you will have traffic flowing to your site.