From my personal blog:
A website really is one of the best marketing tools a writer can have. I’m an author and speaker, as well as a ghostwriter and editor. I use my website www.edrobertson.com to promote not only my books, articles and media appearances, but also my work in collaborative writing and editing. After all, that’s what working writers do. We write (or we edit), but we also have to promote and market ourselves. After all, no one knows more about our books or our skills than we do ourselves, right? So it’s important – especially today – to take the advantage of the opportunities the web provides.
A website is particularly important to an author because it’s the window through which the world sees you. It challenges you to think about how you’d like to be viewed as a professional, and provides you with a way of presenting that vision. It can also be a great way to establish an audience, or keep in touch with the one you already have.
I’ve been online with www.edrobertson.com since 1997. In my case, I’d already published three books by the time I first launched the site. I had a sense of who my readers were and what they liked about my books. That gave me a chance to tailor my web site accordingly. Toward that end, www.edrobertson.com has sections devoted to each of my books. Since I write a lot about television, each of my books on TV features the jacket blurb from the book, links related to that particular TV show, and last not but least, information on how to order the book. In the case of my latest, Thirty Years of The Rockford Files, I included the Introduction as a PDF file, so that folks can sample the book before deciding whether to purchase it. For The Ethics of Star Trek, I included the back matter, a selection of reviews, as well as links to my publisher and a few other Star Trek websites. I also have a page called Autographed Editions, where folks can order signed copies of my books directly from me if they so desire.
Your website not only promotes what you’ve already done, but what you’re currently doing. And because it’s online, you can point people to it in real time during a phone conversation or meeting.
For example, a few months ago, I got a call from an agent who was looking for a writer to work with one of her clients. We got to talking, and she said, “Okay, I have your books, I know what you can do, but my client still needs a little convincing. Do you have something that spells out exactly what you can do for him?” I said, “Are you online?” She said, “As a matter of fact, I am.” I said, “Okay, if you go to my website, you’ll find a button called Collaborations. That has a thumbnail description of the kind of projects I’ve done, what my interests are, and how I work.” And so, right on the spot, she went online, and said, “This is perfect! This is exactly what I’m looking for.” Long story short… she called the client and pointed him to my website while she had him on the phone. Bingo. The client then called me, and we proceeded to work together.
So if you haven’t got a website yet, what are you waiting for? Now more than ever, it’s the most essential tool a writer can have.