If you’re a published author, soon to be published or even thinking about being published writer, then you should have a website. No one thought the World Wide Web would be used in the capacity it’s being used now. Well, correction, some folks did (smile).
There’s no excuse for NOT having a website. If you’re unsure of how you want your website to look, I suggest surfing the net. Go to www.google.com and enter in a few authors names to get an idea.
If you’re unable to hire a web designer to create your home on the web, then do it yourself.
If creating a website scares you, then halt. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe. If you have yahoo, AOL or any one of the many other internet providers, then you have access to creating a website. Bravenet (http://www.bravehost.com/) and Webs (http://www.webs.com/) offer free or low costing web space with handy tutorials.
As an author, you need to choose a domain name. What is a domain name? It’s an identifier or the information you type in your web browser to pull up a website. For example, if you want to pull up the Shades of Romance website, you will enter the domain www.sormag.com. The most important thing to remember when deciding on a domain name (your new website address) is to choose something that is easy for your current and future readers to remember.
For example, if your name is Jane Doe, then use the domain www.janedoe.com. There will be instances where your name is already taken and you might have to add an initial or some other identifier. Some authors use there book title as their website address. This is fine if you plan on that being the only book you’ll publish or if you can have it forward to your main website (i.e., www.janedoe.com).
Once you purchase your domain name, it’s yours for the allotted time. You can buy it yearly or whatever terms you and the provider set up. In the past, I’ve seen it for as low as $2.95. The price will depend on the web host site you choose.
There are so many sites that offer web services and it’s easy to get lost and frustrated while trying to find the one for you. Here’s a website that I hope will make it easier for you. The page identifies webhosting sites and prices: http://findwebhosting.com/.
Thank goodness there is software out there that doesn’t require you to know HTML. WordPress is one of them. I use it to set up my website at www.sheliagoss.com. The setup might take a little time but once its setup, the updates are a breeze. My host is Powweb but I use WordPress to create and keep my site updated.
What should you include on your web site once you’ve decided on your domain name and web server? At the minimum, make sure the following are included:
- Book Information (Title, price, where to purchase your book, sample chapter, etc)
- How to Contact You (Email or contact sheet)
- Mailing List
- Guest Book
I’ve been doing my own website for quite some time now. If I can do it, you can too. My website is www.sheliagoss.com. Take a look around and check out the headings. I used to have another site for my young adult books but I’m trying to consolidate and make sheliagoss.com a one stop shop
One day I’ll turn over the reign to someone else, but in the meantime, I’m always trying to come up with different looks. What you see today will probably be different six months from now.
Remember, having your own website doesn’t have to cost much, you just have to shop around.
Shelia M. Goss
Shelia M. Goss has over thirteen books in print and numerous of ebooks available. She writes in multiple genres. With unique storylines, her goal is to create “stories with a twist.” For more information, visit her website at www.sheliagoss.com.
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