Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the day “January 25, 2009”

The Author’s Website

With Oilspill dotcom safely in the hands of my publisher, I need to turn my attention to marketing and creating a wide Internet presence. Clearly, a website that promotes my books and me as an author, is the first task.

Many moons ago, I went through a time of building websites for fun – remember What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)? – and had a lot of fun doing them. None of them exist anymore and I should probably be relieved. They were philosophical, world changing, and political. I can’t remember much about them.

This time it’s different. An author’s website sets his persona. S/he either sees her/himself as a professional or s/he doesn’t – and you can tell by their website.

I’ve spent a couple of evenings perusing through authors web pages. Some are impressive: others are not. The clear dilemma: do I pass it on to a professional and pay from my limited financial resources budgeted, or do I try and do-it-myself?

The first people of good advice that I received was to ensure that whatever is created, I will be able to enter and easily update by myself – add reviews (the good ones!), interviews, announcements of awards garnered (let me enjoy myself for a moment – it’s cold, gray and raining right now!).

Thankfully there seems to be some middle ground. I have found a couple of interesting companies that cater for authors:
Web for Authors (http://www.webforauthors.com),
The Author’s Guild (http://www.authorsguild.net/),
and Authors Tree (http://authortree.com/)

I have a good resource book that I want to share with you: The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform – Stephanie Chandler. At first glance Chandler’s book seems very no nonsense and I suspect that it will be well worn before it begins to gather dust on my bookshelf.

Finally, I would like to share with you some of the author’s websites that have most impressed me so far in terms of design and content. By this I mean sites that I have gleaned ideas from:

Michelle Gagnon http://www.michellegagnon.com/
Robert Dugoni http://www.robertdugoni.com/
Michelle Richmond http://michellerichmond.com/

And of course, one of my heroes …

John Grisham http://www.jgrisham.com/

Let me know what you think of these sites, any advice you might have, and any novel ideas for content on the site. I do need help.

Good Writing,

Alon

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