By Cindy R. Williams
Test your knowledge of the need to spin a writer's website.
1. What is the purpose of a website when you are a writer who desires to become published?
a. To post pictures and stories about my family.
b. To pre-view my book I plan on publishing.
c. To tell the world about the book I have published and where they can purchase it.
d. To sell my book.
e. As a place readers can learn more about me.
ANSWER: All except a. Your website must certainly have personality, but it IS NOT the place to share about how little Sammi took his first step today. Save that for your personal blog for close friends and family.
2. When does a writer need a website?
a. Writers don't need websites. They are a waste of time.
b When I first begin to take myself seriously as a writer and am ready to say, "I am here world."
c. Not until I have sold over 3,000 copies of my book.
d. When I have several books published, or maybe as many as Janette Rallison.
e. Not until I have saved up at least $2,500 to pay for this guy that does fabulous websites.
ANSWER: b. When you decide you are really going to be a writer, not just a wanna be, it's time. You don't have to wait until your book is published. You can begin to tell about your WIP and the process of writing it. What a fun journey to share with others. You will build a following and have people virtually lined up to purchase your book.
3. How does a website help both published and unpublished writers?
a. It is a tool to help create your brand or mark.
b. It is a tool to help build your platform.
c. Agents and publishers may check it out to see how serious you are or to learn more about you when they received your query.
d It provides a place for a writer to showcase his/her work.
e. It creates a buzz around your name.
ANSWER: All of the above.
4. How do you create a website?
a. You hire a guy in your ward and pay him $2,500.
b. You hire a guy a friend used and pay him $2,500.
c. You hire a professional website creating service for hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars.
d. You get your friend. After all, she put together one for her missionary son.
e. You don't need to create a website. When you become published, the publishers will do it for you.
f. You do it yourself
ANSWER: All of the above. Sure you can hire others and pay big fees and yes you can have your friends help you or do it for you. Yes, some publishers may set up a simple website for you, but authors serious about their writing are expected to have a website up long before they get to this point. My favorite answer is "f" do it yourself. See more about below. (Now having said this, I am guilty of having my primary website built by a professional who happened to be a guy a friend used and also in my ward. He was VERY expensive, but I am absolutely delighted with the look and all the bells and whistles. I'm not so delighted at how hard it is to update. If you would like to check it out for ideas, it's listed below.
5. Can I build my website myself?
ANSWER: One easy way is to set up a site on "Microsoft Office Live." I have created a number of sites for myself and for my husband's civil engineering firm. I now have five websites. It is free, and the site walks you through it step by step. It is much like painting by numbers. If I can do it so can you. You also can go to "GoDaddy.com" and purchase a name for around $12.99 for a year. You will have to renew it yearly or you can purchase it for additional years for more money. You can then use GoDaddy to host your site for as little as $5.99 a month.
Another great idea that others are now doing is to use a free blog site as your website. Blogs sites are changing and now allow you to do many things a website does. Two FREE blog hosting sites I use are Blogspot.com and Wordpress.com. Once you log on, just follow the instructions. Yes, there is a learning curve, but give yourself some time to play with your new blog and soon you will be up and running.
There are many online websites that offer free backgrounds and templates so you can customize your own web or blog site. Once again, IT IS NOT THAT HARD. I have 112 blogs now. Only three are used regularly, and I also blog here on the ANWA Founder & Friends. I use my other blogs for different things. I have one that I update now and again about my son on his mission. I have several I use for my Harp. I have others I will use later when more of my books are published. I also have a blog attached to my primary website , http://www.cindydreamdragon.blogspot.com/) It makes it easier to post updates, Blogs are more fluid than websites, and much easier to update.
7. Can your blog site also be your website?
ANSWER: Yes. See above.
8. How much time does it take to maintain a website or a blog site?
ANSWER: That is totally up to you. You can spend several hours a day, or you can limit yourself to once a week for a half hour to an hour. I usually spend about two hours a week on my Writers Mirror Blog. I post writer interviews and book reviews. It is a ton of fun. Really! Right now I am participating in Joyce DiPastena's 2nd Annual Summer Treasure Hunt, and have it posted on my three main blogs. I go in daily and update that day's winner. It takes me all of five minutes. It ends the second week of July, so then I will go back to interviews and book reviews. I do a new one each week and am booked through September. It really is quite manageable and I give a leg up to my fellow writers.
9. What are some of your sites we can use as examples of different styles and templates that we can get some ideas from.
Cindy R. Williams http://www.cindyrwilliams.com/ My primary website, designed by a professional for toooo much money for all the hassles I have with it.
Dragon Dreamer is my blog that is connected to my primary website. You can access it from my website or directly by http://www.cindydragondreamer.blogspot.com/
Crazy Ladies Blog Here http://www.crazyladiesbloghere.blogspot.com/ I created this when I taught a "How to Create a Blog" class for some ANWA ladies. It's one of my favorite blogs.
Blogs and Blurbs http://www.blogsandblurbs.blogspot.com/
Writers Mirror http://www.writersmirror.blogspot.com This is the site for writer interviews and book reviews. If you would like to be interviewed or have a book you want reviewed, email me. I am booking October on right now. I love to interview writers that are both published and non-published. Everyone has an interesting story.
Write a Story Together http://www.writeastorytogether.blogspot.com/
Crazy Busy http://crazy-busy.blogspot.com/
Fairies and Dragons http://www.cindydragon.blogspot.com/
Cindy Williams Blog http://www.cindyrwilliams.blogspot.com/
Write All Right http://www.writeallright.blogspot.com/ shows you a totally beginner blog site. No bells and whistles. Nothing has been added or adjusted to the original creation.
Janette Rallison is one of my favorite authors. Here are her blog and websites:
http://www.janetterallison.com/ Janette's website is excellent. It is clean and professional
I have almost a hundred more, but you get the drift. GOOD LUCK ON SPINNING YOUR OWN WEBSITE!