Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Author Web Sites

I was reading an article recently in the Dec. 15th, 2008 edition of PW (Publishers Weekly). My library puts their extra copies of magazines on their used book sale shelf. This was an $8.00 magazine that I got for 5c. Yep, that's right. 5c! What a bargain.

In the article Finding Value in Author Web Sites by Judith Rosen, she mentions that almost every author now has a Web site. They also often have a blog and/or page on Facebook, MySpace and Goodreads. Is it worth it? Do they need to be on the web? Designers can charge between $3.000 and $35,000. Some authors feel that it is definitely worth it. They establish a Web presence and that allows them to extend the conversation to their readers. Fans enjoy direct contact with the author not just their publisher. That also provides for more opportunities for readers to add reviews.

Since there isn't any proof that a fancy, expensive site sells more books some authors choose no-frills, do-it-yourself options. This allows the author to save money, access it themselves for updates but doesn't often include blogs. Some would argue that the blog is the most important part of keeping the site fresh. And it doesn't have to be about the book alone. There are many authors who add tidbits about their personal life, funny news and jokes, videos and more. It also allows relatively unknown authors to get their name and their work into the blogosphere. They can promote their books in ways that they may not be able to without a blog since they don't have the recognition yet.

There are so many options now that authors and publishers can create almost anything they want. It all depends on their needs and the fans needs. I personally was floored the first time, well every time, I had direct contact with an author. Email and blogging have given me opportunities I never dreamed possible. What do you think? Do author websites and blogs make a difference to you as a fan? Do you think they help sell more books or would they sell just as many without them?


  1. Wow 5 cents! That is an amazing bargain.

  2. When you're done sell it to me for 10 cents and double your investment!

    I think the author sites, if they're genuine and current, provide a great way to connect with readers -- my son and I still talk about the author (or a minion, who really knows) posting on our blog in response to a book review...

  3. I think it is such a thrill when an author writes to you. They're up on a pedestal as far as I am concerned. It takes me forever to write a review never mind a book. I am in awe! I bet if you hold out, you could get 15 cents! :)

  4. I do like going to the websites of my favorite authors but the best feature is probably their mailing list. I don't know if it helps sell books since I usually would buy them anyway but at least it gets me to buy it sooner. Sometimes I forget when a new book is due out so the email reminds me to go out and buy the book. For authors that I am not on a mailing list I often times miss their new release.


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