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When to create my website


When is the best time to create my website? At idea inception / first draft / first finished manuscript / publishing time? Any thoughts / advice welcome, thanks in advance.

Ned Marcus

I'm not sure there's a real answer to this. Different people have different thoughts. Personally, I'd set one up after finishing the ms but before publishing. A lot depends on you. I once met (online) a writer who created a social media following talking about his book, but he never wrote it. Eventually people just abandoned him. I don't think he ever wrote the book. I'm not suggesting this is you, I just mean that there's a danger of putting too much energy into the promotional side before finishing the actual book.

It is a good idea to have a website eventually though.


Myth Weaver
Watch as I pretend to know...

The website is just part of the marketing. For me, I wanted the website up a little prior to putting out book one. So, in that period where book is finished, and I am waiting for editing and cover design, it seemed a good time to get a simple website up. Cause when I put in the book, come to my website and look for upcoming stuff, there needs to be a page they can actually go to. That page does not have to be special, but ought to contain a place to signup for emails and newsletters.

If the marketing plan is bigger than that...you want months of buildup, and pre-release signups, and a track record of bog posts, then you have to put it up sooner.


toujours gai, archie
There are at least two levels to the answer. When to create the website, and when to advertise its existence.

The best time to create the website is right now. That's because you're going to make mistakes. You're going to change your mind on a variety of matters, big and small. Moreover, it takes time to create content; you aren't going to do it all in one day. So, the sooner you start, the sooner you can start fixing what you started.

Sort of like writing.

When is the best time to publish and publicize the website? Again, it's a bit like writing. You don't want to publish (here, =publicize) before it's presentable. You don't want to embarrass yourself. You'll want sufficient content, reliable functionality.

Before any of this, however, you want to know why you are doing this. Pmmg has suggested that marketing one's books is the important part. And so it is, for many people. There are at least two other aspects I can think of. One is very modest: you want a website because that's better than not having one. The other is more ambitious: you want a website to be a kind of world reference, a place where you can post background articles, images, maps, personal stuff--whatever doesn't make it into the books.

You will note these aspects are not mutually exclusive and can be complementary. Note, too, that you can change your mind and add or lessen the purpose and scope of the website.

Once you know that, even if temporarily, you can then look into metrics. If all you want is just a token presence, which requires little more than a page or two, then there's little point in metrics at all, although if your web host provides the tool for free, might as well take advantage of it. OTOH, if you are going to use your website to sell direct, then you absolutely need a way to measure traffic, page by page.

This is a topic that can go into quite a bit of detail, on both the technical and the marketing aspects.


I think it's never too early to set up a website.

And think about what value the website can offer to potential readers of your book. Be creative. Play and experiment with your website. Look for the angle that nobody else is using on their author/story websites to mark yours as different and interesting.

Initially, does your website even have to be about your book?

If it is, it might be an idea to keep personal author details to a minimum. Unless you're already established, visitors won't know who you are, and won't care either. They're more interested in how you can entertain them.

Perhaps write the website content with your author voice.

And you can always play around with your site while in development mode which keeps it private.

Wordpress.org is a good website builder.

There are numerous AI website builders currently popping up, too, which can provide good ideas.

Also, consider how your website might look to potential agents and publishers.

Writing, especially rewriting, can get monotonous, and playing around with marketing ideas on a website can be a great way to release creative energy and find creative fulfillment.


When is the best time to create my website? At idea inception / first draft / first finished manuscript / publishing time? Any thoughts / advice welcome, thanks in advance.
When you have enough content for the website to keep people interested beyond just one or two posts. Basically, you need to have 1) content that is 2) interesting enough to promote shares online and 3) extensive enough that people will stay on your website. And then time to get people interested in it before the "big reveal" that you are publishing a book... you might share writing progress to get people interested in the book, though I haven't done that yet (my past few years have been busy as hell so my writing progress was basically zero).
I would agree with Alderion and say that in order to create a website you need to have content to fill it, other than just an author bio, what do you have to offer?

A blog is an entire thing in itself and takes a lot of work, if you want it to be successful that is. Years ago I read loads of blogs because they were the most popular thing, and that was before Instagram and other social media basically killed the blogging industry. The only blogs that survive today are either old school ones that have been running for years, or dedicated niche ones that are regularly updated and provide AMAZING content for readers.

Most author websites are pretty much a landing page with their published books and where to buy them, and a link to their bio. So with that being said, what content would you put on your website now before you’re finished a manuscript? Do you write articles? Do you wish to share your thoughts on the writing industry or your own writing progress?

Be aware also that publishers (should you go down that route) will check out all your socials and website.