Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

It's so good to be back!

While there is much on my to-do list, I plan to take some time visiting your blogs later. If there's something specific I missed that you think relevant (or just plain cool), point me that direction, wouldja?

For today, while I settle in and catch up at home, I ask that you answer the poll question I posted yonder. I'm curious about your thoughts on what, if any, is the "right time" for a writer to launch their author site. And why? Tell me even if you're not a writer yourself. What do you expect from the writers you read, or from those whose careers you follow? Leave any extra thoughts in the comments section.

Hope everyone's having a great week!


Melanie Hooyenga said...

Woah, I'm the first voter! I put when they acquire an agent, but really I think it should be somewhere in the time frame of getting an agent and making the sale. Or when they make the sale to the publisher but it's still being edited. I plan to launch one sooner since I'm also tying in my design stuff, but otherwise I'd just stick with my blog for now.

Welcome back!

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I just realized I didn't answer your other question. I don't really visit author blogs (no particular reason why) but when I do, I expect to see their published works as well as a glimpse at what they're working on. It's also fun to hear about their road to publication, plus any advice they have for unpublished writers.

Amy Sue Nathan said...

I think author sites can evolve. My 'mom blog' evolved into a writing blog, which I hope will evolve into an author blog/site. I plan to chronicle my own query madness when it begins. One thing essential, in my opinion, for a writer's site is that it be about writing in addition to being a place to "sell" books. There are many author sites that do nothing at all except sit there, in my opinion. I like when authors address writers in addition to readers. (of course I do) I have also seen many author blogs that never talk about their book or writing, and i wonder why they're missing out on such a great opportunity for marketing and connecting.

Kristen Painter said...

Getting a website set up and established was one of the first things I ever did. I think it's important to get your name out there!

WendyCinNYC said...

I picked "whenever they durn well please" because I don't think there is just one answer. But I will amend it to say "as long as it looks professional." You wouldn't want an agent or editor to google you and find some rinky dink looking site. Blogs are different, to me.

For me, I'm going to ask my agent what she thinks, but I'll probably launch one sometime after we go out on submission, or maybe even wait until there is a deal.

JLC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm all for advertising other writer's blogs as well as resources for writers. I've posted lengthy excerpts, but those get ignored.

Oh well!

Jewel Allen said...

Welcome back!

I like to read about how authors come up with their story ideas, a bio about themselves, and how they are tackling their wIPs. Some sites I enjoy: Tess Gerritsen and Danielle Steel.

Rebecca Nazar said...

When five or so of my stories where published, I set up my webpage. I figured it was a good way to promote my work. Plus, if an editor is curious about me after I've submitted something to them, they can check me out.

But honestly, an author should set one up when they feel comfortable.

Welcome back:-)

JLC said...

Oops,I deleted my last comment. I need to change my answer. I was talking to Mr. Turkey about this and he lectured me. Apparently, it is best to launch a website once you have finished a WIP. That way, you can get the word out and have a place for agents and publishers to visit. (He speaks from experience in regards to self-promotion and marketing yourself to businesses.)

JLC said...

I should also add... (which was in my deleted comment) that I agree with Wendy, and your website should look professional. It would be good to hire a web developer... like Melanie.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Melanie - It's a super idea to tie all yours together. Double the exposure! And I agree. I like a mix of their past works with what's in process, with general writing themes and advice scattered throughout.

Amy - I agree! I like when they don't just sell their own stuff, but help others. And vice versa.

Kristen - And it's suited you well!

Wendy - Yeah, the more I think about it, there's no "right" answer. Each of us is different, with different techniques and approaches, and there's no reason that can't be reflected in the way we market and promote.

Rafael - Maybe it's the "lengthy" part that shoots you in the foot. ;)

Jewel - All apt stuff! It should be a good mix, don't you think?

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Aww, Turkey, you're so sweet. Are you honey-basted? :P

Wendy - how nice is it to say "I'm going to ask my agent what she thinks"?

Janna Leadbetter said...

Rebecca - An excellent point! Editors and agents can get a good feel for voice and so much more if there's a site to reference.

Turk - What a wise poultry he is! Thank him for his input. And I'm holding out for help from Melanie, too. ;)

Mel - LOL!

And Wendy - You'll have to share your agent's general thoughts with us.

Melissa Amateis said...

Welcome back, Janna! We want pictures of vacation! ;-)

Jessica Nelson said...

Hey girl,
Glad you're getting back into the groove of things.
I think a website is important to have and I'll probably look into it when I get an agent. Though I'm not sure whether I'll make a real one or just use blogspot to make one. I guess it depends on how much money I make when I sell! LOL It's true getting your name out there counts, that's why I started a blog.
I think a blog is one of the better ways to do this because it's actual interaction with readers/writers. It's also a timesuck.
Good questions! Are you thinking of getting a website?

Jessica Nelson said...

I just read the comments. I do have a friend who had a website and it was actually her excerpts that got her an agent. She'd queried the agent, the agent check out her website and LOVED her voice. Promptly signed her too.
So having a website early on can work in your favor.

scarlethue said...

Glad to have you back :)

I voted for the last choice, partially because "durn" made me laugh! But I think it's a personal choice. Some people want their readers to have insight into their future books/writings, while others might prefer to remain a mystery. I think it's a good idea to have one, but websites are so fluid-- you can change them so quickly after any milestone you accomplish, that I don't think it matters "when" you start. The content just has to be compelling.

Lori said...

I do have a web site already and I find it a lot of fun. It hasn't proved to be any use yet, but who knows. My main reason for having the web site is that it offers a professional image, that I want to present to agents, editors, whoever I want to start a professional relationship with. It feels good to know that if they google my name they'll find a good web site to tell them what I am about.

But now that you asked it, I realize that I don't really follow any published author online and I focus more on the aspiring ones like me, with whom I can connect.

Blogs all by themselves seem to me more personal than professional and I don't know if I'd write my blog url under my name on a query letter (or business card). I would write my web site address any time though.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Melissa - But of course! :)

Jessica - I plan to get one in the future, but I hem-haw back and forth on when's the right time for me. (Hence the poll's conception.) I know I'm not ready yet, but want to get my plans fine-tuned. And THAT is a perfect scenario: An agent I've queried seeing my blog or site, liking what they see, and wanting to work with me. Yeah, baby.

scarlethue - Your answer goes on the winning list. Such wise thoughts!

Lori - So much of it comes down to presentation, doesn't it? You also have a good point about following those at the same stage you're in, for that connection.

Nadine said...

Welcome back! I had one for my other book to help get my name out there and to be a place where an agent could find out more info about me. I should have made it an author site instead of a book site cause now that novel is trunked (for the time being) so I have no website for my current book that I am querying. *makes mental note to set up author website*

BiPolar Wife said...

Welcome home!!!

Tana said...

It's nice to be home isn't it? To answer your question, I think the right time is just as your novel has been accepted for publication. Blogs are another animal. JMHO. :)

Janna Leadbetter said...

Nadine - I see your point! Is the old site still "active"? Maybe you update and generalize it. Use that one?

MichaƩle - Thanks, lady!

T. Anne - I see where you're coming from, since sites are more professional in nature, whereas blogs tend to be more casual and personal. I like it when authors have both!

Janet said...

I am thinking that I'll start a site once I have a contract in hand. I don't see much point before that. But I'm open to greater wisdom.

Stonefox said...

Welcome back, friend! Great poll question. I say whenever; you can always add and change as you go.

Jenni James said...

HI! I've just come back too! hehehe! And I started my website right away! It made it much more real for me and gave me the boost I needed to continue writing and getting that agent. Good luck! Let me know if you put your up. And I hope you easter was fabulous! Jenni

Janna Leadbetter said...

Janet - I don't know, that sounds pretty wise to me. :)

Heidi - Thanks! And I appreciate your thoughts re: the poll.

Jenni - I saw your post. What beautiful places you visited!

Slendarella said...

VERY informative! Especially interesting was #7 & # 8. Thakns for sharing this.

And, I agree with Amy Sue - author sites can evolve and I think that makes them doubly interesing..because you can see their path.