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mrsmig
01-05-2017, 01:20 AM
Hi gang - the first book in my fantasy series, The Gemeta Stone, will be released in August of this year, and I'm planning on starting a website to promote the series.

I would love to hear from anyone who's created such a website. Any advice/cautions/recommendations you have would be much appreciated. My plan at present is to set it up myself, using a free platform such as WordPress (which I use for my personal website - link below), although if you've used Wix or another platform with good results I'd be happy to hear about it.

Specific questions I have right now are:

1) How far in advance of the first release should I go public with the site?

2) Besides links to the publisher and vendors who will be selling the books, what other information about the series should the site provide?

3) I've purchased two domain names and would like to use one for the site and have the second direct to that site. How hard is this to accomplish?

If you've got series websites you can recommend (your own included), links would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

AW Admin
01-05-2017, 01:29 AM
I wouldn't create a second site for the series. Don't split your readers; have a single domain for all You as Author traffic.

By all means, create dedicated pages for the series, but not a separate site.

And I would absolutely not use Wix. Use SquareSpace or Blogger or WordPress or a similar platform where you can easily export and move your data; you can't with Wix.

mrsmig
01-05-2017, 01:44 AM
I already have my donnamigliaccio.com website, which I've used for years primarily to promote my theatrical work (although I have referenced my writing on it). My concern is that the impact of the series will be lessened by the distraction of the acting stuff, which is why I wanted a separate website for it. I would, of course, provide links between the two, but other than splitting readership, are there other reasons why a separate website for the series is a bad idea?

(Thanks for the info about Wix. I didn't know that.)

AW Admin
01-05-2017, 01:46 AM
I already have my donnamigliaccio.com website, which I've used for years primarily to promote my theatrical work (although I have referenced my writing on it). My concern is that the impact of the series will be lessened by the distraction of the acting stuff, which is why I wanted a separate website for it. I would, of course, provide links between the two, but other than splitting readership, are there other reasons why a separate website for the series is a bad idea?

(Thanks for the info about Wix. I didn't know that.)

What name do you publish your fiction under?

Is it the same name?

mrsmig
01-05-2017, 01:51 AM
Same name.

Toothpaste
01-05-2017, 04:02 AM
Ah! I can help! I too am an actor. This is what I did (though I'm currently updating my actor site, the present one is SO OLD, so no judging!):

http://adriennekress.com/


The thing with creating a series site is it's not such a bad thing, but it does become a bit much unless it has it's own momentum (like tons of fans and fanfiction and movie and tie ins etc). You'll find in interviews etc people will ask: "And where can we find you online." Having two sites is . . . a lot for that question "If you want to learn about me go here, and if you are interested in the series go here." Too much. Plus what happens with your work that isn't from that series? Is that then a third site?? I think it's best to amalgamate all info about you in one place, easy for people to find. Big famous authors can get away with a bunch of stuff, for the rest of us being clear, straightforward and easy to find is the most important thing.


As to your other questions:

1. I'd create your site just as ARCs are going out at the latest.
2. Maybe some cool facts about how you wrote it? Reviews probably wouldn't go a amiss Do you have any downloads maybe? Honestly though, the most important thing is to have what it's about and where you can buy it :) (you can look at my site for how I've done that as an example)
3. That I don't know, sorry :(

mrsmig
01-05-2017, 05:06 AM
Ah! I can help! I too am an actor. This is what I did (though I'm currently updating my actor site, the present one is SO OLD, so no judging!):

http://adriennekress.com/


The thing with creating a series site is it's not such a bad thing, but it does become a bit much unless it has it's own momentum (like tons of fans and fanfiction and movie and tie ins etc). You'll find in interviews etc people will ask: "And where can we find you online." Having two sites is . . . a lot for that question "If you want to learn about me go here, and if you are interested in the series go here." Too much. Plus what happens with your work that isn't from that series? Is that then a third site?? I think it's best to amalgamate all info about you in one place, easy for people to find. Big famous authors can get away with a bunch of stuff, for the rest of us being clear, straightforward and easy to find is the most important thing.


As to your other questions:

1. I'd create your site just as ARCs are going out at the latest.
2. Maybe some cool facts about how you wrote it? Reviews probably wouldn't go a amiss Do you have any downloads maybe? Honestly though, the most important thing is to have what it's about and where you can buy it :) (you can look at my site for how I've done that as an example)
3. That I don't know, sorry :(

Thanks for this information! (And your actor side looks pretty good to me.)

I completely understand about not splitting visitors between two websites. I guess my confusion comes from wondering why readers/potential readers, wanting more information about the series, wouldn't Google the series name rather than the author name, and why having a site for that series wouldn't be a good idea.

Toothpaste
01-05-2017, 05:24 AM
I guess my question is why would you rather have a whole separate website for a series as opposed to having one dedicated one to you as an author?

But as to your question, I thought I already answered when I said about not trying to overly complicate things, not having two sites to split attention between, not having two sites to recommend to people when they ask. I also seriously don't get what happens when you write something else.

Also . . . how much info do you think people want on your series? Generally people want a synopsis and where to buy it. Yes when a series becomes huge and then people want all the info, then cool go for it. But I really think you should start small, let the popularity of the series dictate if it really needs its own site.

Lastly as an author your brand is just as important as the book series brand (especially these days). I just don't think divorcing yourself from your work like this makes sense. It's kind of how so many people when email addresses started up wanted to do something really clever and creative and we all realised in the end, our first and last names made life so much easier for other people getting in touch.

Ultimately it's up to you. But I'd still love an answer to my first question, as I am sincerely curious.

AW Admin
01-05-2017, 05:26 AM
Same name.

I'd create separate static pages for each "side" of your professional life. I'd have an About page that says something about being a writer (linking to the top page about your writing) and something about being an actor (linking to the top page about being an actor).

In both cases, your name is your professional brand and identity, so I'd keep them on the domain you currently have.

AW Admin
01-05-2017, 05:59 AM
I completely understand about not splitting visitors between two websites. I guess my confusion comes from wondering why readers/potential readers, wanting more information about the series, wouldn't Google the series name rather than the author name, and why having a site for that series wouldn't be a good idea.

Well, they might! The thing is if you have an About page that indicates you're a writer and an actor, and on the first page about you as a Writer you mention your book(s) and the series and have a link to a subsidiary page(s)if you have more to say about them than you can appropriately / reasonably include on the main page, Google and other search engines will pick up on that when they index/spider your site.

Some things to keep in mind:


Use the Cite tag for titles of books and series; it tells search engines that you're referring to a book.
Title pages intelligently, not cutely.
If you have a lot of information on a single page, use subheadings.
Include your name as it is on the book cover, and a full citation (publisher info) and the ISBN if the book has one.
Use a WordPress plugin that creates an XML site map; that makes it easier for you site to be completely indexed/spidered. It's basically a data tree that spiders use to make sure they've looked at your entire site.

mrsmig
01-05-2017, 06:07 AM
I guess my question is why would you rather have a whole separate website for a series as opposed to having one dedicated one to you as an author?

But as to your question, I thought I already answered when I said about not trying to overly complicate things, not having two sites to split attention between, not having two sites to recommend to people when they ask. I also seriously don't get what happens when you write something else.

Also . . . how much info do you think people want on your series? Generally people want a synopsis and where to buy it. Yes when a series becomes huge and then people want all the info, then cool go for it. But I really think you should start small, let the popularity of the series dictate if it really needs its own site.

Lastly as an author your brand is just as important as the book series brand (especially these days). I just don't think divorcing yourself from your work like this makes sense. It's kind of how so many people when email addresses started up wanted to do something really clever and creative and we all realised in the end, our first and last names made life so much easier for other people getting in touch.

Ultimately it's up to you. But I'd still love an answer to my first question, as I am sincerely curious.

I get the impression I've somehow irked you, and for that I apologize.

I think what I want to see is the series and my writing stand on their own, and not be filtered through my 30+ years of acting. And I know that's foolish - my theatrical fan base, such as it is, is a built-in potential audience for the series.

I'll take your advice, and Lisa's, and keep everything on my current website for now. Thank you both for your help.

AW Admin
01-05-2017, 06:16 AM
I get the impression I've somehow irked you, and for that I apologize.

I think what I want to see is the series and my writing stand on their own, and not be filtered through my 30+ years of acting. And I know that's foolish - my theatrical fan base, such as it is, is a built-in potential audience for the series.

I'll take your advice, and Lisa's, and keep everything on my current website for now. Thank you both for your help.

Take a look at the How To Promote Your Book Like an Intelligent Human being (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb) thread.

Plan your site additions on paper/screen first, including writing all the content, before building the site.

I do understand, completely, why you might keep the two "halves" separate; I have a bifurcated Web presence myself, but my two fields—Medieval Celtic lit, and technology aren't really a natural pairing the way writing and acting are.

mrsmig
01-05-2017, 06:22 AM
Take a look at the How To Promote Your Book Like an Intelligent Human being (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb) thread.

Plan your site additions on paper/screen first, including writing all the content, before building the site.

I do understand, completely, why you might keep the two "halves" separate; I have a bifurcated Web presence myself, but my two fields—Medieval Celtic lit, and technology aren't really a natural pairing the way writing and acting are.

I've actually read that thread through a couple of times - very informative. Probably wouldn't hurt to read it again, though.

Toothpaste
01-05-2017, 07:05 AM
You haven't irked me, but I was confused by your questions asking me why I thought the two sites was a bad idea after I'd already answered it in my initial post.

Like I said, and like AW Admin also said, if you have a cover page for your site like I do, then you can easily divide up traffic and not confuse the issue with talking about both things in the same place. As someone who's been acting and authoring for 10 years now, I can say it is most effective. I know you said you didn't think my acting portion of my site looked old (thank you :) ) which I presume means you went to my link, but did you look closely at how I split the two careers apart? What did you think of that?

James W
01-09-2017, 05:32 AM
I'd go public with the site as far as advance as possible. If you do that, you can get email addresses early on. That will allow you to send out some advance copies and get early reviews which should help to generate Amazon's own promotional efforts.