View Full Version : How Soon...

05-19-2005, 09:47 PM
...can I develop a website for my upcoming novel? I have verbally accepted an offer from Brava/Kensington, but my agent says the contract will take about a month or so to be delivered (I thought that was lengthy until I spoke with another author who told me his imprint didn't mail his contract for a year). So, nothing is signed yet but I'm raring to go (getting antsy). Would it be feasible to put together a live website so early, esp. as the book probably won't be coming out until next year? Still, I want to make good use of the pre-pub time, build up a buzz.


05-19-2005, 09:50 PM
I'd wait until the ink's dry on the paper myself.

05-19-2005, 10:00 PM
I second that. Wait until you've signed and all the dust is settled.

BTW, congrats!

05-19-2005, 10:15 PM
can I develop a website for my upcoming novel? I have verbally accepted an offer from Brava/Kensington, but my agent says the contract will take about a month or so to be delivered

What the others have already said makes sense, wait until the ink is dry. However, that is no reason to not begin planning and internal design. Just don't make anything open to the public yet.

How are you going to promote your site?
What kind of content are you planning?
Are you considering "Blogging" and syndicating?

If you plan all that out in advance and develop some unique relevant content for your site, you can start off at a nice running pace when your publisher is ready and gives you clearence.


05-19-2005, 11:41 PM
Thanks for the input. I probably figured that it was best to wait, but my nerves are jangling. You'd think the contract would be standard boilerplate and wouldn't take more than a couple of weeks to get to me. My fingers are itching to do something though.

I definitely want my site to be more than just a webpage advertising the book. I hadn't planned to blog b/c I don't know how faithful I would be (I already host a sub-sect of Bella Online and haven't been doing my updates on a regular basis).

I've been looking at other author websites to get an idea. Definitely will provide excerpts, plus run a contest. Will write short stories for additional premium. One idea that's been roiling around in my head is getting little video snippets dramatizing pivotal scenes from the book (without too much spoiler). There's an independent filmmaker dramatizing one of my short stories so I'm thinking of maybe asking him to come up with something.

Just being impatient here. And waiting with bated breath.

05-20-2005, 12:09 AM
If I were publishing a fictional novel, I would consider doing the following and I'm curious to hear what you folks think.

1) Profile major characters in the book (without giving spoilers)
and provide insight on their behavior and motivations.

2) If your world building, give a flavor of the scenery and settings
perhaps delving a little more deeply than the novel itself offers.

3) Short stories about relevant places and characters that might lend
greater insight to primary characters but "didn't make the cut"
for the novel.

4) Talk a little about your writing process from the author standpoint.
Who are your favorite characters and why? Is there any of yourself
in one of the characters?


05-20-2005, 12:31 AM
Offer an excerpt. Definitely an intriguing blurb for your book. Pertinent information such as ISBN, publisher info/website, etc.

You can consider doing character breakdowns, but I am not sure if it's really helpful. Unless it's a known work (like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter), most people can't relate or won't care, unless they start reading your book. Besides, I think some suspense would be good -- let them find out about these characters as they read your book.

Some author bios, especially if you have other publications, stories, poems, etc. Keep your site clutter-free and clean. Sometimes, less is more.

Check out my site: www.raymondwong.com (http://www.raymondwong.com) I am going to updatge it as the publication date approaches.

05-20-2005, 01:09 AM
I'm going to go against the grain, and say do it now.
My reasoning: (in a Hershey's Kiss with Caramel induced haze)

-A decent, dynamic site takes a LOT of time to develop. You'll run into snags, and get suggestions from people along the way, and it's better to have time than to be pressured. Once your book is ready to hit the streets, you are completely prepared.
-You're excited! Spread the word! Share it with family and friends and whomever comes along.
-You are showing the publisher, in advance, that you are dedicated to your writing, and that you are willing to put effort into the marketing end to help make it succeed. This is a very good thing.
-You could start a mailing list, and if the subscription number and/or your visitor stats are good, you can use this as leverage if anything rocky comes up with your publisher.
-People love personal touches from their authors. If you don't think you can commit to a steady blog, just provide periodical updates in a news section, or make it clear that you're adding to your blog only once a week. Let readers know what makes you tick.
-While people don't like to wait a looong time, a little bit of teasing is good, and if they're with you from the beginning, they have that 'belonging' feeling that is gold.

My six cents. Congratulations! Keep us posted.

05-21-2005, 03:54 AM
Thanks Ella. I may just do a prototype that's not live, work with it to keep busy, then, of course, take it live once everything's signed and in order.

05-21-2005, 07:53 PM
Something to chew on:

Is your site going to be for the sole purpose of selling your book? Or are you wanting to share and promote your writing? If you don't want people to know about your work while there's nothing to sell, you could be missing an opportunity.

05-23-2005, 04:28 PM
Basically, the site will be for selling books, although I may feature a short story as a premium.

08-04-2005, 08:06 PM
Scullars, I think you have to look at your market. You're in romance. Those authors spend a lot of time and money on websites and they do it early. I know at least a dozen authors have have a professional website designed before they even sell. Before they get an agent. It's a great selling tool b/c it shows you're serious about your career and that you understand this is a business and it takes marketting to sell your book. So I'd do it ASAP!


01-23-2006, 11:25 PM
I would suggest you make the website ready, but dont make it accessable before the launch day.

That way you can get the web adress in your book, or back cover of book.

Just a tip.

(sorry for my bad english)

Christine N.
01-24-2006, 04:33 AM
And spend the dough and buy a domain name. You can do that now, even if you won't take the site live for a bit. Make sure you keep up with it too... don't let your claim on it expire.

Me, I feature my books, but I also have a page "About Writing" and reviews, and a link to my blog, which is really a mix of writing and personal life. I think people like to know that writers are real people too. My site is pretty simple, no bells or whistles. Freewebs template and WYSIWYG. Clean and easy to navigate. Updating often is what keeps people coming back.

clara bow
01-24-2006, 04:42 AM
Congrats on the offer! How fabulous!

I agree with the idea to go ahead and start designing now, but hold off on uploading until you are absolutely certain that the deal will go through. You could always use the template for future projects if the unfortunate happens. Plus, you may want to massage the site content for a while, check for typos, that sort of thing, so doing preliminary work now will allow you to shelve it and then proof more objectively.

Personally, I would love to read about the EXACT process you went through to get published. Nothing disappoints me more than an author bio that glosses over those kind of facts. That's just me, tho', and of course there might be reasons not to be so open.

Fingers crossed and good luck!