My opinion is that this is one of the best ways to build up reader rapport as well as provide important information in one (well organized) place. Don't bother if it isn't well organized, easy to use and up to date. It can be a major turnoff if it isn't those things.
It can be nothing more than a listing of your books, in some order, just like the listing that might appear inside your book. The difference is FIRST that it will be up to date and SECOND you can add, and add, and add other interesting stuff over the years
After the main structure is established you can provide a blog or tweets or whatever and this doesn't have to be so neat.
You can start with an everything is free Website or you can spend $10 to $12 dollars a year for your own domain name leading into the free website.
i.e. Spend $10 or less, especially the first year, each year for the domain name, which leads the interested reader into a free website. My first one was with Yahoo. I am not sure they still do it. It was free. They provided simple tools for free.
Now I use 1and1 and pay over a $100 a year just for the hosting and about $10 each for the domain names after the first one which comes with the hosting. I actually have 4 domain names. Well 5, but one I am getting rid of, though I might add 2 more different ones.
I would recommend 1and1 for getting the domain names. They are first rate, up front, and as cheap as anybody without gimmicks. Yes you might get a better deal somewhere the first year, but then it will cost more afterwards and it can be a pain with some of these sites switching the domain over to another web company.
I have been through 6 domain and web hosting companies. 1and1 is a class act.
The important thing is the domain name. It will be yours forever and any changes in web hosting or publishers, or other things will be no problem. Your readers will just go to: (for example)
You can't get lost on the web if you have your own domain name, which you put in everything you publish or write or blog, on your cards, tattooed on your arm, on a yard sign, on the side of your vehicle, on a balloon over your house, wherever.
You establish a Permanent Presence very cheaply. This is a great advantage of the Internet.
Looking back I see Mr Jordan has brought up selling through your website.
Yes that can be done and for example 1and1 can provide the tools for that as well as what I mentioned earlier.
I would suggest first setting up your domain name, then your website (free or paid) where your books are listed along with the places to purchase them.
Then you can sell on your site. Payment is a little trickier than just providing information but the tools are available from the hosting company for you to apply personally or you can pay to have it done.
There is a deal flavor for every taste.
Last edited by frahse; 05-31-2012 at 03:20 PM.