Writers, I cannot stress this enough. You need to have an easily found presence on the web. This is NOT a Facebook profile or an Amazon author page. While both of those things are also useful, they do not fulfill the role a webpage does.
but I am just starting out, and don’t have anything to post…
First off, this isn’t a ‘You need a blog!’ post. Blogging is its own thing, and has perks and negatives. This is a ‘You need a web page’ post.
You need a web page.
First, and foremost, I would highly suggest anyone who is writing (or hell, just about anyone) to buy their name URL (like jacobhaddon.com, for example). Even if you don’t use it, this is your name, and it is important.
But even if you don’t want to self host, there are options out there. I would suggested WordPress.com as the best one. WordPress is easy to use, easy to add pages and notes and links, and makes a nice looking site, even if you never use it as a blog. Also, if you do move to your own server, it is very easy to get your data from there to your new site.
They offer a mobile app for updates on the go, and with themes and plugins it is very easy to customize.
Try to pick a name that is professional looking, I recommend your name, jacobhaddon.wordpress.com, but if that is taken, then try something close.
Now, what do you put on it?
At a minimum, you post this:
- Your Name
- Your Bio
- A way to contact you (see note below)
- Links to your Twitter / Facebook Page / Instagram / etc
- Links to books for sale you are in / wrote
Once you start getting more things, then make pages for your bio, books, contact, reviews, etc.
This business card like set up means it needs to be updated very rarely, for those who don’t want something else to maintain, but still allows for it to fulfill an important function for you.
Note: do NOT use your regular email as your contact email on a public website. Make an email specifically for this, either under your host (so email@example.com, for example), or using a free email service, such as Gmail or Yahoo or Outlook, such as ContactJacobHaddon@ (whichever).com
Why? This email will get spammed. Lots. This email will also be available to anyone. By making this email not your normal one you now have the freedom to ditch it when needed. So firstname.lastname@example.org becomes a spambots favorite friend? I delete it and start up comments@, or findme@ something like that.
What do you not put on it?
- Any video or music that autoplays
- Links to things unrelated to writing
You are looking for something that when an editor is looking into you, they see a professional presentation. This is your calling card.
you . online
Your online presence is now up, and under your control. It is a place for readers, editors, and fellow writers to find you.
Set up a Goodreads profile? Link it here. Amazon author page? Link. Get interviewed on another site? Add that link. Book reviewed? You got it. Make this the place people come to find out you.