The reason this post isn't titled "3 Things Every Author Website Needs" is because I'm not talking about authors, who are people that have professionally published and sold their creative work – I'm talking about literary magazine writers, who don't always get paid for publishing something.
Perhaps they get a one-time contributor payment, an honorarium or just a publishing credit. These are writers who haven't necessarily published a book-length piece of work, and who perhaps don't even want to write novels.
I'm talking about those good old fashioned writers who primarily write and publish short form prose and poetry in lit mags and journals. They're not in it for the money – they're in it for the craft and art form.
That's not to say book authors can't also be in it for the craft and art form, because they certainly can!
But I must distinguish between the two - authors and literary writers - otherwise this post won't make much sense.
If you're a literary writer who has a lot of publication credits or is starting to gain some, you might want to consider having a website for your writing portfolio.
Because having a website is a great way to showcase yourself as a writer, and it allows people to easily find your work. Plus, every time you're published in a lit mag, that mag will likely share your website with their audience, or at least include it in your bio on their website.
All of this could lead to future publication opportunities or invitations to read at events and become more deeply involved in the writing community and thus, become more and more well known as a literary writer.
And there's only 3 things your website really requires:
An about page to share more about yourself, both as a person and as a writer.
A page with your publication history that has links to where people can buy print issues or anthologies that you're published in, or links to places where people can read your work online, if it was an online publication.
A way for people to get in touch with you. This is as simple as having a contact page with a contact form in it.
That's it! No need to have a blog, a newsletter, or keep up the website other than updating the publication page.
This is why I distinguish between literary writers and authors – because I would say that an author website needs more than the 3 things above.
An author website is usually showcasing one or more books for sale by the author, so having a blog, active social media accounts and/or a newsletter to keep readers and fans up to date on their books is going to be helpful when trying to promote and sell copies.
It's a hard fact in the writing world that a lot of authors end up having to do their own marketing and promotions, but I don't think that's as relevant for literary writers! Lit writers aren't really trying to promote or sell a product like a book or a series. They aren't after book sales; they're after publishing credits, generally speaking.
A lot of this can be also be said for freelance writers who need a place to showcase the previous work they've done.
I love helping writers of all kinds build a website that is simple, sleek, and true to them as an artist. And they don't need to break the bank in order to do it! There are some fairly inexpensive website plans out there for keeping your website published online.
Do you have a website for your writing portfolio? Do you have an author website?
If you want a consultation on websites, send me a message!