Working on a Dedicated Site

As much as I like WordPress.com, it has some limitations (or some steep costs to remove them) so I am working on my own site.  In the interim, I’ll leave this as it is and I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on a site.

Thanks!

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11 thoughts on “Working on a Dedicated Site

  1. I hope you let us know your decisions and decision-process.

    I have a site – I bought the name years ago, and someone supposedly installed the software for me (for free, so I’m not complaining), but when I was about to publish, I could not get the site to work OR update, to hastily created a blog just for the books – on WordPress.

    I have to get to that one of these days, so I’ll be listening to what people like you are saying (and hoping I can steal their solutions!).

    Best of luck with the books.

    Alicia

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  2. Hi Alicia–and thanks for the well wishes.

    I’m almost embarrassed you found this site and I almost reset it yesterday. Still, something is better than nothing at this point.

    I set up WordPress for pretty much the same reason: I had a table at an upcoming convention and needed something quickly. This was it.

    I haven’t gotten a good blogging habit yet so I am working on what I want to do with a site in my head still.

    I did web design for about ten years back when I could code plain old HTML by hand and didn’t need scripts and tables and templates. I also did some Flash web design but Steve Jobs single-handedly struck Flash a death blow and it isn’t a good option now. All those skills, lost; like tears in rain. ; )

    I’m a lot out of practice now and HTML 5 is a whole new beast. The good news is, a lot of helper programs are in development as we speak. Unfortunately, so is HTML-5 and little of it is anywhere near a final development state. So it’s going to be a cobbled mess for awhile until it gets mature and the kinks are worked out (think a few years).

    WordPress with versatility, ease of use and webmaster features is hands down the beginner’s choice and for authors works pretty well. As a person who likes to build a site with custom functions though, it’s less than I’d like.

    Right now though, the writing is getting the priority. I’m into a novella or long, short story and when it is edited and done I’ll return to a site concept again.

    If you need any specific tips or help in the meanwhile, feel free to ask.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shall, thanks.

      You should leave this up with an informational post and a Follow button until you have the replacement working. People do follow, and do bookmark sites for later. You don’t want to not have a mailing list (they say). Mine is still very personal and small – MailChimp wanted a real address, and I’m not ready to hand that out, and I am too cheap to rent a box when no one is going to send anything to it.

      Me, I’m into writing Book 2 (I’m an extreme plotter – I use Dramatica). I have to get it working right, since it’s the middle book in a trilogy, before I start revising the very rough draft.

      Sales of the first book are going predictably slowly, especially since I have no intention of doing the kind of marketing we’re ‘supposed’ to do, because I can’t. When the third book is finished (at least two years from now, possibly more), I’ll have 1) a complete story, and 2) something to work with, marketing-wise.

      It’s going well (hope you don’t mind me chatting) – I have a review from a Top 1000 Amazon reviewer an a couple of other good ones – 6 total – for Pride’s Children: PURGATORY. People are funny. they don’t think it’s their kind of book – and then they email me that they love it – but they don’t tell anyone! I think they’re trying to keep me a secret.

      So, keep writing – say hi occasionally – and I’ll see your intelligent comments over at TPV.

      Alicia

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  3. Sounds interesting and I’ll go check out your book during the day tomorrow. having multiple books available is the best foundation (from what I can see) but that requires having them all written. ; ) Kudos on having some finished work out there already.

    I took a little break today and posted a bit. I’ll have to try to do it more often.

    I had only heard of Dramatica and knew nothing about it until just now. It looks really interesting.

    It’s ironic: I have a background in advertising sales and marketing and the first thing I am swamped with advice-wise as a writer is “sell and market!”. I accept the necessity of some of this but I will write before I market. Marketing is surely not the reason I turned to writing.

    Sigh.

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  4. With your ‘background in advertising sales and marketing,’ I would love to pick your brain on how to market the books that are really different.

    Every bit of advice I read doesn’t apply to me. I don’t write genre (not right now, though I’ve dabbled in mysteries and SF), so genre-specific constraints and venues aren’t open to me. PC is what used to be called commercial fiction – fiction intended for a broad audience of literate (not literary) adults. I have one book out – and it will be a long time before there are more, each one being born out of a slow writer’s brain with tweezers.

    I won’t catch enough real readers by giving the book away (though anyone who asks for it can have an electronic Advanced Reader Copy, in exchange for the possibility of a review), so I won’t be marketing by offering free downloads.

    The novel is in an area not common: disability of the main character is a feature, and affects everything that happens subtly – but this isn’t a novel about disability and courage overcoming it (inspiration porn), and there are no cures, miraculous or otherwise.

    I don’t have the energy to tweet and do Facebook, to create extra material for Pinterest, or any of the social networking that is so pushed. Writing takes what I have – and that’s glacial already.

    So if you have any ideas about marketing an outlier, I’d love to get it – feel free.

    I’m hoping for champions. Influencers. People who recommend whose suggestions carry weight. And all of this makes little sense unless you’ve read it. BTW, people tell me I can write.

    Anyway, I can’t get to sleep, and you so conveniently provided a nice text box. No obligation – but throw my way any of the really crazy ideas that are useless for anyone else.

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  5. I’m in for a bit and was off to bed when you posted. A few things about getting into the marketing of your book(s):

    It’s easy to end up diverted and distracted by your promotion structure to the point where it can (and I think, will) negatively impact your writing.

    It’s like doing advanced algebra while writing poetry: one must win out.

    Pretty much in the same way research or editing can suck the actual writing time away and become compulsions all of their own.

    Marketing is a means, not the end. I’ve talked a bit to three fairly successful scifi authors on Amazon and I notice the differences in the ones who are marketing-centric and those who are “‘just writers trying to get the word out”.

    The best promotion is one that is natural and organic for you. I think the older we get, the more onerous it is to assimilate entire new ways of doing things. It isn’t that we can’t; we just have so many other things that end up being discarded that taking on a new one engenders a bit of suspicious cynicism in us and makes commitment more difficult. Will the value really be worth the effort?

    Marketing yourself is essential though and I’d suggest starting with ONE focus that you can see clearly in your head–at least the concept of it. The time it will take, the outlay of time, effort and materials, etc.

    For most of us, a blog or a website is that step (along with Facebook, etc.)

    I’ll share what I’ve done when I get to doing it and list the resources along with my views on the whole. maybe it will help.

    Catch ya later.

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    1. Thanks, David.

      I’m basically doing that: my blog (and the new blog just for the books) are my focus.

      It’s just a bit frustrating to know you have something with wide appeal – when your typical visitor count is 20 daily.

      And there is nothing more frustrating for blog READERS than to constantly be marketed to on something they either already bought – or have no intention of buying, because it’s not their thing (which is fine).

      It is nice to confirm it with you, though – do what you can and is comfortable is NOT what the self-publishing world tells you. But it IS what’s organic for me.

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      1. I agree with you (and me).

        There are too many “forced blogs” in the author and writing field out there already. Cut-and-paste borrowing of top ten lists, five helpful pointers that are on every writing site that comes up in a search, self-congratulatory swap blogs that promote one another as an obvious tandem team. Then there are the ad heavy monstrosities that desperately press you through mass mailing once you’re on their list to keep supporting them (and I do empathize with them as a writer too).

        I subscribe to a few but the vast majority I’ve ended up unsubcribing to or even having to spam filter because they aren’t offering original content and fresh, unique insights–they’re just marketing vehicles and it shows.

        Like writing, whatever you decide put on the web should have a personal spin on it that brands it as YOU. You can use all of the above techniques I criticized but for a site to have genuine followers, it must have a way of displaying its own voice or it is just another copy.

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      2. You keep me thinking – and chuckling. I have such a ‘unique’ voice as a writer that I now usually preface my writing posts with ‘for your entertainment only,’ as NOBODY writes the way I do.

        I have people who love me online (they say). I don’t have followers who do as I do.

        That’s fine – though it took me a while to realize I wasn’t adding to the sum of knowledge on the internet, because people think I’m nuts.

        I do have a couple of posts that were quoted on the Dramatica website, but I don’t usually get reblogged – and the post that got the most views (146) was a guest post from a friend.

        None of this matters IF you like my fiction, and if you don’t like the results of my method, you probably aren’t stopping at my blog, so we’re all good. There are plenty of blogs out there with the 10 Best Ways of… posts. Clickbait.

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  6. Having guests post (real content) on your site is a great way to stay true to yourself and add some value outside your own skill sets. Nothing wrong with that approach.

    I’ll go check your book out in the morning here (my son had car problems out of town today and I was mostly gone) and see if anything stands out to me. Can’t hurt.

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    1. It’s a little tiny writing blog that amuses me – and I posted PC as I revised the final version. When I saw something a friend wrote on FB, I asked her if she’d like it posted for further reach, and she generously let me put her words up.

      Sorry about your son’s car troubles – it’s always something, isn’t it? When I think of the many kids who don’t have a helpful parent around…

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