As I write blog posts for my side project Ebooks From TV, I boggle practically every day at a phenomenon that shocks me. As I try to gather web links for authors, I frequently run across fairly high profile authors with absolutely no web presence that they control themselves. These are authors you have heard of, that write bestsellers and award winning books. The pattern seems to be most often that they are writers with big publishers whose day job is also writing for a big media company. High profile columnists at New York based publications who then write books are frequently in this position.
I think it is now past the time where that is a profoundly bad decision. These authors have whatever sites their publishers and employers put up for them, and as far as the indexed web is concerned that is their identity. Putting up your own site costs $100 a year plus a case of beer for your niece or nephew to set the damn thing up. Your publisher might drop you or you might leave them. You might get laid off from your newspaper or magazine. Do you really want the first page on a Google search for your name to to include no sites that you control? This is not hard work nor an expensive proposition. I know your career has involved you outsourcing such things to publishers. I’d suggest that that you learn to pack your own parachute because if this plane goes down you really don’t want to go down with it.