In just one week, the Golden Heart® calls go out. For sixty or so authors, lives will change. I can attest to that. I lived that dream last year. Over the course of four months, I went from un-agented to sold.
If you get that call next week, you want to have everything in place to take advantage of the opportunity. This includes your online presence.
Why? Because if you get that call (and even if you don’t), agents are going to Google your name. Not all of them will, but last year, I had a few agents contact me through my website and invite me to submit. When you query, or when an agent requests your pages, he or she will check out your online presence. This is part of your platform. They want to see that you have the tools in place for when you get that book deal. They want to see you active on social media so you’ll be ready to promote when the time comes.
I am not by any means saying you have to shell out for a domain name, a web host and a designer if you’re still unpublished. There are a lot of free options out there, such as WordPress.com, Blogspot, Blogger, Tumblr, you name it. You can start there,with a minimum of time and effort.
Bottom line: you need someplace where you talk about your writing. At the very least you want titles and book blurbs so that any agent who comes stalking might easily get a feel for your writing.
Then you need a means of contact. Make it easy for them. If they’re coming to look for you, they want you. They’re hungry. Have a contact form in place.
You want the presence, though, because it could turn into another means of avoiding the slushpile. Now that it’s spring, I think we can all agree we’ve seen enough slush for a while.
Unless you’re talking slushies. I just may have to take you up on that.