To Website or Not. Tis the Question

By Janice Lynn

Copyright © 2004 by Janice Lynn. All rights reserved.

Most published authors would agree that they find their website a useful tool, but what about as an unpublished author, should you have one? This greatly depends upon whom you ask. This article is to review why I believe a website is beneficial regardless of your publishing status.

When I started my website in April of 2003, I considered it as taking that next step toward publication. A way of showing that I am serious as a writer and want to be taken seriously by editors. Does this mean editors aren’t going to take you seriously if you don’t have a website? No, to me, it’s merely being one step ahead of the game. Because no matter how great a website you have, it’s your writing that counts when the bread crumbles.

Okay, it’s over a year later, I’m still unpublished and still have my website going. Was it worth the expense? Most definitely. Why? Because I’ve already established a reader base. I’ve gotten fan mail from people who have one way or another stumbled across my website. It’s a great resource for sharing your writing experiences, such as through the writing journal I keep online. I’ve enjoyed keeping an online record of my progress as an author.

I also think my website was a key factor on helping me to land my agent. Having a website already in place showed that I saw my writing as a business and that I was willing to make the extra effort to be as professional as I could be. She could go to the site and look at where I started and what I’ve done to learn this business without my having to tell her everything in my query-I just had to hook her enough to inspire her to go to the website.

Having a website designed can be very expensive. I opted to pay someone because I’m a computer idiot and even a book on Webdesign for Dummies wouldn’t be of enough help for me. However, I’ve visited many sites that authors have done for themselves that are awesome, informative sites. Many internet providers offer a free personal home page, as well.

Regardless of whether or not you opt to have a website, I strongly advise to go ahead and register your domain. This can be done very inexpensively through various sites. One I hear mentioned repeatedly is GoDaddy, but there are lots of others.

Janice Lynn has completed ten manuscripts in the three years she’s been writing. She is agented by Caren Johnson at the Peter Rubie Agency. Currently, Janice is competing in the 2004 American Title contest. Don’t forget to vote for her at and help her make that transition from unpublished contest judge to published judge. You can learn more about Janice at