Yes, You Need an Author Website—Even If You’re Unpublished

Celeste Davidson
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Try This - Jan 31, 2023

Our new easy-to-build and fully customizable author website is launching soon!

Do I really need an author website?
The answer is yes!
Even if you've yet to publish your first book—maybe even especially so!—you should have your own site. For writers in 2023, it’s a necessity.
An author website is more than an item to check off your to-do list. It’s a central hub for your professional endeavors: a place readers will always know they can find you. It’s a means to establish your credibility, build your platform and promote your work.
Whether traditionally published, self-published or not yet published, whether you write fiction or non-fiction, novels, short stories, poetry or anything else: you need an author website. It's fundamental to your success.
Social Media ≠ An Author Site
I know. You're thinking, “I’m on social media. That’s enough, right?”
Let’s say you garner a robust following on Instagram…and nowhere else. What happens when Instagram becomes less relevant and users begin flocking to a different app? There goes your following. You’ll have to start from scratch on a new platform.
Or what about when a new algorithm severely limits the visibility of your posts overnight? While your page may receive traffic today, there’s no telling whether that will continue tomorrow.
The bottom line is, with social media you’re not the one in charge. You’re subject to the whims of a multi-billion-dollar company, and the ever-fluctuating popularity of different platforms. So, while social media is a great tool, it is no replacement for a professional author website under your control.
Now that we’ve discussed why you need an author website, let’s move on to the matter of when. One common mistake writers make is waiting until after they’ve published a book, or right before, to develop a site. I implore you: don’t wait!
Here are three reasons even unpublished writers should create a website.
1. Improve Your Searchability
Ideally, when people search your name, your website comes up first, not your personal social media pages or a random news article about someone who happens to share your name. The last thing you want is for someone to have to dig through a dozen results to find you. Author Annik LaFarge says:
To be the first result that pops up in a Google search is reason enough to have a website. This visibility gives you the opportunity to control your message and to craft the experience that you want that person who is interested in your work—that person who has taken the time to Google you—to see.
There are many factors that go into the mysterious Google search algorithm, but an important one is the age of your site. Simply put, Google favors websites that are older, rewarding them by ranking them higher on a results page. It makes sense if you think about it. Wouldn’t you consider a website that’s a year old more credible than one that just went up last night?
By creating a website now, you’re getting a head start on cultivating a positive online reputation and setting yourself up for improved search-ability in the future. The sooner you set up your website, the more time will accrue before you make your authorial debut, and the easier it will be for readers to find it.
2. Start Building Your Platform
There’s no rule that says you have to publish your first book before you start building your platform. Your future readers are out there on the internet right now, so you should be too.
If you’ve had any other work published, like a short story, a poem, a personal essay, etc., you can link to them on your website. You can even blog about your creative process. It’s all about making yourself known and generating interest in yourself and your writing.
When you have a website, you can start building an email list to capture interested readers. Then, you have a pool of potential readers that you can grow and get excited about your debut.
Plus, for those who are hoping to land an agent, a website can demonstrate how serious you are. If you manage to build up a following, all the better! It will show that you already have engagement with your work.
3. Boost Your Confidence

“A website is not just a self-promotion machine. It's a self-invention machine.” — Austin Kleon

Publishability Index Img
Some people feel they haven’t earned the right to call themselves a writer until they are published. Well, I’m here to say, if you write you are a writer! It’s as simple as that. Any time you catch yourself mired in self-doubt, your website can be a powerful reminder of your writing identity, and it’s only a click away.
An author website can also be a strong motivator. When you pull up your page, you'll be able to envision where images of your book covers will go, and how great they'll look. Your website is a visual manifestation of everything you are working towards, and how much effort you’ve invested already. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to be able to see your success both your mind's eye, and on your nascent author website. You know the old saying: "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." A sage piece of advice, that!
We’ve covered the why and the when of author sites, but what about the how? Creating a website from scratch can be time-consuming—not to mention costly. But not if you create yours with Bardsy.
We've been busy bees working on a brand-new author site! Designed just for writers, it’s easy to use and fully customizable, with dedicated space for everything imaginable. I can’t wait to show it to you. We’ll be launching it soon!


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