Authors: 5 Steps to Building Your Own (Professional-Grade) Website

Authors: 5 Steps to Building Your Own (Professional-Grade) Website

Some may say simple writers may not be able to build their own website, and have it look professional-grade. But I disagree. I think if you can structure a 80 – 100,000 word novel to lure a reader through a story to page 380, and you can bake a cake from a box, then you can build your own beautiful author website. It’s all about making informed choices, asking questions, watching tutorials, and knowing what sort of look you want to have to the Web World.   It’s 2011, e-book sales are climbing steadily, and the world increasingly looks to the Web for information, links, and ways to form virtual relationships. If you’re an author, you know you need a website, an inviting home on the web. It’s imperitive. But where do you start (that doesn’t involve selling your car, your dog, your yacht, and your kitchen sink to cover the initial website fees)? That’s where, since I’ve just gone through this process, I’d like to help. Many web sites are free, like Blogger.com, Typepad, and WordPress.com, Facebook, Tumblr and more. But the drawback is that they also look and act free, and their sites have your content. On the other side of the spectrum, professionally-done websites can cost upwards of $10000 dollars per year to create, run, and maintain (see this testament by publishing house Chairman and author, Michael Hyatt). And while there are more options than ever, I do believe there is a middle ground — an option that doesn’t involve investing huge chunks of money into the process. But: first, a disclaimer: I’m not a professional...

The Publicity Dilemma

Some days I admit to being a “gearhead” (the result of my Mechanical engineering degree). Most days, I love to get my technology fix (again, “gearhead”). For almost a year, I’ve walked around in awe at the sleek and elegant mobile device I’ve carried in my hand to connect to the world– my iPhone. Like almost every review I’ve ever read on the supersmart device, I love my iPhone, too. But while I could go on and on about how I love the apps and the web Safari and the email access and everything else I seemingly need in my life technology-wise, I want to point to something else new and technology-related in my world … being an author and facing the new world of the internet and the resulting publicity dilemma. Over the past year, it has been interesting to watch and listen to the buzz flying around the publishing industry about books and the shift toward the digital revolution (or so I’d like to call it). The music industry has been walking through a world of quicksand in their rapid shift toward digital, battling everything from copyrighting to piracy to royalties. Meanwhile, the book publishing world has been standing by on their stacks of books and pages and words in print hoping to survive on the physical side of publishing words– on paper, old-style– and not get sucked into the quicksand of digital media, too. But, the inevitable has been happening at an accelerating pace, and the book (and newspaper, and magazine) world has been pulled into the digital vortex, too. Not only do e-readers and digital...