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

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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