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Hold off on queries until you have a website?

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Once again, I see somebody in the know stating that I must have a website before querying, to provide contact info for people searching on my name. This from an article by Chuck Sambuchino, in an article "What To Know Before You Submit: 28 Great Tips from Literary Agents":

"Personally, I absolutely hate it when I search for an author and turn up diddly squat.
Have an online presence, even if that is just a simple website with one single page that has your name, head shot, and email address. Do this even before you are published or in the querying stages."

I am puzzled. Why is the phone and email contact info in my query letters not sufficient?

And who is going to know my name to search on anyway, when I haven't been published yet? I'm working on a website but don't have it up and running yet. I don't want to hold up sending out queries until I have the site up.

Thanks so much,
#1 - February 20, 2017, 01:45 PM
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 11:16 AM by Gatz », children's creativity blog currently in development.

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To quote Somerset Maugham: 'There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
It applies to the query letter as well.

I don't follow such rules that insist You must do this or that. I was querying without a website. It's only when a couple of my editors prodded me to make a website that I finally did, while gnashing my teeth. I'm glad I did but no, you do need a website.

Btw, you might want to delete your address/email to protect your privacy. This is an open board.

Good luck, V.
#2 - February 20, 2017, 02:26 PM
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 04:38 AM by Vijaya »
TEN EASTER EGGS (Cartwheel/Scholastic, 2015)
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I agree with Vijaya that you do not "need" a website, especially before having books published.  Once you have a contract with a publishing date then I'd suggest it's a good idea to put up a website so readers and reviewers can read more about you and contact you.

I also recommend you remove your contact info from your post above.
#3 - February 20, 2017, 03:34 PM
Rebecca Langston-George
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Agree with posters above. The book itself is most important. The query is the second most important thing. The writer's website? Probably in the top five but not top three.
#4 - February 20, 2017, 05:16 PM
Kell Andrews
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THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, October 2, 2018

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I didn't get a website until after I had an agent and a book offer. You have to do what works for you.
#5 - February 20, 2017, 06:13 PM
ROYALLY ENTITLED (inspirational/historical YA) and OOPS-A-DAISY (humorous MG) out now.

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I agree with the other posters. The book is the most important thing here. It has to be the very best book/story you can make it, and then the query needs to sell the idea of that book to the agent/editor. I still believe starting with a straightforward online presence, like Twitter, is the way to go, because it's FREE and easy to set up and use. Since you want to be published, it can mainly be for that, and as professional as possible. I love to follow other writers (we have a thread somewhere on the board), and generally speaking, Blueboarders follow each other back. I also follow editors and agents I think are interesting. I try to remember that I am at "work" when I post or make comments, and am also careful about what (and how much) I retweet.

As for a website, if you are thinking about creating one yourself, then do it. There are ways to do it for very little cost/upkeep, and if you become comfortable with the inner workings of websites, that is always a good thing. I wouldn't plunk down money for a "designer" website now. Depending on the book(s) you will ultimately publish, it will need a makeover and those can be costly if you aren't managing the makeover yourself. But again, it's a good idea to study other websites and imagine/design the sort of pages YOU would like. It seems simple, but it takes time and thought, and the exercise alone is helpful.

As you know, Gatz, there are plenty of authors on this board with websites to study. Also take a look at the "big names" in both adult publishing and children's, and note all the things you like, and the things you don't like. I planned my website by taking five pieces of paper and drawing/planning each page.

Most of all, enjoy the process, and don't worry very much about this. Write that GREAT book and everything else will follow naturally!  :goodluck
#6 - February 21, 2017, 04:36 AM

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