So I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a few years now, four to be exact. And before I started this blog, I was the programming manager for a literary festival. And before I did that, I was a book publicist for an award-winning publisher. And before I did that, I completed a graduate certificate in book publishing. Before that is…inconsequential to this conversation. Anyway, I’ve been working closely with books for about 13 years now, and I’ve learned a couple of things along the way. Obviously I’m by no means an expert (who can really call themselves an expert on books, other than maybe Margaret Atwood?) but I do feel confidant enough to pass along advice to authors when asked, which is basically never. I also have a sneaky suspicion that marketing advice for aspiring authors (and established ones, quite frankly) is a topic that people would be interested in reading about, and please do tell me if this is or isn’t the case in the comments section.
So here’s my first piece of advice to all you authors out there: get yourself a dang website. I don’t care if all you have is a single short story, you better have a landing page where I can find a link to it, a description of it, or even a simple biography and author photo is acceptable. But for god’s sakes, you need something, and no, a wikipedia page filled out by your brother isn’t good enough. There is nothing more annoying as a book reviewer to discover the book you are reviewing is written by someone who does not have their own webpage, in fact, I lose almost all interest in writing about the book because it’s clear to me the author could care less if it gets any attention. Sound harsh? Good, I’m taking off the kid gloves in these advice posts.
Unless you’re a bestselling writer, or published by a large house that makes individual landing pages for their authors, you have to make your own. And I’m not saying spend days and months making it, christ you can even create one on wordpress for free (how do you think a tech newb like me got started?). You need something, your very own space on the internet; don’t worry, there is still room left on here for you. You don’t have to update it frequently, but you do need to update it when you publish anything new. And it should have your contact details on it, because what if someone has the perfect project in mind for you, but they have no idea how to get a hold of you?And if you’re feeling particularly open, why don’t you post about the projects you are currently working on? I’m not saying start a twitter page (although that would be GREAT if you did) but an up-to-date website is the best place to start. And if you have a really old webpage that is clearly outdated, remove it from public view immediately, and don’t make it visible until you’ve updated it.
Talk back to me in the comments section, I want to hear your feedback! Authors and fellow book bloggers alike, let’s all join in the conversation.