As someone who works in book promotion, I know the importance of creating an online presence for your work. But even before I got into the virtual book tour business, I realized that the Internet was going to play a significant role in my writing dreams.
As a blogger and book reviewer, I receive numerous requests a week to review new books. One of the first things I look for is the author's website. I'm surprised at the number of authors who don't have a website or blog. How can you hope to compete against the millions of other books out there if people can't easily find you online? Now, maybe "compete" isn't the right word, but in a tough economy, luxury spending is down. You want people to spend money on your book. (Gasp, did she just admit that authors think about selling their books?)
Writing is a business like any other. Granted, it's a fun business, but in order to be profitable you can't be shy when it comes to talking about your writing.
I graduated from Long Ridge Writers Group in 2005. Not long afterwards, I started my first blog. The following year I attended the first Muse Online Writers Conference. One of the classes I took that year was on website design. Let's face it, I'm technology challenged and don't know a lot about HTML, so I knew I wasn't going to design anything beautiful; but if I learned nothing else from that first conference--which isn't the case--I learned that every author needs a website. This worked out well, because by the time 2006 came to a close, I was a regular contributor for Writer2Writer. My website helped me draw readers to my articles.
I have to admit, I still prefer blogs to websites. They allow for you to have a conversation with your readers. They are easy to update. I also think they are a lot of fun and another creative outlet for writers.
Later in the week I'll discuss how writers who aren't published yet can use a website and/or blog to begin building an online presence.