I'm a graphic artist and web designer in my off hours (though concentrating more on writing now) and the importance of a writer's website has been raised in conversation more than once at the Absolute Write forums. What should you add? Samples? Flashy pictures? Anything more than a toothy grin and an email address?
Each writer has their own vision of how they'd like to present themselves to the world but ponder this: would you hand an editor a torn piece of paper with your name and number scribbled on the back and hope they'd call? Or present a professional semi-resume of your work that is easy to access?
Things to include in your writer's website:
- Name (duh)
- Contact information: don't make this hard to find, people have very little patience for cute buttons or tiny fonts.
- Samples: up to each author whether or not they'd like to post but it can be very helpful when an editor pops by to see if you're a good fit for their project
- Graphics: keep these to a minimum. Absolutely nothing animated nor flash pages to slow down your load time.
- Keep it clean: use lots of white space to ease the eye. Nothing screams amateur more than a page glutted with excess distractions that take away from your message.
- Links are great but don't lead people away from your site unnecessarily. Keep your personal blog or that of your dog off your professional site. Linking to your work, however, is a great way to show off your talent.
- Domain name. Keep it short, such as yourname.com or yourname.net if possible.
I recently updated my site and it's always up for a good tweaking as my experience grows. Don't neglect the website and it won't bite you in the butt in the future.
Hmmm, now there's a bumper sticker...