Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Me? A Cheapskate?

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I can be cheap about certain things. I don't like spending money on something unless I consider it a worthwhile investment.

In comes the issue of a website.

To be honest
, I think they are too static.

I prefer the interaction of a blog setting.

Before you shake that finger at me, I should say that I do understand the need for an author to have a go to place for contact/calendar/basic information ... but I really am not sure that it warrants the cost of hiring someone to do it.

I mean, will having a website bring me $500-$1,500 (the cost to have a nice one set up) in future book sales?

I doubt it.

Do you have any idea of what a new authors royalties are?

not huge. I'd have to sell a heckuva lot of books to break even.


SO -
- I found a solution that works for me. I went to intuit.com and signed up for their basic account of $5 a month. They have prefab'd templets (lots of them) to choose from.
Other sites, like go daddy also provide similar services.

The whole process took me about two hours.


And....did I mention the $5/month? I did? so, you see my point.

I don't have my own domain name. I'm fine with that. I may purchase that at some point but, if someone Googles me, my blog will come up and I have linked the blog to the website and visa versa so it's all good.

It's not fancy but I think it works for where I am on this path. Maybe when the big bucks come rolling in (laughing here) I'll change it up.


So .. if you're interested in what $5/month gets you
click here or look on my left side bar. Browse around, read my lame attempts at humor, see my family.

Question: What is your take on websites?
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37 comments:

Dominique said...

I don't have a website yet, because I don't think one is merited at my state in my writing. But, I can see why other writers would find them helpful. I'm glad you found a situation that works for you.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Looks great, Tess! Congratulations on your lovely (and cheap!) website. :) Reading your pitch made me excited all over again to read your book!!

Amy

Danyelle said...

Very nice, Tess. :) I have a website that is a website blog under my own domain name. I'm waiting to have someone design one until I've earned the money through royalties. :)

storyqueen said...

Oh, Tess! I really like what you did. and I agree with you. I like my blog because it is interactive. Website...well, still working on it.

What I like about your site is that is is very clean. I hate when there is so much going on that I can't focus on any one element.

Well done.

Shelley

P.s. I hear Weebly is good, too....

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

The web site is well-organized and has the necessary information. I think you are right to keep it simple for now. I don't spend a lot of time visiting writers' websites, although I do frequent some writer's blogs. To me blogs are more immediate and interesting.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I just forward my Blogger blog to my domain name. I figure I'm not ready yet for the full deal, but you are and I love it. It is very you and very appealing (how could it not be??)!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Here's what I liked about your website...clean! That's the word that kept coming to me. Looks great!
~ Wendy

Alissa said...

Your website looks great, and I loved your fun bio. I too am a cheapskate and so built my site using Wordpress templates.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I bought my name (that's a cool feeling), but I haven't set up my website. Not a priority. Who would visit it that doens't come to my blog? I'm not a best-selling author. I'm really not even a selling author. I have a few short stories and articles and I'm writing a drama. An editor at the GF,ND conference said that cheap or free ones are just fine. You need a presence, not a flashing billboard. Good for you!

Amy Saia said...

That's great Tess! Wonderful pictures and great summary of the book. Wishing you mucho luck!

Heidi Willis said...

I think yours looks great! You did an awesome job with it!

I'm of the same mind. I finally had to bite the bullet the month before my book came out. I use intuit also, although I kicked in the extra 2 bucks for my domain name. I'm not sure I love it - I'm no graphic designer for sure - but it's there. Someday when I make the big bucks I may change it. Maybe.

I looked at a lot of the big whig author sites (Grisham, Sparks, Cornwell, Kingsbury) and didn't like theirs at all (although Cornwell has some cool forensics graphics!). So I could not love mine for $7 or not love it for $5000. I choose to be cheap.

:) Congrats!

Jen said...

I have thought about this and read several blogs pertaining to this subject and I've come to realize I'm not ready for that kind of commitment. I mean yes I love to write, yes I am in the middle of revising and yes one day I would like to be published, but this isn't stuff that happens overnight. I plan to start a website when an agent comes to me and decides that my book is good enough to be signed. I know I'll be taking on a lot all at once but I don't see the point in opening a website when I'm still trying to get the whole blogger and writing time down. Eventually I think it's necessary, but for today I don't need to worry about it!

Great alternative though!

Talli Roland said...

I agree you need to have a go-to place - I've always found wix.com to be quite good. Lots of professional looking flahs templates to choose from and quite cheap, too!

laurel said...

Looks great, Tess. You have the important bases covered in a clean, readable format.

Elana Johnson said...

Tess! My husband asked me this question just this week. "What's the point of your website." I'll admit that I had a hard time answering him. I haven't updated it since January. And before that I was doing something at least once a month.

Mine is through 1and1.com and is only $10/month. And I do own my domain name for that.

So I think they're a good idea for a static place of links and writing. And I suppose I'll have my tour info and other stuff on there, when/if I ever get to that point.

Janna Qualman said...

I completely understand, Tess. I'm, um, thrifty too. ;)

Intuit sounds like a great option! Why not use it as a start-up? It will always be an option down the line to buy a domain.

Loved the green and black!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Tess, I totally agree with you that blogs are more fun than websites because they have that interactivity. I created a website for myself using iWeb on the Mac which was really easy. But it pretty much just sits there. I don't have a book coming out yet (just thinking positive here!) so if people visit once, they really have no reason to visit again because I don't have much to say over there.

Yours looks like a great start. Once you have the book cover that will be nice to add. And as great things happen for your book (thinking positive for you too!) it'll be a great place to highlight those things. Congrats on finding an economical solution that works for you!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

It looks wonderful, Tess! I think you are getting way more than your money's worth at that price.

Amy Holder said...

Wow, Tess, your site looks great! I love it!

Susan Fields said...

It looks terrific, Tess! And what a great price - I'd say you definitely found a good deal.

Lady Glamis said...

Nice and simple! That's all it needs to be, in my opinion. I'm a fan of wix.com, and have my wedding photography site through them. If I ever publish seriously, I will get my writing site on there, as well. Great job!

Cindy said...

Sounds like you found a good solution to the website dilemma. I just couldn't fathom paying someone to make me a website either, so I used GoDaddy to create my own. I think it looks professional enough and does just what it should.

Jackee said...

I really like the website, Tess. Great job! I can understand liking things interactive, so I guess it's just a matter of having a spot where colleagues can go versus kids reading your books. It's a hard question and one I'm not qualified to answer. But it looks like you've got it figured out to me!

Have a great night!

Michelle said...

It does look nice.
Does it do more than wordpress? - I tried wordpress and couldn't work it out - but some people have it looking more like a web site.
Really I'm clueless!

Jennifer Shirk said...

It looks great, Tess! And you can't beat the price!!!

Linda Kage said...

I'm cheap too. I pay $12.94 a month, but I have my own domain. Anyway, the site looks totally awesome. And I love the blurb for your book. Can't wait till it comes out!

Tess said...

ah, thanks guys. I appreciate you taking a peek over and for the kind words. Of course, who's going to say 'hate it!'? that would be funny, actually. okay, I'm rambling today...

Walter Knight said...

A person's first website should be a free site, so you can get experience at what you want to do.

With help from my publisher, I went to yola and set up a five page website for my science fiction books. Check out what free can get you: www.waltknight.yolasite.com

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I believe in not leasing a billboard until it brings you at least five times what you spent on it.

And that is what a website is : a cyber billboard. How did I get that 5 X ratio? I owned a bookstore for some years. And receiving four times what you spent was how you figured the cost to the buyer.

Now, with rising costs, I believe five times is the current ratio. I believe if you have a good agent, she/he will let you know when it is time for a website.

Besides, a website is just another added drain on your time that you could be using writing.

Roland

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Good job, Tess! I'm impressed! Your site gets the word about you and your book--perfect! I can't wait to read your novel!!! : )

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

My blog is my website. And that's plenty considering I'm not a big deal. lol.

I don't think you're a cheapskate. I think you're very wise.

Suzette Saxton said...

I do have one from 1and1.com which sounds a lot like the place you made yours. I think authors do need a website at one point. My sister's agent asked her to do two things online - get a blog, get a website.

Yours turned out awesome, Tess! I especially love the photos of you and your fam on each page.

Terresa said...

I love the look & feel of it. Great work!!

And just think, if you ever need to do more tweaking, maybe find a web site designer who would be willing to barter or something...

Mary Campbell said...

I'm cheap too - hate spending money. I think when your a published or about to be published author you need a website that links to your blog. I think it does let people know you and will help you sell books. Do I think you need to spend a lot - no!!! what you did I'm sure is fine. I'm so glad my hubbie is good at web design so I that he can do it for me.

SAMUEL PARK said...

Wow, Tess, looks like you got an explosion of activity over this issue--lots of great information here and lots of great perspectives on the topic. I'm not sure where I stand on it, but it's nice to hear everyone's thoughts. Thanks for stopping by my blog--and congrats on your sale! (And thanks for the Class of 2011 suggestion--I know nothing about it, but I'll investigate.) Great post!

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Tess, thanks for popping over to my blog! Yours looks like great fun too! I'm going to follow it! Great post!

Jenn (From the Mixed-Up Files) said...

I agree with you--I also prefer the interaction of blogs. I most often visit author websites to see if they have a link there to their blog--ha! But I also think author websites are a great place to collect all the essential information someone might want to know about an author. Sometimes a blog is enough to contain that essential info and sometimes an extra web space is needed. I like what you've done with both of yours, Tess! (Website and blog.) Elizabeth Dulemba has some great tips on making a blog function as a website, if anyone is interested: http://dulemba.com/index_easywebsite.html