All you authors out there, we need to have a talk. Sit down.
Tell me, if someone were to Google your name, or the name you write under, right now, would they be able to find you? Would your website come up on the first page of hits? Do you even have a website? No, I am not talking about your LJ, I am talking about a website. A place where people can find out where you’ve been published, what is coming up, maybe a little bit about you? No? No, no, no on all counts?
Then you FAIL, author.
Look, I understand that not everyone is all about being all up in the internet and revealing their whole lives all the time. I really get that. However, if you plan to sell some stories and make a name for yourself, you need to be out there a little bit. You need to have some kind of web presence, even if it’s just a very simple group of pages that list your published works and maybe your favorite soup recipe. There needs to be a way for people who enjoy your work to keep up with you and maybe read more of your stories. You need to have a presence on the damn internet.
And no, LiveJournal is not enough. Because LiveJournal or any other social networking site — Facebook, MySpace, whatever — is generally only useful to those already on it. People who are just on the internet, or just looking for some casual information, or just looking to read more by you, are not interested in your LJ. Not that they aren’t interested in journals or blogs, but they want something that feels open, inviting, and not like they have to have a password or be a part of a community.
So, I will say it again: Get a website. Seriously. If you have sold one story or five or however many, you need a website.
I just spent several minutes trying to track down the contact info for about 7 authors and 5 of them did not have a website or just had an LJ. A lot of them had distinctive names, yet show up no where on Google. No No, no, a thousand times no.
Go get one now. (Or find someone willing to make you one. I know several people who charge reasonable rates.)