f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Establishing Your Career as a Writer: Part IX

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Establishing Your Career as a Writer: Part IX

Reasons to NOT spend your money on your own website:

1. Your publisher has decided to set aside a sizable chunk for an impressive web presence for your book. There will be a talented programmer involved and what they come up with will match or exceed your expectations.

2. Your publisher is offering to set up a very nice, usable web presence for you. You don't plan on interacting greatly over-the-web, don't plan on blogging, don't plan on regular updating. All you need is a nice, usable web presence.

Either of these is totally legit (although even in case #1, I'd look at owning my own personal domain if I could). Case #1 is rare. Especially in genres where the majority of readers aren't going to be gathering online. Case #2 is nothing of which to be ashamed. Don't overlook it. A quiet, nicely designed site, frankly, is better than a poorly-designed "homemade" site with scattered updates and broken links.

It all depends on what you want to get out of your web presence.

If you're looking for flexibility, the ability to interact, the ability to control your website, then my suggestion is you put some capital there. Server space is quite inexpensive. Most of the online tools are free or quite inexpensive. Having someone design your site will cost money, but something simple and flexible shouldn't break the bank.

I guess I'd offer a few caveats to this:

1. How devoted are you to being interactive and online? If you're unsure, don't make your site a place that needs to be updated daily. There's something sad about a site who stresses updates and yet the last post or change was in October.

2. There are currently a lot of authors writing about writing. I just want to point this out.

3. The web is a drop in the bucket. It's a closed system and so the voices of praise you hear may sound loud. But you really are reaching such a small percentage of readers, take everything with a grain of salt. F*i*F has done nicely over the years and has grown. We're still tiny. Think of the web as a nice add-on. A place to convene with your most loyal readers. It can't be the end-all of your efforts, however.

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Continue to Part X of Establishing Your Career as a Writer