An author website is an essential tool—in a way, your website is you “live” online.
Your site helps readers know who you are, what you write. It’s a way to establish your brand, connect with readers and tell them about your books. It’s a place for your tribe to gather—so that you can grow that tribe. In other words, it’s the place you invite readers to visit in order to connect with you.
Even if you have an active, engaged following on Twitter or Facebook, these are not your home base. Why? Because you don’t own them.
Think of your website as your kitchen or living room, and outlets like Facebook as the local Starbucks. You could meet someone for coffee out in the community, or you could invite them to your home. While it’s fun to connect at the local coffee shop, you have no control if someone decides to sit next to you with a screaming baby. You aren’t even assured you’ll find a table or comfy chair to sit in. At your home, you can control the environment a bit more.
Mike Hyatt, in his book Platform, says that an effective social media strategy that will help build you platform includes three categories: “a home base, embassies, and outposts.”
Your website (and blog) are your home base. Hyatt defines it as “a digital property that you own and control. It is where your loyal fans gather.”
Embassies, he writes, are, other sites where you have a page, such as Facebook or Twitter. But your posts there should be directing people back toward “home base.”
Finally, outposts are places where people might be mentioning you, such as Google Alerts or HootSuite. Again, these should point toward your website.
But you need an author website so that you have a place to invite your readers, so that they can get to know you, get in touch with you, and invite others to do the same.