January 24, 2009

"When you’re writing a book, you're certainly not sitting there thinking, 'And wait till they see the Web site!'"

Well, you'd better! You think about the book cover, don't you?




Johnny B. D. said...

You've never written a book, so you probably do not understand that publishers control book covers.

Ann Althouse said...

Thinking about and controlling are not the same thing. You probably don't know how to read.

Paddy O. said...

"you probably do not understand"

You probably don't understand that different publishers do things differently, and that while there often a final decision made by a publisher, there is also a great deal of interaction and dialogue.

They accept a lot of input and ideas.

Just so happens that when I was writing a book, I was thinking "Wait till they see the Web site!" Bought a domain name. Then, while the book was being edited I spent a bit of time working on the site. Based the site on the book cover, in fact, which I didn't design, but was consulted about. I've since toned down the site a fair bit.

Small publisher, small marketing budget, small site visits does not encourage spending time on web maintenance. Better to spend it on more writing.

EDH said...

"You can't judge a book by look'n at the cover."

You can't judge an apple by looking at a tree,
You can't judge honey by looking at the bee,
You can't judge a daughter by looking at the mother,
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover.

Oh can't you see,
Oh you misjudge me,
I look like a farmer,
But I'm a lover,
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover.

Oh come on in closer baby,
Hear what else I gotta say!
You got your radio turned down too low,
Turn it up!

Original George said...

"They [the websites] cost from $3,500 to $35,000 — with writers paying about 85 percent of the time."

Most advances aren't bigger than that.

The people getting big advances who can afford such websites are using their books as billboards to promote an existing 'platform, i.e. business—a medical career, business consulting, an acting or sports career, and so forth.

1jpb said...

This must be the result of the website and covers.

blake said...

You probably are if you're a pro.

Except for the super-successful, most pro writers are part salesmen.

Synova said...

Authors don't generally have control over covers but they obsess about them. Covers *do* sell books.

A whole lot of the self-promotion stuff that new authors are told they ought to do strikes me as enormously time consuming for no return at all.

A web site doesn't have to cost much at all, and while I don't think that a good web site is going to launch an unknown author, having something *there* if someone thinks to go look because they enjoyed your book is a low-cost, high-return, sort of thing.

A friend of mine when she started out (and still, I just checked) offered monthly contests (this month is a $20 gift certificate to Amazon, if anyone should want to look up Lydia Joyce and fill out the form). One of my favorite authors, Wen Spencer, has the first chapter of her novels on her web-site so you can see if you like them (and also, if you're a fan, get a preview of what is coming.)

The thing is... people have to *look* for a web-site. So something else has to send them there. Even so, I think that having a good web-site is going to get an author a whole lot farther on less effort than sitting all alone at table at your local book store and not signing books.

Celia Hayes said...

I had the website for my books already in place when I finished "The Adelsverein Trilogy" - but I did spiff it up by adding some pictures of some generic Texas scenes, pictures done by the same photographer who did the covers. And I added first chapters of each book of the Trilogy, and links to some historical essays giving background information. It's not a terribly high-maintenance or high-cost website, either... but it is absolutely essential for any writer to have one, these days. Doesn't matter if you are one of those with a contract, and agent and a fat advance, or an indy writer like me. (www.celiahayes.com. BTW.)Anyone who might be interested in your book has to be able to find you easily on the internet. That's just the new paradigm. but a website/domain name/hosting doesn't have to cost anywhere near $3,500+ and it doesn't have to be something you spend a lot of time on, after the initial set-up. I spend far more time adding blog-posts to the other sites what I contribute too, in the name of keeping awareness of my books out there - at Authors Den, or Salon, the True West site, Authonomy, Book Connector, etc. Tis true enough, that the writing of the book is the easy part. It's the marketing that's the chore!