Thursday, June 3, 2010

“So much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it.”

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to lay in bed doing nothing? I found myself feeling exactly like this today. But as much as I wanted to just lay there in my warm cozy bed . . . I could not. Nope, there was just so much time and so little to do! Strike that . . . reverse it, as the wise Willy Wonka once said.

I have always loved that line from the 1971 version of Willy Wonka. I find I say it a lot, because it seems my life is always full of things to do. Wouldn’t it be nice to really have so much time and very little to do once in awhile?

I would love to say today was one of those days, but it wasn’t. Instead of relaxing, I start planning next week’s workload. I also look at the things on my To-Do list and see which ones might have to be moved out to the following week. I am glad to say … not too many things need to be moved out, however, website updates will be.

All authors know having a website is very important to building your marketing platform. After all, we all need a place to send our readers, new fans, publicists, and so on. However, many authors dread the thought of a website. Not because they do not understand how important having one is. No, authors dread websites because they have to figure out how to build one or pay someone money to do it.

I was like many authors. The thought of a website scared me. I knew my way around a computer, but HTML codes were something I knew very little to nothing about. Then the thought of paying someone to build a site for me came to mind. I researched different options to only come back to the idea of doing it myself. But which host company should I use? I really did not want to pay a lot of money for my website. I began the hunt and I was lucky enough to find a host site, which was in a beta testing period and by Microsoft to boot. I could not have been happier. I still did not know much about HTML codes, but I did not need to know much about them it seemed. I also did not have to pay anything for the first few years OfficeLive was in a beta test. That was nice. I do have to pay for my websites now, but it’s a yearly fee and very reasonable ($14.95).

Okay, problem solved. I now have an author website with content. But now the content needs to be updated. At first, I thought I needed to update my content bi-weekly or weekly. In truth, I did not. Yes, maintaining a website can take up time, but it really only needs to be updated bi-monthly, unless you have some news to share right a way.

In the end, I am glad I have my author website; plus two others. I update them on weekends so I do not cut into my writing time during the week. I do the updates late at night when less people are online and I do not have the kids interrupting me. I have found since having my author website and my company websites that more and more people online and offline have heard of me, my books, and Stories for Children Publishing and its many divisions.

I may not have all the time in the world to devote to my websites. I may have many things on my plate, but not having an author website would be the worst decision I could make. So if you do not have a website and you are serious about being a writer or have at least one publishing credit, I suggest you get one. There are free places like Tripod.com to yearly host sites like OfficeLive.com. You do not need to be computer savvy. Just look around at author websites and jot notes down about things you like. There are templates you can use on most host sites to help get you started, too.

An author website helps you look professional. It also lets people know you are serious about your writing career. And remember . . .

You have so much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it.

6 comments:

  1. Strike that,reverse it....just love it. That movie had so many wonderful truths in it! Gotta love Willy Wonka. Great post, thank you! :-)

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  2. I jumped into building my website without knowing what I was doing. I'm currently making one for my book characters (Dilly) and am having a fun time with it. I've found it's really easy to update my site, now that I've figured that part out more. Have fun with yours!

    Love the Willy Wonka books and movies. My boys and I just finished reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator yesterday. I think Dahl wrote "strike that, reverse it" in that one, but I can't remember if it was in the first book.

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  3. LOL -- Virginia, I earn my living as a computer software engineer, yet when I was faced with putting up a website I turned to one of my sons. He put up the initial version .. strangely, I had absolutely no idea how to start.

    Onced faced with an actual website, however, I had no trouble continuing {phew}.

    {shakes head}. Just points up the computer generation gap, I guess.

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  4. Virginia, excellent posting and so true. Everyone who writes and has been published should definitely have a website. That's one of the first things I do when I hear someone is an author, check out their website (or see if they have one) to see what kinds of things they write and to check out their books. It's kind of weird but when they announce the contestants on Jeopardy!, if they are an author, I look them up online immediately.

    I wuse weebly.com and there is another freebie one too - yola.com - but I did go pro on weebly recently, which was a good thing. I liked the template I had but didn't like the navigational tabs across the top of the design so had my illustrator who actually set up the website originally, redo the navigational bars to put down the side and she basically revamped it and gave it a nice new look (the new look has been a couple of months out now). But I've had increased traffic too and contacts from my website recently.

    I think it's great you are jumping back into everything with both feet since having a child recently. Keep on doing what you're doing - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?

    http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com
    http://junior-geography-detective-squad.weebly.com

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  5. Thanks Elysabeth for sharing some other sites you can use for FREE.

    Margaret, don't feel bad. I know a lot of people who have computer backgrounds, but shy away from building their own websites.

    Rena, that's what I basically did. I just jumped right in and figured I'll get it right one day. I still find myself revamping my sites from time to time. Wait, that's what I'm doing again now. LOL.

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  6. Virginia, I love that quote. If it were only true on at least some days.

    When I started writing for publication, I created a website through Yahoo--it cost $12.95 per month! Like Rena, I usually jump in and then figure things out as I go along.

    I got rid of that one and have 3 others and 3 blogsites. The problem though, is that I had business cards make up with that url - live and learn. :)

    Another good free site is Wordpress.

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