Your own website?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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shadow
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Your own website?

Post by shadow » December 8th, 2009, 3:23 pm

What do you guys think of having your website for yourself as an author? Does anybody have experience with that? I know how to build websites and all but is there a reason to have on if you are unagented and in the process of querying? What do you guys think? How many of you do have one?
Last edited by shadow on December 8th, 2009, 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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spinneo
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Re: Your own website?

Post by spinneo » December 8th, 2009, 3:37 pm

I would only do this if the book had a specific niche market, and the site can add to your narrative. For example, if you wrote a knitting mystery, it would be fun to have a page for the main character's favorite yarns or patterns. If the website info adds to the story, perhaps your future agent or editor would like to fully understand the marketing angles available to you.

Otherwise, stand alone novel websites which simply repeat your pitch language are a little bit lonely and desperate.

S.

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shadow
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Re: Your own website?

Post by shadow » December 8th, 2009, 3:44 pm

Sorry, I guess I made a mistake in what I said. I didn't only mean per novel but for the author.
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lovelylj
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Re: Your own website?

Post by lovelylj » December 8th, 2009, 4:01 pm

I run a web site for my father and the only reason why I created a web site for him is for (exposure) we don't have a lit agent (yet) but he has a few things that he's written and the internet is the way that we get most, if not all of his readers. He's new so he has one novel, and a few short stories which are in e-book format.

So rather than make a web site for each and everything he's done I just made the one web site for all of his works.

I think that a web site is always a good idea (but I'm not an expert) but from my point of view, when we go to book fairs, festivals and conventions we get just as many questions about himself as much as his book. I think readers like knowing about the author and are curious about the person who wrote the story.

It kinda irritates me when I read things by anonymous, and I spend more time thinking why this person is anonymous over the actual story or poem.

If you don't want to put out the cash for a web site then start blog - free.

He does get letters from time to time from people who've read his novel and they've been able to reach him because of the web site. I think that the more accesible an author is the more sales.
Lauren A. Johnson
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kristi
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Re: Your own website?

Post by kristi » December 8th, 2009, 4:30 pm

I'm not at the point yet where I need my own website - but what I did do was buy my domain name. This way when I'm ready to start the website (ie. I find a fabulous agent who sells my books to a fabulous publisher), I won't have to worry about the domain name being taken. Just an idea. :)

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ElisabethMoore
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Re: Your own website?

Post by ElisabethMoore » December 8th, 2009, 4:43 pm

kristi wrote:I'm not at the point yet where I need my own website - but what I did do was buy my domain name. This way when I'm ready to start the website (ie. I find a fabulous agent who sells my books to a fabulous publisher), I won't have to worry about the domain name being taken. Just an idea. :)
I bought my domain name and then put my blog on it. I can move things around later if (when?) I have a need for a full website. But for now, I have the domain reserved, so I may as well keep my blog there. It was very easy to do the whole thing through blogger, which registered my domain through GoDaddy and migrated my blog there for me with a few clicks.

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Re: Your own website?

Post by casnow » December 8th, 2009, 5:06 pm

I agree with Elizabeth, that the important thing is to get the domain name that you want. Get it and lock it and every variation of it locked up (you can buy them for about $10 and hold them for about $2/year after that). Even if you don't want to get one you have to pay for, go ahead and get a blogspot version and lock up your name.
The reason I say this is because once someone gets your name they can use it for whatever they want and then try to charge you a ton of money to get it back. (when I type my name in as a website, CamSnow i get redirected to a raunchy porn site, b/c it is a play on the misspelling of CamShow for all those voyeuristic pervs... i was told I could buy my name back for a few thousand dollars).

Also, even if you're not famous now, you could be in the future, and there is something to be said about controlling your own web page.

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: Your own website?

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » December 8th, 2009, 5:13 pm

I have two:

http://www.loreleiarmstrong.com

for my novel, and

http://www.kullervo.com

about screenwriting, and

http://loreleiarmstrong.blogspot.com/

a blog.

With a Mac and iWeb, websites are easy. At least reserve a desirable domain name for yourself. That's not expensive. I use GoDaddy. And I use Mecca Hosting for the sites. Cheap! I have more trouble with Blogger than I do with either website.

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Mira
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Re: Your own website?

Post by Mira » December 8th, 2009, 11:47 pm

This is really interesting. I didn't know anything about purchasing a domain. I'll have to do more research.

Thanks!

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SmurfHead
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Re: Your own website?

Post by SmurfHead » December 8th, 2009, 11:56 pm

I plan on buying a domain and building a website just before I start querying. Frankly, I'm not sure if it'll make a huge difference, but it's certainly a good idea to reserve your own name, right?

I remember Nathan critiqued a query on the blog (I can't find the post... grr...) where he mentioned being pleased that the writer had a website already. Even if it's just a domain that routes to your blog, I think having one's own website shows some initiative when it comes to self-promotion.

At least, I hope so... :)
"Mind-bottling, isn't it? ...You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?"

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Ryan
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Re: Your own website?

Post by Ryan » December 9th, 2009, 1:38 am

There is a book called Get Known Before the Book Deal that details building your "Platform" before landing a book deal. The book is up to date and has some great information. I think it makes sense to start having some web presence. If you are serious then definitely get your own domain name. She recommends something simple just like your name. Even setting up a free blog allows readers to have easy access to your material. If you do set up a free blog just to get started don't get too "cool" with the name like I did. I wish I had simply set it up with my name but the thought of uploading everything again and changing everything now is too much to handle. You have an advantage in having the knowledge to design and build your own site.
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
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Ryan
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Re: Your own website?

Post by Ryan » December 9th, 2009, 2:53 am

I bought my domain name and then put my blog on it.
Brilliant! That's what I need to do. Why didn't I think of that?
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/

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marilyn peake
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Re: Your own website?

Post by marilyn peake » December 9th, 2009, 4:25 am

I've had a website for years and find it extremely valuable. I get something like 10,000 visits to it per month, even though I haven't done any book promotion for a while. I have several domain names: one for my own name, and several for the names of my middle grade fantasy adventure novels. Right now, I own the following domain names which all lead to the same website:

http://www.marilynpeake.com

http://www.thefishermansson.com

http://www.fishermansson.com

http://www.thecityofthegoldensun.com

http://www.cityofthegoldensun.com

http://www.returnofthegoldenage.com
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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pabrown
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Re: Your own website?

Post by pabrown » December 9th, 2009, 9:10 am

I set up a web site long before I was published. If it's something you can do on your own, why not? I built my own and over the years it's moved from being a personal site with more stuff about me, to a business oriented site where I list all my books, links to things of writing interest, favorite authors and some upcoming books. I'm still not agented, but that's not going to stop me from promoting myself or my books.

But definitely, as soon as you can, register your domain. I waited on that, and since I have a very common name, I lost out on getting the .com domain I wanted, so it's best not to put that off.
GK Parker
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