So what's the point in an author website?
My nephew Matthew came around yesterday afternoon to give me fresh coaching in the art of website design. I can now post images as well as text - a tiny step but a significant one! It was Matthew who prompted this whole site into being a couple of years ago. His visit gives me pause to wonder what this website's all about. What purpose does it serve? I'll list some random points, in the order they occur.
Millions trawl the web, and I know many would enjoy my writing if they came across it. An author website works as bait ... it may pull people in who have never heard of me.
I like the interactive element. Mostly on this site that consists of the forum. I want readers to be able to participate in a book even having read it. It also gives feedback as to what works in a book and what doesn't.
It's a good link into the rest of my writing from articles / stories / interviews etc placed elsewhere. It's easier to remember a URL than book titles.
I enjoy the immediacy of the Internet, and the freedom to place my direct voice online. There's no need to worry about meeting a journal's or newspaper's criteria. I find it frees my voice, the daily focus helps me see my own writing role more clearly.
It's fun. I actually enjoy the creation of this site. It's a new format, but as meaningful to me as a book. Something of my character comes through it - as a reader, I know I would appreciate such a site from some of my favourite authors.
My 'small publisher route' has vastly reduced the time from completion of a manuscript to its appearance as a book (On Sacred Mountains due May 1st!), but any delay in putting work out into the world is tiresome. A website has some of the flavour of a performance piece.