Author Websites: Plan for the Future

New and improved: www.stevepiacente.com

Considerable thought went into every aspect of my website, including the name, www.getbella.com.

The goal was a call to action – get bella suggests buying the book – plus a clue that Bella was an intriguing character worth trying to decipher. Do you get Bella? Does anyone? Hopefully it was and remains a question worth discussing.

What no one thought about was that a website based on one book discounted the idea that there might be a second or third book between the author’s ears.

That’s why when Bootlicker began to take shape, I realized the first website was inadequate. Now what? A second site for the second book? That wasn’t practical; you can’t ask readers to go to two different sites for the same author.

So my team and I began to rebuild getbella into www.stevepiacente.com. Key lesson learned: a book site is limited; an author site provides room to grow.

We’ve kept the best of the first site – a reader map, illustrated excerpts, a media room and more – and changed a few things that make it easier to read and navigate. There are also a few new features, like a Skype tab that makes it simple for book clubs anywhere (assuming internet access) to invite the author to sit in for Q&A when they discuss the book.

If you’re new to self-publishing, think big when planning your website. We now have plenty of room for Bootlicker, and Bella’s not complaining either. If a third little book comes along, we’re still in good shape.

The original: www.getbella.com

Anyone want to share similar lessons learned about planning an author website?

 

6 Comments so far »

  1. Jack Durish said,

    Wrote on June 2, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    I guess I’m just a narcissist. I went with the self-named website without thinking about it. Of course, there wasn’t any problem with it. However, I wonder what I’d do if I were “Jack Smith.” That one might already be taken. What’s an author to do then?

    [Reply]

    Steve Piacente Reply:

    How about a middle initial, Jack? Thanks for dropping by!

    [Reply]

  2. David Alastair Hayden said,

    Wrote on June 2, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

    Responsive designs, so it will fit and look good on laptops and tablets and smart phones.

    [Reply]

    Steve Piacente Reply:

    Excellent point, David; the future is mobile and author sites must come up quickly, look good, and make it easy for readers …

    [Reply]

  3. Marie Pinschmidt said,

    Wrote on June 7, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

    I used what I thought was a clever domain name (paintings-prose-palmbeach.com) but decided it was too long for viewers to remember. I recently changed/added my real name. Domain names are cheap so you can have more than one. Unfortunately, my blogs were deleted in the process. Happy writing.

    [Reply]

    Steve Piacente Reply:

    Agreed, Marie, simple and memorable will probably trump clever!

    [Reply]

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