Well, I never left, but my website did, and it’s back now. I put it into maintenance mode about a year ago and then never had the time to finish the revamp. When an agent said to me that she’d wanted to talk to me but couldn’t figure out how to reach me, I knew I had to get moving.
When I originally put the website into maintenance mode, I thought it would be for just a week. I also didn’t think it mattered that much. My old editing clients had my email address, and I wasn’t taking on new clients at the moment.
As a writer, I’d been getting mixed messages. One camp felt that an online presence and platform were vital even before publication. Another camp said that if you’re not yet published, forget about everything but writing and getting that first book done. Listening to the second camp suited my purposes at the time.
Then that agent found me. She actually tweeted me. “Thank goodness you have a Twitter account,” she said. “Thank goodness I have a Twitter account,” I thought. Nothing came of that contact, but I did begin tinkering with the website again.
So, what have I learned this past year? If you’re not yet published, focus on your writing, but don’t ignore having some way for agents and editors to reach you. A website is wonderful if you can manage it. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; one page is sufficient. Check out the websites of other not-yet-published writers to see what they’re doing.
If you’re not ready for a website, open a Facebook or Google Plus account. Start blogging, either alone or with a group. Join Twitter.
Then ask your friends to look for you online. Can they find you without too much trouble? If yes, you’re set. If not, try again.
But don’t stop working on your book! That’s still the priority. Especially since now you’ll need content. . . .