Last month I decided the time had come to establish my online presence as an author with my own web page—somewhere people can find me, a kind of routing station for my writing and social media activity. I wanted the page to look professional, not like something I cobbled together with my limited coding and design skills. Professional web designers charge a lot of money. It takes training, experience, and talent to do what they do. I could have bought an amazing Balenciaga handbag for what my web page cost. A friend remarked that the cost seemed ridiculous for a page that only a few people would see.
A few people? I may be delusional, but I expect hundreds—thousands!—of people to see my page. Not right away, but eventually. My web page represents an investment in my future. It embodies my belief in my talent.
Finding a designer
After looking around online, I engaged the design team of Jamie Veron and Nicole Antoinette at Shatterboxx to create my page. Why them? I loved their portfolio and couldn’t help responding to their friendly and enthusiastic vibe. I had the feeling it would be fun working with them, and it was. Nicole and I talked on the phone to confirm that Shatterboxx and I were a good fit. After hiring them for the job, I received an extensive questionnaire covering what links I wanted on my page and the impression I wanted it to make. I provided links to other author pages and explained in detail what I liked and disliked about each one. Jamie followed up with a half-hour telephone consultation.
Getting it done
I write bleak and scary fiction. My tagline is Writing that’s not afraid of the dark. I wanted my web page to express that darkness. Jamie went to work and within a couple of days produced a draft that captured the basics of my vision. We tweaked the details in subsequent revisions. At first I wanted the cover image of TALION on the page, but it didn’t quite fit the rest of the design. That could have been fixed, but thinking long term, I knew there would be other books, more cover images. The page would get overcrowded. I decided to have a Books link that takes readers to a page where my books are listed.
There was one slight problem. No such page existed, and so I had to create one fast. I put the page at Ancient Children since I need the same information here anyway. The quickie page doesn’t amount to much yet, but the link exists.
I also made a public Facebook page, something I should have done long ago. I plucked a photo from my collection for the timeline image and spread the news to my friends, who kindly stopped by and clicked the Like button. The photo was a stopgap. I was so excited about my new page that I asked Jamie to adapt the design for the timeline image, which she did for a very reasonable fee.
Win a $30 Amazon gift certificate!
Finally, I wanted a link to a form where readers can sign up for my newsletter. Mail Chimp makes the process easy. I registered at their site and had the form ready to go in half an hour. What newsletter? you might ask. Well, I haven’t actually started sending one yet. First I need people to send it to.
All of which brings me to my big announcement. Everyone who signs up to receive my newsletter by January 19 will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $30 Amazon gift certificate. I’ll announce the winner right here on January 25. So if you’re willing to give my newsletter a shot, sign up for a chance to win.
TALION gets a great review from writer Letitia Moffitt at Paper Darts. Two other noteworthy novels, Lania Knight’s THREE CUBIC FEET and Jeff Kohmstedt’s THE FIFTH KRAUT are also featured.