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Thread: Websites

  1. #11
    If you're just starting out, WordPress is your best option until you start earning revenue from your work. I do use Wix, and I pay monthly for it, but then I like a lot of their features: sliding gallery's (great for covers) imbedded audio (great for audio sample), video, their own stock photo gallery, newsletter option, subscription to newsletter functions etc. It's just got a lot to offer and it's pretty easy to use.

    I'd choose your style carefully, (more stylish and minimal) and think beyond normal-sighted people. Colours like blue fonts are hard to read for some people etc, don't go for any backgrounds that could lose the font and make people strain to see.

    Pages an author needs on their site are:

    1 Home page: keep it brief. Maybe an image of your latest release and your name. For people with limited net usage, less works better for them, and you don't want to risk losing people because of loading time and bombarding them with a mass of images and data.
    2 About Me page. Again, keep it simple: your bio and an image: maybe your photo or logo?
    3 Pages for your different works. E.g., I have a page for my novels, one novella, another for short stories. I also have a charity work page. You can then add each novel under 'novels' for each work you have out and etc.
    4 Reviewers contact page (this states what format you have available for review etc, how reviewers can get in touch with you).
    5 Contact page for readers (Wix has some lovely templates for contact me pages!)
    6 Award Shelf (speaks for itself)
    7 Swag Shelf (great for your merchandise!)
    8 Disclaimer

    If you're setting that up, for your home page I'd recommend a social bar. Wix does these, I'm not sure if WordPress does, but it allows you to add a complete bar of social outlets via icons. E.g., with Amazon, you distribute through Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Germany, France, India etc then you have Goodreads, iTunes, Audible, Facebook, Gmail, and you add all these to the social bar so that readers can instantly either follow your buy links, or they can find you on Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads etc. If you're not sure what a social bar here, there's one here on my Wix website.

    Websites are vital for an author. Yes, you have Facebook and other social sites, but this is your own personal space, and you a place to reach core readers: those who want to sign up for your newsletter and receive mail from you. It's also a place to list your work, your credentials, your awards, and not have it bogged down by any other post or lost to the chaos of Facebook etc.

    Do they work? Yes. I've a got a good subscriber list, and reviewers and readers get in touch regularly via the contact pages.

  2. #12
    Media Manager sigmadog's Avatar
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    Also, make sure to include an animated spinning logo that's on fire. Very retro and everyone will know you're hip.


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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadog View Post
    Also, make sure to include an animated spinning logo that's on fire. Very retro and everyone will know you're hip.
    Might take too long loading.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadog View Post
    Also, make sure to include an animated spinning logo that's on fire. Very retro and everyone will know you're hip.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    Might take too long loading.
    Even more retro then. Ah, the good old days.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    Even more retro then. Ah, the good old days.
    Smoke signals and pigeon mail works faster at times. That and you don't have to blush when someone says "You got a dongle?"

  6. #16
    I had websites for my craft work for maybe 30 years I guess. Started out with DIY and static html and gave up crossword puzzles because I liked working it better. Moved to Wordpress but never really cared enough to learn enough. I did not find it easy to do what I wanted without pretty serious study. Gave up all my business internet this spring, we're mostly retired and didn't need the hassle. We always looked at the website as a sophisticated business card. If WIX or something like that is really easier to manage, I wouldn't blink at $20 a month. For my money, unless you have a vision, little else is as much drudgery as website maintenance. I agree you ought to get something though.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  7. #17
    A piece of advice, only because I speak from painful experience: Do not deal with GoDaddy. They will spam you, harass you with unending phone calls, and just generally be a massive pain in the ass. I know they can't possibly be the only game in town. Caveat emptor, and all that jazz.
    Her: I love my computer! All of my friends are in there!
    Me: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about my freezer...
    Her: What?
    Me: What?

  8. #18
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    I'm on WordPress. I have found it easy to use & I really enjoy the nifty metrics that track how many visitors a day I get. Or it would if I'd post anything on it. Frequent updating seems to keep it more relevant to people searching for your content.

    Probably the biggest reason I'm not updating it is that I'm not happy with the theme. Apparently, in the free version, once you pick a theme, you're stuck with that theme. I wanted simple & minimalistic but I got font emphasis I don't like & an annoying picture I can't get rid of. (I liked it when I picked it out, like, 4 years ago?)

    My solution, it seems, is to upgrade. I'm hoping that when I do, I can redesign it the way I like and replace the theme. (I really like my URL & site name, so I don't want to give it up & start over.)

    Building an online presence & platform is really important. The articles I've read recommend doing so well before you submit for publication, which could be why your publishers keep asking for your online info. Some of my professors have commented that online presence is almost a necessity for academic publishing, which pretty much drowns my hopes. (I am terrible at blogging. I don't read blogs in the first place and write very little online except on our WF.)

    From what I've read (clearly, not first-hand experience), your platform will become your frontline marketing tool when you go to promote your work. This may include keeping an email list of interested customers waiting for your latest release, as well as other happy nonsense. Personally, I like signed books. One author's website I visited had a link to order signed books and, as a potential customer, I thought that was a nice touch.

    Come to think of it, when I do find an author I like, I will drop by their website to see what else they've written and to find out when their next release is scheduled to come out.

    Hope this helps.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Amnesiac View Post
    A piece of advice, only because I speak from painful experience: Do not deal with GoDaddy. They will spam you, harass you with unending phone calls, and just generally be a massive pain in the ass. I know they can't possibly be the only game in town. Caveat emptor, and all that jazz.
    To be honest, I try to never do business with people who refer to themselves as 'Daddy'.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  10. #20
    Well, there's that. LMAO!
    Her: I love my computer! All of my friends are in there!
    Me: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about my freezer...
    Her: What?
    Me: What?

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