You’ve written your book, ordered bookmarks as giveaways, perhaps even new pens for book signings, and quite frankly you are running quite short on cash. Do you really need to spend more money on an “author website”? Or couldn’t you simply use your Facebook or Instagram page?
Having a central presence online with your author name should be the focus of your marketing efforts, acting as a “hub” where visitors will be able to easily find you, along with your books and activities. People want to connect with you without trying to remember long URLs or jump through hoops navigating Goodreads or Amazon. There are many places online where you will want to have a current and dynamic online presence—including social media sites and author pages on book sites—but you want to be able to tell a fan (or podcast interviewer) something easy and memorable as a way to find you.
There are many inexpensive—and even free—options out there for you to use if your budget is tight, but you will definitely want to invest in your own domain name so that fans can find you easily. Your domain name should preferably be your author name, and if that is not available, many people add the word “author” to their name so that it is still clear and memorable.
The only thing that is worse than an author with no website is an author with a terribly out-of-date website, so once you have launched it, be sure to keep it current with new events, reviews and other items of interest. The more you post, the better your search engine rankings and the more your audience will want to return. It’s a Win-Win all around!