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Old 06-08-2012, 01:13 AM   #16
Mike Cooley
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Like many of the other responders I maintain a fiction blog for my work. It is useful for a variety of reasons. I post about writing and music and other things that interest me there. It's a convenient place to post excerpts so I can link to them from twitter or facebook.

I run mine on Wordpress self-hosted on a little Netbook running Linux. It's in my basement next to where I write.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:04 PM   #17
Steven Lake
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Yeah, I've got my own author site and have done lots of sales through it as well. I even design websites for other authors as well. But that's part of my day job (I do IT, Sysadmin and systems development work) and not connected with my actual website or my books. I actually find that by doing sites for others I learn more new and interesting ways to do mine better because others tend to think of numerous things I won't. So in a way it's sort of like having a brain trust, only your paid to be part of it.

Either way, in this modern highly connected digital world, an author site isn't "optional", it's required. It doesn't matter who does it, just so long as it's well designed, works right (ie, no errors) and looks good. It doesn't have to be uber fancy, but it does have to be both practical and functional. The easier it is to navigate, the more hits you'll get and the more potential readers.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:33 PM   #18
frahse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lake View Post
Yeah, I've got my own author site and have done lots of sales through it as well. I even design websites for other authors as well. But that's part of my day job (I do IT, Sysadmin and systems development work) and not connected with my actual website or my books. I actually find that by doing sites for others I learn more new and interesting ways to do mine better because others tend to think of numerous things I won't. So in a way it's sort of like having a brain trust, only your paid to be part of it.

Either way, in this modern highly connected digital world, an author site isn't "optional", it's required. It doesn't matter who does it, just so long as it's well designed, works right (ie, no errors) and looks good. It doesn't have to be uber fancy, but it does have to be both practical and functional. The easier it is to navigate, the more hits you'll get and the more potential readers.
Amen brother. Amen.

To repeat Brother Lake:

"an author site isn't "optional", it's required"
"it does have to be both practical and functional."


If you only start off with your
domain name ($10/year)
a free web host
a book list (all, past, present, to come)
you will be well on your way to being a 21st Century author.

If you don't do that minimum you might as well have resolved to only write with a quill pen because you don't like modern times.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:13 PM   #19
Steven Lake
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Well said, Frahse. I actually took it a step further and developed my own CMS system because I didn't like any of the existing content managers out there. But then again, I do development for a living (among other things) so that's sort of a given. But even if you can't do basic HTML, there are lots of great free sites out there that will get you on your way. One of the generally panned, yet still effective ways to do this is with a blog site. I know a number of authors whose only website is a blog on a public blogging site such as Blogger or something similar. Yeah, it's not much, and might be a little amateurish, but it gets you started. Plus, if you're short on cash, it's a good way to get started as they tend to be free.

Now, for more professionally designed sites, these can range from a few hundred, to something in the five digit category, depending on the developer and the type of site you want. I'd say in general, at least for a professionally designed author website, anything between $600 and $3000 is about right. Above $3000 they're taking you to the cleaners, because a site like that ought to be one step short of a 4 star hotel when it comes to websites. Below $600, unless they're doing you a real favor, is typically either bad quality, or insulting to the developer. (they have to pay the bills too) But anyways, that's my 2c on what to expect on that side of things, which is coming from a guy who does them for a living, so I've pretty much seen it all.
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