1. Ruckus

    Ruckus Banned

    Feb 23, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Under a pile of snow in North Dakota

    Websites for unknown/unpublisher writers

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Ruckus, Mar 13, 2019.

    A question for all ya all....

    What is your opinion of a writer having a website prior to being published (traditional or self-pub)?

    I read one blog that advocated for an unpublished writer to have a site saying how a newbies website would most likly look terrable at first and starting one sooner would allow for more time to work on it and make it look more professtional. Also it would allow the writer to start to build a blog on the site or whatever they want on it.

    I'm not sure if I would start a blog myself, too many blogs already on the internet. Maybe a journal.... but that's besides the point .

    It might be nice to have a single place that links my social media accounts (or lack there of) and contact info and maybe a preview of WIP.
  2. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2014
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    You can have whatever website you want. I've got a pile of them. Honestly, nobody cares how many of them there are out there.
    marshipan likes this.
  3. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

    Aug 8, 2015
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    It’s easier to self publish to a blog than get published. I think a website is good, because you can post things knowing they will be read, so you can hold yourself to a higher standard and see what you can do.

    None of this “how do you feel about my characters, please no feedback on prose because it is unedited” blah blah blah. Just post and see if you can write something a stranger likes.
    jannert likes this.
  4. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

    Dec 30, 2010
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    I'll never understand writers who think they don't need to edit their prose before asking for feedback on anything else. Like, the words themselves are the tools with which you convey your characters and everything else in between, so how do you want people to get a good grasp of anything if you hadn't bothered to edit the thing before asking for feedback?

    Anyway, as to the OP - unless you're planning on promoting the website and doing some networking to actually get it exposure, it's just another link in the sea that is the internet. No one will find it and no one will care. It's hard to get people to be interested in what you have to say before you've built a reputation and some relationships. A dead and dusty website is probably worse than not having a website at all. And that logic of "It's gonna look bad so start early so you have time to tweak it" is just nonsense. If you're gonna make one, make it professional. If you can't make it to that quality, why are you pushing it out there? Look, if I see horrible graphics, badly-chosen fonts and generally get the impression of a bad website, I'm gonna assume - might be wrong, but I would certainly assume - your books would be of the same quality.

    Your website is another tool to sell your books. It can be a good tool, but use it well. Don't take anything live unless and until it's presentable. You don't know when visitors will come and you need to be prepared. Esp if you're going the self-publish route - then you're looking at a business model and your books are commodities to be sold. You're asking customers for their good, hard-earned cash in return for a good, well-crafted piece of work. A product worthy of that cash. Giving the wrong impression will kill you in an already tough market.

    So, no harm done starting a website, but I advise you to do it well. Personally I'd say it might not even be worth starting a website until you know you have a backlog of content to take live immediately, because otherwise it's just there with nothing on it, which also means you can't promote it yet. For something that's low maintenance, I wouldn't bother with a blog - that requires regular updates. I'd write a few books so you have at least 3 or 4 and then use it as a platform to find all your books. That means it more or less can remain static without looking out of date.
  5. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

    Sep 7, 2016
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    I'd like to add one more caveat to @Mckk 's advice--which is very good advice, but this is also worth remembering: you're probably not going to be good at something you're trying for the first time. Trying and getting it wrong, and then finding a way to get better is way better than not trying at all.

    You'll learn the steps to make it better the more you try, but if you don't even start, even your one-in-a-million chance becomes nothing at all.

    I think you should make the website.
    marshipan, Alan Aspie, Cephus and 3 others like this.
  6. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Jun 5, 2016
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    I didn't have a website until my second book was accepted. I just couldn't see spending the money and effort, no matter how minimal, on building a website if I was only ever going to have to market one book (which I honestly thought might be the case).
    Fiender_, marshipan and Alan Aspie like this.
  7. Deceangli

    Deceangli New Member

    Sep 15, 2019
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    Wot John Calligan said
  8. 31152104

    31152104 Active Member

    Apr 14, 2019
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    A free blog domain is a good go. Considering it meself after reading this here thread. Don't expect miracles, but having it might produce writing, just like having a dog produces walkies.
  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Jul 7, 2016
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    I don't really see what an unpublished and unknown writer would put on their website. Efforts might be better spent on growing your social media presence where you can follow and interact with other writers and people in the publishing world. Or, even better, put all that effort into actually writing so that you can get published. I once had a paid job running the Facebook page for a university. They wanted daily and relevant content and to attract more followers. That was work, but I imagine managing a website to be a lot harder. And if all that's on your website are links to your social media, what's the point, really?

    I'm not in favor of blogs. I read a few good ones back in the day (like late 90s - early 2000s). But I really don't think they are so popular or going to get your work noticed unless you do something really different, though, I can't imagine what. Blogs are essentially giving away writing for free without a built-in readership. And your writing is going up without the approval of any gatekeeper or the hard work editors put into a piece before it's published. My writing can come out much different and better with the help of an editor. And you only start working with an editor once something is accepted. If I had a blog and put my unpublished work up, not only would I be throwing away first rights, it just would never be as professional and polished as it comes out through the whole traditional publishing process.
  10. ChuckBartok

    ChuckBartok Banned

    Feb 4, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Corning, CA
    Publishing Chapters as being written on our author website has proved to be VERY rewarding. The readers have been fantastic "editors"
    and their comments (over 22,000 so far) are very helpful.
    When the books are completed and finally published sales are VERY rewarding.
    Repeat sales continue.
    "Blogging" works for us.
  11. Richach

    Richach Contributor Contributor

    May 21, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Birmingham Uk
    If you have a blog, they are dated so you can show longevity or not depending on how much foresight you have.

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