Sound off if you have your own Web site (or one specifically for your book). Your publisher's site doesn't count. You must be master of this domain. Mine has two URLs: CrimeFictionBook.com and MinnesotaAuthor.com.
Twitter and Facebook don't count. Blogs, well, OK.
Following up question: How did you build it? Was it free online software? Did you pay someone to build it for you? I made mine using webs.com.
Nice to meet you. Thanks for dropping by my site.
Glad you like my WORKPLACE photo.
The extra absorbent towel on my chair??
I live in Brisbane, Australia with its high humidity and temperatures.
And spend over 8 hours a day sweating over my Stories.
I've had a website, http://www.jeffmariotte.com and a separate blog, http://jeff_mariotte.typepad.com/my_weblog/ for years. Site was built by one person and maintained by a couple of others over the years, for which I pay (but not very much). Blog is all me, for what it's worth. I'd like to get the main site redesigned soon, take down and rearrange some stuff and maybe put up different things, but that'll be a bigger investment of time and money than I want to make just now. In the meantime I keep a link to the blog on the site (and a link to my Facebook fan page on the blog) because those are where day-to-day updates are made.
Yep I've had my own for probably almost ten years. I'm a member of the Authors Guild, so they offer the service, I pay for but all the authors have to design their own sites and maintain them. They give you some basic templates and theme suggestions but it's the authors responsibility to design it and make it their own. Other than just having a "spot" for the site, AG does nothing else concerning the site except help you with issues and things of course. We also pay for our own domain names but it's a discount because we're with the guild.
I gotta say I love AG's site services and it's one of the main reasons I became a member, I liked how they provided sites for authors.
Check mine out and sign the guestbook!
P.S. I would never pay for someone to "design" my website when I could do just as good myself. Also, I think it's a waste of money because people can't tell a paid one from a free one I'd think. The only thing you need to pay for is your own domain name. I know some authors who got with some PR firm and paid thousands for their website designs. Didn't make a bit of sense to me because the sites didn't look like they were expensive first of all and, it didn't help them sell anymore books than anyone else and for that kind of money for a site? I'd like some guarantee it works, LOL! I think promotionwise, there are better things authors can spend money on.
Also, another opinion. I believe having a site is important, but sometimes I question "how" important. Now there are so many ways an author can expose themselves online. There used to be "just" the site but now there are other ways. I know a lot of authors who deleted their websites once they got on My Space or Facebook and started using their pages as their sites, LOL.
And you won't believe it, but some authors only use Twitter to get out information and some don't even have sites but most times just a blog. I know a lot of writters who have only blogs and have abandoned their sites for whatever reason.
I think the purpose is what's important to getting exposure. I can use myself as an example. I am all over the net and do a lot of online promotion. I get most of my book sales and exposure from OTHER things, not my site. It's not until people have read my books or is getting ready to that they check my site. But do I think an author's site can help sell books? Not necessarily because something had to have "led" the person there to begin with which means, they probably were gonna buy the book anyway and decided to check me out, LOL. But, do I think it's good to have one? Sure. It makes you look more professional and people take you seriously as an author when you have a site I think. It's always good to have as much as you can online about you. I just know for a fact that a lot of us authors might not get as many hits to our personal sites as we do in other things we're involved in.
If you've got information floating around on the web about you in TONS of places, you might not have to have an individual site. I know a lot of authors who don't have even a webpage but they sell books and have a fanbase. They use other things online to get the word out.
It's interesting if we start talking importance in terms of hits. It's tricky with sites because just because you have one and promote it, doesn't mean folks are always gonna check in. For example, I RARELY visit a web site of an author whose book I've even read and enjoyed. So that makes me wonder how often other people check out an author's site. Some authors only use their My Space because they say, their page gets way more hits than their web sites ever did. Then some authors have such popular blogs that they use that get out info. I also know some authors who have sites and haven't updated theirs in five years. So to me that's a waste if you abandon a site. You might as well not have one.
I think it's definitely professional to have a personal site, but in terms of books and exposure, I don't really feel it's a necessity if you're visible on the net in other places. A site is just a place for folks to learn more about you. As long as they do that, it doesn't matter how it happens or where they find you. Just that they do.
Getting a tad worried about all those authors exposing themselves online. :)
Seriously, my site is permanent and a working site. People go there for information and to contact me. Anything else that goes on on facebook, twitter, or blogs is fleeting and soon forgotten (Thank God!)
To answer the questions, I did it myself. I wouldn't pay someone to make my website for me unless they were just really, really awesome. I kinda like being a one man band, so to speak, by doing the writing & design & graphics and everything myself.
Yes, for a few years now and I love having it. It's like a parlor of sorts and is another way to keep me connected to all. I did hire a professional outfit to design it. Fees got outta "site" so I have another gal do the updates. My site is at www.tinaczarnota.com