We're considering adding custom author websites to our offerings.
These would be extremely affordable but worth about ten times what they'll cost. I have nearly 25 years of experience in web development so I work quickly and efficiently and I love doing this.
For $300 (three hundred dollars) one time cost you'll get a custom made WordPress site with a blog and as many pages as you need. It will include all the content you provide, text and images, and will be designed to match your book (or whatever color scheme you provide.) Once the site is created you'll get one round of edits, which includes virtually any changes you like to layout, colors, fonts, text.
There must be a catch, right?
What's not included is the domain name and hosting, which you'll have to buy from our preferred hosting company Charlottezweb. Domains are $10 per year and hosting is $52 per year. We also provide managed hosting; we charge $25 per year for domains and $125 per year for hosting. Managed hosting means we keep your site backed up, updated, and generally trouble free. It does not include updates, which you can do yourself easily. If you already have a domain name we can use that.
To summarize: a unique, custom WordPress site and blog for $300 plus hosting costs.
I want to do this for one author to work out the kinks before I make this a general offering. Whoever says yes first gets it.
Some of My Work
I've done loads of websites over the past 20 years. I haven't been promoting my web business so my most recent work has primarily been for our own businesses, but there are a few for clients here as well.
Sue and I are surprised when we meet an author who has essentially no social media presence—but we're surprised less and less as time goes by, because we keep meeting you!
It occurred to me how overwhelming it must be to be told "ya gotta be online" and have no idea where to start.
What if another author, with decades of experience online and years of marketing experience, could share what they know is the right way to start?
Well of course that's what I'm doing today.
a website with a blog, and
I recommend, in the strongest possible terms, WordPress, on your own web hosting, and MailChimp for the newsletter.
I also recommend Charlottezweb for your hosting, because Jason has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty, surprising Sue and I with the quality of care he provides and yes, I'm talking about web hosting, not a server in a fancy restaurant, but that's how he makes us feel. Yes, that's an affiliate link and if you use it, we'll get a share of what you pay Jason. Won't cost you a penny extra.
If you use Charlottezweb for hosting, simply ask Jason to install WordPress for you. Setting up MailChimp takes a bit more effort. If you need help, just ask (or for a fee, we can do all this stuff for you.)
That's it, as far as the stuff you need to do yourself. Everything else is latching on to existing platforms.
A Presence on Every Major Platform
Note the word "presence." We'll come back to that in the next section.
For each of these popular social media platforms, make sure you have an account and that your profile is complete and consistent.
Pick one of those platforms, the one you feel most comfortable with. Use it consistently. Get good at it. Do not try to add another platform to the mix until use of the first one is automatic and effortless. Don't add another platform until the first is running like a well-oiled machine.
Just having a presence on each of them lets folks find you on their favorite platform, even if you're not active. It's also possible to automate things like adding your blog posts to most of those platforms, meaning you're active there as long as you're blogging regularly, a practice we strongly urge you to develop.
When you feel comfortable spending more time on more platforms, take it slow and easy. Don't overwhelm yourself. Consistency is far more important than erratic broadcasting.
You CAN Do This Yourself—But You Don't Have To
If you can send an email you have the tech skills to make all this happen, perhaps with a little support.
But if you'd like help getting to this point, having a complete online social media presence you can start using, we can do that. The $697 Pro Setup for our monthly service packages covers creating and optimizing your account on all 6 of the social media platforms above (which includes your website and blog as the 6th platform.)
A few days ago I interviewed Sue about her audit and consultation process. Frankly, although I sit next to her all day every day, I'm busy creating stuff and don't get into the technical details of her work very often.
I was surprised more than once. Don't tell anyone, but after I found out how much work she puts in and what the client gets back, I'm going to suggest raising the price.
Today, a special post about getting writing done rather than marketing your writing. To begin, tell me a little about yourself. As a writer, how many of these have you experienced in the past two years? You can use the checkboxes to keep track. They're not storing anything anywhere.
Never finding the time to write
Making the time but not writing
Dreaming of writing but never getting started
Starting but never finishing
Starting but never finishing that one particular piece
Thinking you can do it without help
Thinking you're beyond help
A love/hate relationship with your writing
Focusing on unhelpful negative feedback and ignoring positive feedback
Focusing on positive feedback and ignoring helpful negative feedback
Wanting to write deep but writing shallow
Writing for others instead of yourself
Writing for money but not treating it like a business Reading about writing instead of writing
Seeking out feedback before you're ready
Seeking out the wrong level of feedback Ongoing health challenges like
Unexplained fatigue(physical or mental)
Mysterious illness(a neverending or recurring cold or flu) Injuries(constant little accidents) Addiction of any kind (substance, activities, self-destructive habits)
How many did you check?
Is it more than zero? (If it's zero, I'd love to hear about that.)
Otherwise, that's Resistance.
In the past 11 years I've written 20 books and 200 songs. I checked 17 boxes. SEVENTEEN.
I'm facing Resistance.
You're facing Resistance.
Resistance? What's That?
According to Steven Pressfield in his seminal work The War of Art Resistance is the mental and emotional pushback we feel when we expose ourselves by creating something. It is our unconscious mind protecting us from the "danger" of emotional vulnerability. It manifests in all the ways in that checklist above, and more.
Resistance is a bully. It will stand in your way and stop you. It will knock you down and hurt you, emotionally, even physically.
Resistance strikes nonfiction and fiction authors alike. (Memoirists, are you hearing me?) Writing a business book is still a creative endeavor and will expose you to fear.
It will stop you from writing using the tools you checked off in that list above.
It's Not Just You & I
“I was ashamed. I have spent a good many years since—too many, I think—being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who as ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent.”
“. . . in my heart I stayed ashamed. I kept hearing Miss Hisler asking why I wanted to waste my talent, why I wanted to waste my time, why I wanted to write junk.”
Who was this loser?
Stephen King. Stephen350 million books soldKing.
This is a quote from his On Writing which, although not precisely instructional, is the most inspiring book I’ve read when it comes to staying the course as a writer.
This is the quote that gave me my writing life back. (Ask me about that story someday.)
Our innate desire to have our work accepted can lead to problems if we put what others believe about our "God-given talent" ahead of what we need to write. It's one of many ways Resistance twists natural feelings into quicksand.
What's a Writer to Do?
You cannot defeat Resistance once and move on. It's part of our mental and emotional makeup. You can, though, make it irrelevant. Note that I don’t say ignore it because you can’t ignore a bully. But if you defuse them, do things to take away their power, they are no longer a threat. Like the bully at school (or, frankly, in the office) they still show up every day. But we don't have to keep giving them our lunch money.
Being a writer is hard. You don’t have to do this alone.
It’s not going to be a collective moan-fest or even chat-fest. Instead, it's a guided learning environment, a community of writers making a safe place for some “you’re not alone” emotional support. It will also cover practical and actionable tools and processes to get you writing and keep you writing.
Membership is $5 per month or only $25 for the whole year. Questions? Comments? Shout 'em out below and I'll answer every one.