Questions Authors Ask: Why Pay for a Website?

As an author you’ve probably heard about your author platform and how you should be working on growing it. The world of social media is at your fingertips. It might seem like all of your marketing could be done through these free channels.  So some authors ask, “Social media options are free, so why should I pay for a website?”

It’s a great question.  

You can get a lot done by using social media alone. And you should be using some social media to help build your author platform. But a website can offer way more. Read on to consider the advantages of pairing social media and a website.

An author site creates an online hub for your digital marketing that YOU have control over. 

The trending topics on Facebook and Twitter are an ever changing tide of information.  Even the platforms themselves are constantly growing and changing.  At some point in time, every popular social media stream will peak and start to lose momentum.  You have no control over any of those forces.  So while you might want to ride the wave of their popularity and success for awhile, you may not want to build your house on it.  A personal author website establishes a home for you on the internet where you are in control.  So whether you are Facebook savvy or a Twitter addict, you can funnel all of that traffic to a location that can continue to operate the way you want outside of the social media waves.  

An author site establishes an identity for yourself that is not dependent on your publisher. 

If the only accomplishment that you want to celebrate is a single masterpiece, then you could adequately advertise on social media alone.  But if you’d like to establish a career in writing, having your own website can give online identity that remains the same no matter who else is involved with your projects. Publisher-created pages for their authors can be nice, but usually don’t include any personality or many of the items I think every author website should have.

An author site creates a professional contact point that can draw potential publishers, distributors, book stores, etc to your brand.

If you are only relying on social media to launch your brand, it may be less likely that those in the industry will get the impression that you may want to make.  Having a personal author website can show that you are an established and professional author.  The forethought and commitment put into an author website can establish you as a legitimate author who is here to stay. 

Consider these elements as you decide whether or not an author website is necessary for you to promote your work. If you decide you want a website, make sure it’s done right.  A poorly done website can do more harm than good. 

Have you promoted something solely through social media before, without the backbone of a personal website?  Was it a success, or would you do it differently next time?  Please share your experiences in the comments below. 

Potential Publishers want to see a website

Whether you’ve finished your manuscript or not, if you’re trying to pitch a book to a publisher what’s the first thing they’re going to do to learn more about you? Google you. Having a real website shows that you take yourself seriously as an author and have the foresight to have already begun building your author platform. If you don’t have a website already the first thing your publisher-appointed publicist will have you do is get a site going. Better to get the jump on things and build it first.

Kirk Douponce

Owner of DogEared Design

Apt Design is a pleasure to work with. They always meet or beat their deadlines with consistent creativity.

Brad is a complete professional and a pleasure to work with — he’s intuitive, creative, responsive and reliable.

His ability to grasp an organization’s goals and translate them into images is pitch-perfect. With his upbeat attitude and timely delivery, he is a real pleasure to work with.

Ona Russell

Author and Speaker

As an author, I wanted something that would showcase my books, but do so by telling a kind of story. And that is exactly what Brad accomplished. The finished product is beautiful, evocative and efficient, just like a great novel.

Traci Mann

Author, Professor of Psychology

Brad is an incredible designer. My book’s website is exactly what I wanted, even though I couldn’t even begin to articulate what I wanted before talking to Brad. Not only is the website wonderful, but he finished it faster than he promised, and he was great to work with. I am so glad I hired Brad for this project. I am absolutely delighted with the results.

Dr. Robert Rosenthal

Author

It was a pleasure to work with Brad at Apt Design. On the design front, his concepts were spot on, so we never got started on false trails. And he easily and accurately incorporated my feedback in a comfortable back-and-forth dialogue that resulted in a strong final product. I remain extremely pleased with the result.

Brad made the process of developing my web site not only painless, but positively enjoyable. His enthusiastic, “can-do” attitude permeated every discussion we had. I would recommend him to any writer looking to develop a web site!

Carol Scibelli

Humor Writer & Speaker

I chose Apt Design because Brad’s websites stood out from all the others I saw. The bonus was that besides his talent he is also a joy to work with.

I had a terrific experience working with Brad. He was at all times flexible, patient, and responsive. Above all, Brad is a terrific person and working with him was a pleasure.

Robert Howard

Author

Brad came up with a powerful visual look and graphic design that tied together the various “chapters” in my story. What’s more, he is a pleasure to work with—a great listener and highly collaborative!

I really can’t recommend Brad highly enough. He’s come through for us time after time, and always delivers outstanding work. His sites are beautiful and functional works of art. Brad has designed the websites for some of our biggest authors. You know he’ll deliver an amazing site, right on schedule.

Susan Lagsdin

former Executive Director of Write On The River

Brad’s design work is creative and impeccable — and best of all, he listens well and asks all the right questions, with no assumptions about his clients’ experience.

Jennifer Skiff

Best-selling Author

Hiring Brad Fitzgerald to create my website was the greatest gift I gave to myself in 2013. He is a pleasure to work with!

Rolf Boone

Blogger

Brad provided very clear and understandable (for those of us who are tech challenged) directions on the process, explaining the steps he would take to build and design the site, as well as the input he wanted from me, and the training involved once the site was complete. Brad, who has a sharp eye for design, ran with it and produced a great site. He does good work.

James Townsend

James Townsend, Author and Co-Owner of The Human Condition

Brad’s creative insight is easily accessible through constant communication and feedback. He’s concerned about your vision, and it shows in the final product. He has a consistent devotion to making your vision a reality.

Emma Otheguy

Children's Author

Brad effectively translated my half-formed ideas into a beautiful website, and he gave me lots of choices and allowed plenty of feedback. He also did a great job making the web design flexible enough to evolve with my needs.

Justen Forge

Author

EVERY project he works on is the most important project to him, and that’s how he makes you feel through his accessibility, responsiveness, communication and professionalism.

After scouring dozens of author websites I contacted Brad – because his designs are clean and tight, and he is easy to work with. From inspecting his initial concept drafts, it was clear that selecting Brad was the right move.