These days there are so many places and ways to be online, that having an author website may feel almost like an anachronism. After all, everybody is on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat or Tumblr, so couldn’t you find a much bigger audience simply by having a presence on there? And certainly, may authors find it more than worth their time to have significant presences in some or all of those places, but there are plenty of good reasons why none of them will ever replace the functionality of a good author website.
If nothing else, maintaining an independent author website gives you a place that you can direct readers to when they’re looking for your bibliography. Sites like Goodreads offer similar functionality, but don’t give you the same kind of control that an author website lets you have, not just over what’s displayed there, but how it’s shown, where you direct people to buy it from, and so on. An author website let’s you control your brand in a way that no other online platform currently allows.
In a post about his redesign of Waxy.org, Andy Baio wrote what turns out to be a pretty good summary of why authors–or anyone else who wants to control their web presence–should own their own websites:
Here, I control my words. Nobody can shut this site down, run annoying ads on it, or sell it to a phone company. Nobody can tell me what I can or can’t say, and I have complete control over the way it’s displayed. Nobody except me can change the URL structure, breaking 14 years of links to content on the web.
Fundamentally, that kind of independent control over everything from the appearance of your website to what it lists, how it works, and what you put on it is something that you can only get by owning your own author website. With an author website designed on a WordPress engine by the pros at Clockpunk Studios, you can have total control over your site’s design, functionality, appearance, and content. You can have “buy here” links that stay up to date, current bibliographies without a lot of annoying inconsistencies, widgets that display your latest posts to social media to help keep your readers invested, and just about anything else you can imagine!
At the end of the day, there’s no one right way to have an author website. Your website should reflect your body of work and who you are as an author. But no matter what kind of author you are, owning your own website will pay off big dividends in integrity, exposure, and control, and here at Clockpunk Studios, we’d be happy to help you build it!