From veteran publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin via Book Machine:
A range of useful options is available to any author as they consider their online presences. All can be useful to any author but their own website is an essential component of that. It’s an anchor and it is the only web presence the author knows s/he will always control.
An author’s objectives for a website should be to:
- Make it crystal clear to search engines who the author is and for what they are an authority.
- Give the author a platform that can be used for many things: blogging, posting parts of books or works-in-progress, and gathering email addresses.
- Give fans of the author a sensible place to link to an author’s content and biography that is not called Amazon.com.
- Collect data that is independent of any specific book’s sales that can help an author know how s/he is doing in the digital world.
In addition to a web site, which is real estate an author totally controls and is the most important tool in an author’s kit to get new followers through search, an author can do him or herself some good by going where fans could be.
. . . .
And authors should be in touch with other authors too. They have blurbed for each other’s books for years. Now they can link to each other. They can mail to each other’s fans. No author is so prolific than s/he needs to “own” fans exclusively.
Link to the rest at Book Machine