To go along with my RTB post today, my yay or nay question of the week is about author websites.

On RTB, I wondered if an author wishing to be successful in today’s publishing industry needs to be internet savvy. My follow-up question to that post is to ask readers if they utilize author websites?

I know I use author websites for three reasons: 1) when I find a “new” author, I visit the website to find out about backlist and upcoming books. 2) I visit author websites to figure out what order to read in, if it’s a series and 3) I use author websites as a resource for finding out when the next book is releasing.

I get frustrated and irritated when I discover that an author doesn’t have a website, doesn’t update it or it’s cluttered, messy and hard to navigate. And the websites that are hosted by allowing a bunch of advertisements? Ick-y. In today’s competitive market, you can find hosting for fairly cheap. And if you’re an author, it’s tax deductible. Spend the $$ and pay for at least cheap hosting, rather than cluttering your website even further with advertisements and presenting a rather unprofessional image.

I don’t understand the websites that aren’t updated. I was recently searching for information on an author, and she didn’t appear to have a “real” website and what she did have hadn’t been updated for over a year. And she’d had at least one release in that time. This was a print author. You know, that put me off. It made me think she didn’t really care too much about whether fans of her books were looking for information on back titles or upcoming titles. It smacked to me of a lack of attention to her career and to promotion. And I wondered how her editor and/or publisher felt about that (if they noticed).

So readers, what do you use author websites for and what do you find irritating or frustrating? And what do you think if you find an author doesn’t have a website?

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