Last week I got an Authorsden page. AuthorsDen is a site where authors can market their books and post articles, fiction, poetry, and blogs.
So why did I get an AuthorsDen account when I'm paying a web designer to make a personal site and I already have a successful blog? Because you can never have too much publicity. AuthorsDen is a community of authors numbering in the thousands. My rather basic site, listing my books and a few news posts, has gotten more than 200 hits in less than a week. People obviously read AuthorsDen.
Plus it's free. Well, the cheap account is free, and that's rather limited. With my bio, seven book listings, and two news announcements I've already used 71% of my space! I'll have to start deleting old announcements pretty soon, and after a couple more years of book publishing I won't have any more room at all! Like most free pages, AuthorsDen offers various levels of paid membership to get more features. Bronze is the cheapest and costs $40 a year. That gets you 2 megs storage capacity as well as a blog, newsletter, and a couple other features. There are three more levels all the way up to platinum, which costs $1,200 and gets you featured on the front page. I bet platinum members get a lot of hits, although I'm not sure how many of these hits turn into sales.
Which brings me to a problem with AuthorsDen. To a great extent it's a promo op for self-publishers. I've talked about the downsides to self-publishing before. Most of these authors don't have an audience, and I'm getting the impression that the site is mostly used by its members. That's not a bad thing, since writers are usually avid readers, but it feels like a bit like a closed group, much like many of the Yahoo discussion groups.
Still, having another platform is worth the effort I put into it. Setting up my site took less than two hours and cost me nothing. I've found a few other pros like Dianna Graveman so it's not all self-pub oblivion, and it helps my SEO. Who knows? Maybe I'll get a few sales too. A little extra push is always a good thing in this game.
Yes, I know this Websites for Writers series is supposed to feature nonwriting sites of use to writers, but the only one I found last week is turning into an article for Gadling. Since they pay me and this blog doesn't, it's ending up there. I love y'all, but business is business!