Having recently completed the re-vamp of the Bouchercon 2015 website (please check it out!), I’m motivated to make this plea…

Dear Authors:

Yes, my day job is marketing books. When people ask me what I do, I say, “I connect books and readers.” Much of what I do is online, and my goal is always the same: To make it as easy as possible for readers to find books (and authors) whether they’re searching in a store, a library, or online.

Last week, I talked about Mobilegeddon, and the importance of your website being responsive (mobile-friendly). But that’s altogether irrelevant if you don’t have a website.

It’s been said before, but bears repeating: There is no reason—none—for an author to not have a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Heck, it doesn’t even necessarily need to be pretty (although that’s certainly preferable), but to not have one at all? That’s inexcusable.

But I don’t have the money for a website!

Really? My guess, then, is that you don’t know how much a website costs. Let’s break it down…

A URL—an address—costs about $10, and that’s assuming GoDaddy isn’t having a sale on URLs for $3.99 (as they often are).

If you want to go the do-it-yourself route (which I can’t, in good conscience, recommend), you have of options: GoogleBlogger, and WordPress.com are probably the most popular free ones. If you prefer to work from a template and can pay $8-20 per month, Squarespace or Wix might be worth a look.

Or you can employ a professional, someone who knows what they’re doing and can help you with design, implementation, and maintenance. Pricing for this varies dramatically and can be anywhere from $500-$5,000 or more. But the point is that even is your budget is modest, you can have a professional website.

You haven’t convinced me.

Ok, fine. You want to be harder for readers to find? That’s your call. But if you’ve ruled out a website, at least consider having a Facebook page and/or Twitter account.

Because, really…you’ve gone to the trouble of writing a book and getting it published…don’t you want readers to be able to find it?