Thursday, August 3, 2017

Setting up a Website

The following is a Public Service Blog.

I thought I wanted a website and decided to purchase a "domain" from X, a most highly regarded "platform."

Then I learned that the site should be hosted by Y, another most highly regarded -- you get the picture. So I signed up for that. It turns out that a website needs a template (as a high school senior needs clothes for the Prom); so I try to get that. That is when it got complicated. The details were messy, so I took a break for prayer and fasting.

It turns out that this venture requires more preparation than I thought. As with the exploration of the levels of the after life, one needs a Beatrice for a guide. I don't believe the details are worth repeating except to say that anyone wishing to setup a website should examine the basics and confirm them with someone knowledgeable - is there a computer club in the neighborhood? A class you could take at the local community college? A friend who has a website you admire?

Seriously now, I recommend those wishing to set up a website as opposed to a blog do the following (CAVEAT - be prepared to spend two weeks not two minutes or two hours at each step):

1. Search for "how to" or even "here's how" advice on the web or in libraries. Here's an example.

2.  Look at a dozen websites of established authors you admire (e.g., Michael Lewis, Scott Turow) and of new, Independent authors you have come across. Do not let yourself be intimidated! Examine the different links these sites have (Layout, Navigation, Design.) How are the "pages" organized? Are there links to electronic bookstores other than the "Zon"? Take copious notes!

3. Talk to people you meet. Ask for advice, comments on your "work-in-progress" as in various stages of building the website before you invite the whole world to visit.  Writing is a lonely occupation; fight the urge to stay in your bunker, study, cave ... Join a writing group. Take classes at the library or community college. Join online groups like Goodreads or Scribophile or ...

Then pick a name.

What should one name the website? Authors agonize over questions like this - what to title the novel? What do we call the baby? A search is easy to perform and, just for fun, one could search in different languages. Pashtun boy names? Mongolian girl names? There's nothing wrong with John and Mary and, in fact, if one's last name is Tjoa, one should keep it simple.

Here is my new website. It rejoices in the nickname of a character in the first book I published, The Battle of Chibi.

Sleeping Dragon Books

Please feel free to leave a comment on the website or here on this blog - or at the associated Facebook page.

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