Do authors really need websites? I see this asked from time to time, and let me just say this: YES, you do.
Why do an author need a website?
Because a website is your space. You own that space. Social media is all fine and good, but they can change or disappear and then where are you at? If you have a website, you have all your information in one place. This is a good thing.
What is the point of a website?
As a reader, when I hear about an interesting book, what do I do? I google the author. I want to see the author’s website and get all my information from there. What books they have released, if they have any extra content, maybe a list of upcoming books and works in progress.
A website is gold. You can post whatever you like on your site. You can build it however you like. But be consistent! And make it mobile friendly. Build your SEO so it shows up first on Google when someone googles your name. So often I Google an author and either their website appears way down… or it doesn’t show at all – but they do have one!
How do I make it so it shows in search results?
SEO. This is important. But it also needs to load fast, be mobile friendly and responsive and have relevant content. If you have an author site but you only post about fluffy kittens, that’s not very relevant. If you have an old site that takes ages to load or if it isn’t mobile friendly and responsive, Google won’t show it as high in search results.
So I really do need a website, huh?
Yes, you do. Websites are your platform online. It’s where a reader can find every information about you and your book that they need – as long as you keep it up to date, which is important.
And don’t make your website clunky and difficult to navigate and ugly: simple, minimalistic, responsive, mobile friendly. That’s all you need. And keep it updated. This is very important. Don’t have a book listed on your coming soon page that actually came out last year. As soon as you have a new release, post it on your website. Or even better, post it before, with preorder links and whatever you have.
I repeat: websites are gold. If you don’t have one, get one. If you have one that doesn’t show up high in search results, work on your design (if it’s not mobile friendly and if it loads slowly) and your SEO. Your website should always appear first in search results. Always.