I spent a good part of the day working on my website. It had to be updated anyway because of my new book, Bob, The Right Hand of God, but this is more than a simple update. Because of Adobe Flash being discontinued, my ancient website is becoming defunct (even though my site was a plain old non-flash site, with stationary photos and text), I have to learn a new website builder and redo the entire site.
It’s not really all that complicated; it’s more of a matter of learning how to find what I need and to decide what I want to say. To that end, I looked at various examples of author websites, and though it didn’t really help much, it made me feel as if I were doing something to further my “author-ity.”
One of the problems I have that other authors don’t is the variety of genres I work with. Most authors stick with fiction or non-fiction. If fiction, they write one sort of novel, such as romances or mystery or fantasy. If non-fiction, they stick to a certain topic. Although I do stick to one topic with my non-fiction books — grief — my novels span multiple genres.
Back when I was learning to write, all the books said to write in a recognizable genre. You can put romance elements in mystery, or mystery elements in romance, but basically, you need to brand yourself by making sure your stories are predominately one thing. Well, I didn’t do that — I can only write the books that are in my head, after all, and those books ramble all over the genre spectrum. But now I know why it’s important to do what the others said to do and not what I did — it makes it a whole lot easier to figure out what to focus on when promoting yourself, and especially in figuring out what to focus on for a website.
Do I focus on grief? After all, my grief books sell more than the others.
Do I focus on the fiction? After all, most of my books are novels.
For now, I’m doing what a lot of authors do — put up a photo of myself and a gallery of my book covers on the home page, and then feature each book on a separate page.
The hardest part is to find the site in progress. If I go to the web builder page, they don’t seem to recognize what I’ve already done, so I have to click the link in the email they sent when they informed me of the pending changes. (From what one of the tech people I talked to said, I gather there are two distinct builders on my site — a free one that they gave me in exchange for the defunct one, and one I will have to pay for after an introductory period. And it’s the free one that’s hard to find.)
Mostly though, it’s just a matter of doing the work. Luckily, the old site is still up, so I have time to figure it all out and then to do what I need to do to build my website.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator