Hesitating

The demise of Adobe Flash Player made my old web builder defunct, so I’ve had to create a new website using a more current web builder. Although intimidating at first, the new web builder was actually easy and fun and intuitive. (I prefer intuitive programs because I don’t have to watch boring videos or read long articles of instruction. I can simply . . . do.)

Now, to the best of my knowledge, the new website is finished. I just have to click “publish” for it to go live, but I hesitate to take that final step. I don’t know why. It’s not as if the world as I know it will end. The old site will end, of course, with no way to get it back, but most of what was on there is posted in other places, so I can recover any information I inadvertently leave off the new site. And I can always redo the new site if I need to make changes.

But still, I hesitate.

Partly, I don’t want to have to go through the site once it’s published to make sure I did everything right. I’ve read through everything so many times that I’ve developed a blind spot for those words. Partly (even though this justification of my procrastination is something I just now thought of rather than a real reason for delaying), the longer I wait, the fresher those words will seem and so I’ll be able to read them as they are rather than as I wish them to be. And partly . . . who knows. Stubbornness, maybe, or contrariness. Although I like the new site better than the old one — it’s much more professional and easier for people to use — I’m still being forced to change, and I don’t like the feeling of being herded.

So I hesitate some more.

I’d considered pausing here and hitting the “publish” button so I could brag that I did it, but . . . well, I didn’t.

Maybe this weekend I’ll gather the courage to publish my new site. Or not. We’ll see.

***

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Web Building

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

Out With the Old

Sometimes getting to the truth even about something as simple as a web site builder is almost impossible. Not that a website builder is simple by any means, but compared to the big questions concerning life and death, it is simple because there is an answer if you can find someone who will tell the truth.

And therein lies the problem.

About two months ago, I got an email from by website provider saying that with the demise of the Adobe Flash Player, my website will no longer be active, and they are switching me to a new website builder. The original builder, although wieldy to work with, was actually pretty simple to understand. This one, I just stared at in total non-comprehension. I’m not an IT person by any means, but over the years, I’ve learned how to do a lot of things, but this one has me flummoxed because it is so different.

So I called the company, and the person who responded said I didn’t have to do anything, that the tools would do most of the work, and that an actual person would work on the site and get it going for me.

A week later, I got another email from the company, reminding me about the upcoming change, and that I had to take action. So again, I called the company, and the person who answered iterated what the first person had said, and added that an entire division had been added to take care of the conversion.

Well, today, I got another email telling me I have to switch my account over, and that experts are standing by in case I have questions, which is entirely different from their actually doing the work. So I called again, and apparently, those first two guys were wrong. I do have to set up the website myself.

Now, instead of two months to figure out what the heck I’m doing, I have less than two weeks during Christmas season to update the site. Eek.

This guy said that the old website wouldn’t simply disappear at the end of the month, and since I don’t have anything that used the Adobe Flash player, I should be okay, but “should” isn’t much of a guarantee. He also said I have a very old web builder, that it was old when he started working there six years ago (as if six years is ancient history, which in tech terms, I suppose it is.)

The good news is that I will have many more pages at my disposal, the site will be mobile friendly, and it will follow Google’s security guidelines.

Once I get over my snit about being strung along for so many weeks, it might be fun to play around with a new site. At least I hope so.

Now I just have to figure out what pages I want, what I need to put on those pages, what I want to highlight on the front page, and how best to showcase my books.

Wish me luck. Or better yet, offer suggestions of what you like to see in a 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