In the current world of planet wide Internet access, everyone is told they need an identity, a visible web presence. On many writing websites I have seen this advice to all authors, including those just spreading their wings.
It may not be required, but having a web presence is considered another plus for your chances at getting published. The reasoning is sound, but seems a bit early in the process of being published when it is applied to the new writer. Those authors who have a few published book titles, or those who sponsor public relations events should have a web presence, for the products they offer. One of the benefits to the new author is the practice of producing something which others will see, perhaps read, and comment on. Feedback from those comments is another benefit that could help the new writer, if that comment mechanism has been set up on the website.
In summary, I question the value of a new writer having a webpage (if strictly for writing), as this poses another distraction from what the writer should be doing -- getting back to that first draft or final draft of their novel. A blog, however, can perhaps fulfill an interim need for writing exposure if it's not too time consuming.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 (Revsd May 2009)