Carrying on the theme of a recent post … sites for writers seems to be a common subject at present.
Jessica Faust, over at Bookends LLC – A Literary Agency, gives the following advice about web sites for unpublished writers. She recommends getting a web site now, before you are published, as you need the site ready for any prospective agents or other readers who may be able to help you with your career.
Jessica also suggests that posting a chapter of your novel is a good idea.
Some of the people who commented on her blog thought this was a good idea, others were a little wary. I confess to being one of the wary ones. Yes, we are posting Barrain here on this blog, as unpolished in its early drafts as it possibly can be, but I’m not sure about posting any of the work we are currently trying to sell.
There is a practical issue here as well. The first chapter that you write is probably the last one that you finish. We occasionally still polish the first chapter of Potion as it arrives back from yet another agent. When would we post this chapter? Timing is everything.
Site design was discussed—by Jessica and the people who commented. The general consensus is that you need a simple, basic site that looks okay. You don’t have to pay a professional to design the site, but it doesn’t hurt if you do.
One thing that wasn’t discussed on Jessica’s post was blogs.
A web site is not a blog, although you can have a blog associated with your site, or even set up as the whole site. In an ideal world you would have both, a la Neil Gaiman, say. If you had the choice, though, and could only do one, which would you do?
I think that would depend on the type of writer you are, and how comfortable you are with the web.
Me. I think I would go for the blog.