When is the right time to build your author website?

Here at Authorclicks, we turn down design jobs with some frequency. Sometimes we're just too busy to meet a new client's deadline. But we will also turn down a job if the author just isn't ready.

Today we heard from an unpublished author who was querying agents with her first manuscript. "I've been told I need a simple website," she said. 

At the risk of showing our age, we've had a hand in the publishing biz for a long time. And even though it's always scary to be a newbie, we can assure you that no agent has ever said, "I would have offered to represent this author if only she had an expensive new website." 

Agents and publishers know that everyone starts somewhere. And here at Authorclicks we really don't want to waste your money. So let's prioritize.

The Right Moment

The best moment to debut your professionally designed author website is the moment you receive your first book's cover art. Why? Two reasons.

1. The point of an author's website is to sell books. And until you have cover art, you don't have a product. We know people like to use phrases like "building buzz" and "getting my name out there." But you are not the product. To misquote Shakespeare, the book is the thing.

2. Your book's cover art shalt not clash with thy website design. We at Authorclicks never marry web designs too closely with cover art. But since the cover and the site must live in harmony, designing one without the other is a bad idea. 

Do you really want to redesign your website when the cover art shows up? We didn't think so.

If you feel naked without a corner of the web to call your own, head over to Google's Blogger platform and make yourself an introductory page. And then buy a domain somewhere like GoDaddy and point it at your website. Boom. Problem solved.

Publishing is a slow-moving industry. There's a lot of waiting. I understand why authors are impatient to make progress. But spend your pennies wisely, and only when it's time.