Have you made it as a writer when someone starts taking out ads on your author name?

Have you made it as a writer when someone starts taking out ads on your author name?

March 2, 2024

Unfortunately, no, it’s just a savvy company and their computer algorithms at work. Various online book retailers (large and small) do this, but I think it’s the first time I’ve seen an Ebay ad with three of my books on it (and priced way above RRP too!).

Here’s how the search result looked:

A screenshot of an Ebay ad featuring three books by Anna Featherstone

It does highlight the importance of staking your space on the internet with your author name though! You really want to be the first website to appear when your name is typed in – and even though advertisers can buy the space above you, you’ll be the very next official site they see.

That’s why I get a little worried when authors say they aren’t going to bother with their own website and are going straight to Substack or some other platform. I get worried because when you go all in on one platform, who’s to say what the future holds for it? Who will own and control it down the track? How might they change their services or raise fees? What if they change the functionality? And how do you migrate and leave when the time comes, when you’ve been training and sending your readers there for years?

Having your own URL and independent website (even if it’s in addition to another platform) guarantees you your own little corner of the online universe. And when people come to your author website, they’re not going to be distracted or tempted by other offers, links, clutter or ads for competitors either – they only see what you curate and put there for them.

And what if you have a common name and the URL is already taken? Add the word ‘author’ or ‘writer’ at the end, or, add in your middle name or come up with another cool work around such as YourNameFictionQueen.

Own your name, own your space. Then when someone starts advertising on it, readers can still easily find you, find the true RRP for your book and all the sellers where they can buy from – including, if you have ecommerce on your site – direct from you!