01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: Author websites, do we or don’t? 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Author websites, do we or don’t?

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Hey all,
I was thinking that for an unpublished/may never be published writer I look up some interesting material but it is always random.  To those that know me this would not come as a surprise as my mind as never functioned in any way normal and to top it off I am Italian.  We always seem to go off on a tangent.  I like to look at the whole picture and sometimes that makes me difficult to follow or keep up with as I appear to be doing so many things at once. You need patience and trust and a genuine acceptance of the person and not everyone is willing to do that.  I found this out just recently when an incident caused an upset because I wasn’t sharing every detail of my thoughts, and in some cases even leaving things out.  The people involved simply did not understand that I can’t explain details on demand. I really can’t.  I don’t always know them myself as I am always thinking ahead, looking at the bigger picture.

There has to be a certain amount of trust that even if I don’t give all the details immediately that I will eventually.  They know that if they know me. It is the way I work. Strangely enough, the more I get into writing, the more I realise that a writer functions in that way automatically. They begin with an overview and the readers have to trust that things will be revealed if they stay with the author.  They also have to work it out as well because it is a joint venture, writer and reader. The writer may have the big picture but the vision is meaningless if the reader doesn’t trust that they are an invaluable part of the journey.

            This also explains our fragile egos.  Writers try to be brave but when they are misunderstood they lose it, at least for a little while until they remember each of us is individual and not everyone will get what you mean straight away. When the people concerned didn’t trust in me because I didn’t reveal every iota it took away something from me, and hurt me, let me down really I suppose.  What do you expect?  I am Italian.  We are emotionally oversensitive.  That’s my story (excuse) and you will have a hard time to convince me of anything otherwise. It upset me but I understood I have to bend a little and they have to step up a little if, and only if, they want the end to be a joint effort.  When I walk away from certain writers, Lindsay J Pryor is one of them and just so you know I do read other things, Emily Bronte is another I feel we have been in it together.  There are other writers perhaps less talented but they too make me feel that way.  Despite missing certain elements they make you feel part of, dare I say it, the bigger picture.


You may now be frustratingly wondering what in heaven’s name has this got to do with author websites.  Remember what I said about trust.  I do see the big picture.  I can’t change that.  It is the way my brain operates but cunningly if you bother to look closely I surround myself with people that can put the very necessary bits and pieces in place while I am still up there in the clouds looking at the big picture and making it even bigger. I trust in others to make things work.  I need others to make things work. I need readers! Don’t you love how I snuck that in? A shared workload is incredibly reassuringly when your mind, like many writers, travels faster than the speed of light and nobody has given you the red cape and tights to wear to explain your somewhat bizarre behaviour. It is the main reason I work with two other very talented ladies.  Anyway enough about this and onto the topic of the day which is about author websites.

A fellow Aussie and now published author (L.J. Kendall of Wild Things) and I were having a small discussion on what is necessary when marketing.  He has a blog but we differ on entries and frequency and he is still debating the author website “thing”.  He made a very good point when he said that he guarded his time, it was precious and needed for his writing. Mind you in saying that I have to add his blog is excellent and full of great information and is quite frequent. The conversation was more of a tossing around of views.

This new way of doing things these days on social media has changed the world and despite the technology that makes things faster there is another more insidious thread that slows things down.  It takes time to social media or should that be socially mediate.  I was trying to be clever with words but don’t think it worked so I will say it in plain English.  Marketing through social media is wonderful and effective but it is time consuming and yes Luke is right – it takes away from actually writing. I try to do a blog every four or five days and hope to continue once published (I live in hope) but on a website.  Lucky for me I have two partners in crime. Maybe it is too much and maybe there are better ways to reach readers.  I don’t know and in this moment I talk for myself, I don’t know if there are better ways but I love my blog as much as I love the characters I create in novels.  In my blog I can talk to so many people and of course it means I widen my audience and of course that would benefit sales.  A writer wants that so imagine then the bonus of having the blog attached to a website and keeping the connection to the readers even when they close the last page of the book.  I love that idea. 

Now to connect to the idea of the bigger picture but first I have to give thanks for your patience if you have lasted this long. I think an author website is part of the bigger picture.  Readers spend their money and now with eBooks they get to keep their book indefinitely but even if you prefer the traditional in your hands approach (I love stroking the cover) readers won’t buy the same book twice.  They may keep reading you if you are that good but there is so much competition out there that the reader needs more.  They need to know where to find you and an author website is the obvious answer.  I personally keep track of my favourite authors in this way.  To me it is like the brand name of something that I know I can trust. The quality of the book is important but the website is like a marketing home base. It is the entrance for readers to visit and for you to visit with them.

A very helpful website I found https://www.chatebooks.com/blog-Author-Websites-How-They-Can-Help-Market-and-Build-Your-Brand gives the following reasons for having an author website: Information, Promotion, Interaction, Writing Tips, Credibility, and Personality.  I am not sure what you may think but to me all of these make really good sense.  Information that the author controls means the reader gets accuracy and from someone who cares about them and wants the readers to care and be part of their lives and their work. Promotion speaks for itself by providing access to past and current, and future publications.  Interaction is everything.  I get so excited every single time someone comments on the posts even if it’s Kay or Alison (and me).  I wake up every day hoping for it and in turn I interact on social media with favourite authors and get updates on a regular basis. It’s so much fun to be a part of someone’s creative process even in the smallest way, and often there are bonuses like the tips.

         If you aren’t a writer then perhaps the writing tips may not interest you but honestly sometimes you get tips on things you hadn’t thought about in life. The tips are not restricted just to helping other writers write.  In any case you can choose to read these or not.  Just as a reader I am finding benefits for me in the author website and as that reader gaining things it ups the stakes on the credibility of the author. Not only are they serious about their work but they are serious about their readers knowing about them, their work and the hopes and dreams.  Straight away it involves the last reason to have an author website - personality. For this last one I will quote directly from the website I have linked for your easy access: “a website paints the picture of a human being who readers can connect with and relate to. This humanizing element of websites tends to endear readers to writers and their works.”
I see the author website as the means to share the bigger picture and what can I say, I am a bigger picture girl.


Alla prossima

Barb

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