View Full Version : Does having a website make a difference?

05-15-2009, 09:53 PM
I'm trying to make myself more attractive to agents and editors. In addition to a pedicure I am thinking about establishing a web presence. Actually I'm teaching myself web design using ASP.NET 2.0, and if I can figure that out, I'll definitely have run off every eligible bachelorette in the state.

What's the general concensus, to web or not to web? Naturally a great piece of work is the primary consideration, followed by an etheral query, but after that do agents care if you have a website, or will those black&white underwear modeling shots backfire? :D

05-16-2009, 07:54 AM
Agents are very busy. I doubt they will look at your website until you're good pals.

05-16-2009, 11:58 AM
You should have a website MM, even if most agents you approach never look at it, because it shows you are taking publicity and the marketing of your work seriously. A website is the perfect showcase for your books and tells everyone, potential readers as well as agents and publishers, who you are.

And on the blessed day an agent takes a shine to your work it's the first thing he'll look at. ;)

05-16-2009, 02:19 PM
My agent suggested I not do a website until my book was bought and I had a release date- I did have a blog but my agent never looked at it...

05-16-2009, 05:38 PM
That's about as clear as the rest of this industry, no, yes, and maybe - and they all make perfect sense!

05-16-2009, 06:08 PM
... you'd probably be better off investing your time in polishing your manuscript, instead.
Engaging manuscripts don't need fancy frills. Luck to you.

05-16-2009, 06:30 PM
I got a website (completely free, so I'm not out any money) but I've been advised by a few AWer's on here not to put a link in the query. So if you don't put a link in the query, why should you even mention a website?

Good luck and happy writing! :D

05-17-2009, 06:19 PM
For unpublished writers, blogs seem to carry a little more weight than websites--IF you draw traffic. A website with no content is ineffective. A blog that has consistent traffic and an audience is effective. It shows you can hold an audience's attention.

Interested agents will probably Google you, so having a web presence helps. You just have to make it a good web presence. :)

05-18-2009, 05:42 PM
I was thinking of something along the lines of a personal site with links to things that I do, including a blog. I'm sort of a do-it-yourself type and always have projects going - anything from making custom cabinets to rebuilding a transmission, or playing and coaching soccer to riding trials motorcycles. So it wouldn't be a website just for writing. And what is considered blog traffic? When I post actively I run a couple of hundred hits a day. When I stop posting it drops into the eighties. Is that traffic? I know big sites get thousands of hits a day and there are also plenty of sites that get zero. I do get some very positive comments on my blog so wouldn't mind finding a way to better market the content.

Clair Dickson
05-18-2009, 05:51 PM
I had one agent express interest in my writing based on my character, and even went to my blog to check things out. I have links to my shorts there, which is primarily why I have the site. I'm inclined to think the agent may have checked out the short stories, but don't know. (Unfortunately, I have not heard back from this agent in almost a year now, so the tale may not have a happy ending.)

I'd say, if you do it, make sure you have a reason to. I built mine as a way to link to and announce newly published short stories. (I have over 50 of them). If I didn't have the shorts, I probably wouldn't. With the exception of blogging, if, (IMHO) the topics are related to the story, concepts, characters, etc. There are plenty of "I'm writing a novel" blogs that it's kind of like grains of sand.

My two cents.

05-18-2009, 10:17 PM
MM: I have a website for two reasons.

First, some agents do scour the internet for information on someone whom they're considering. For example, somewhere in Kristin Nelson's blog I read that she does this. The ones who don't care won't look for it and if they don't see it, nothing lost. Then again, having a website may seem pretentious if one has no credits whatsoever, so this is a tough one, which leads me to my next reason...

Second, I write short stories and some of them have started getting published. Having a website allows me to setup links so that anyone wanting to read them can find them, or someone who has already read them can find out more about me.

The catch: your website has to look good, and read well. If it doesn't, you'll wind up scaring more people than you'll attract - including agents. The difference between having a decent site and one that makes someone cringe can be subtle.

Disclaimer: I have not had one agent approach me based on my website or short stories alone, and most likely never will. So what a couple people have already stated - that one should wait until after you have a book, etc. - is equally valid, IMO. No, yes, and maybe was right on.

05-18-2009, 10:26 PM
Agents who are interested or are considering repping you, might do a search of your name, just to see if you have a web presence or if there's anything online that you've written. Editors sometimes do that, too.

And if you have any short works pubbed and there's a bio, they usually let you post a link to your website or blog.

I use wordpress.com It's free and has a more professional feel.

It's not a necessity before you're pubbed, but nice to have.

05-19-2009, 12:32 AM
I'm also looking at doing some freelance writing and want to start listing jobs when they come rolling in :ROFL:. I have read that for freelancers a website is an absolute must. Right now I'm really just trying to build my my credits because it seems nearly impossible to make any headway without that first step.