Everybody’s talking about websites – Alison, Shannon, and Paperback Writer for a few examples, all with the same thought process – Writers, get thee to a professional website designer!
I couldn’t agree more. When I heard that I sold my first book to Ellora’s Cave back in early 2003, the first thing I did was settle on a pen name and purchase my domain name. Then I decided….hmmm, website. Oh how hard can it be? So I went with Yahell webhosting and used their templates to create my own site. I put up my book on the “Coming Soon” page, I talked all about me, I changed colors and fonts and pictures galore. But the bottom line is….it was hideous. I mean third grade butt ugly hideous. Amateurish, at a minimum. Horrible colors. Awful graphics. Things that didn’t line up right. I needed help and I knew it.
So I went to Edgemere Design and met a wonderful woman named Dawn (Jo owns it now) who designed my site for me based on very little input on my part. Now I’m not an anal retentive gotta do everything myself kind of person, so it was easy for me to let go. And frankly, it was the best money and time-saving investment I could have made.
As an author, your website reflects who you are. I see lots of sites that make me cringe. Yeah, it may cost an author some money to have a site designed, but your website IS you. It reflects your professionialism (or in some cases, lack of). This is your chance to reach a broader market of readers who want to find out about you and your books. Don’t skimp on money here and don’t try to do it yourself using a manual or online tutorial. Unless you want to invest your own time and you have the knowledge to do your own site (many do – I don’t), your time can be spent in writing more books. I like writing more books. My readers like me to write more books.
My webdesigner likes me to send her information about updates and new pages and the like. She wants me to write more books (so I can pay her).
Be your own biggest critic if you self design your website. Just because you think little green men on your background are cute, if you aren’t writing about little green men, then it’s going to look like a child designed it.
I love my site. I love my web designer. I don’t ever want to have to deal with any part of my website – ever. And now I don’t have to.