Author’s Resources Part 3

FeaturedAuthor’s Resources Part 3

The following article contains Updated material.

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Resources Part 3 of the series which deals with the author’s website.
In last Two Weeks I Asked Why Use Resources?
There was a time when an author only had his own imagination, his experience, and, if so blessed, a dictionary as resources. But the world has changed since those olden days. Back then few resources were available, but today there is a whole world of information available at the touch of a key. A computer key, that is.
Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We will take a look at each, thus requiring several days of study. So let’s get busy.
Website Resources

  1. Authors need a website

It doesn’t matter whether you are an established author or brand new you still need a website. Consider it an absolute must!
Your “About” page is where you can begin building your credits if you don’t have any or brag about the ones you do have. Write a bio that talks about your passion for writing as well as your dedication and enthusiasm.
Include your goals, what projects you are currently working on, that which inspires and motivates you, and whatever interests/hobbies you may have. Your goal here is to paint a broad, positive image of yourself, one that the reader will instinctively trust.
The key is not to be shy. We are always told not to brag or boast. It is a negative that turns people off. That is true. However, in advertising just the opposite is true. Generally your reputation is in your hands. The bolder, more assertive you are (if done properly) the stronger your reputation.

  1. The Power of a website

There are many marketing tools. Don’t feel that you have to use them all. Some of them will be covered later and some of them you may decide not to use. However, it would be a severe mistake to ignore a website.
A good website has the capability to communicate to visitors. That is why you are encouraged to have a website in the first place. Many people will learn about you through your website.
It is true that Social Media is an important venue for your name and books. But you can move ahead without Social Media, albeit very slowly. Without a website you are basically stuck in the mud.
Your website serves both as a place to promote your book and yourself! If you plan on writing more than one book, it is wise to promote yourself (using your author’s name).
Above I talked about your “About” page. That is for your bio which will tell people about yourself. You can also create a page about your upcoming novel; you can actually allow visitors a chance to see your progress.

  1. Your website is not a get rich quick scheme

Don’t think of a website as making you a ton of money. Rather, think of it as a storefront. This is where your potential customers will get a chance to meet and learn about you and explore your site.

  1. Unlike stores websites need to attract visitors

When you open a brick and mortar store you are located on a street or in a mall. Foot traffic will bring people by your store and they will see your storefront. There is a chance they will enter through the door and check the store out.
But a website doesn’t work that way. You could have the most beautiful website ever built and people may never visit. Why? Because they don’t know it exists!
People have to be told about your website. There are many ways to tell people, such as Business Cards, newspaper ads, word of mouth, and social media (more on this later).

  1. Your website is the hub of your activities

When I first started out I made my website my hub. I placed it on business cards, and used it in my email (signature), as well as in social media. Now that we have T&R Independent Books our bookstore is the primary hub. But the website is still important!

  1. Your website needs to be updated frequently

Actually we are discussing SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is another necessary thing to promote your website. Google, Yahoo, and others send out robots to examine websites resulting in a placement within their database. The higher the placement the better for you.
Part of having a good SEO for your website is frequent updating. You should update (that is, add or change content) at least monthly. The SEO robots like fresh sites!
A good resource for website building is the “Dummies” books. These books are usually a goldmine of information and you should go to your local bookstore and check them out.

  1. You need to OWN your website

You can’t be on the internet very long without learning about FREE websites. Be careful. Some may be scams and others are poorly written and designed.
But you need to own your website. By that I mean own your Domain name. I own the domain http://tr-indbkstore.com/. Therefore I have control over everything that is on it or within it.
The cost of a domain is cheap. For example, Godaddy sells them sometimes for only a couple of bucks, while your annual renewal is usually less than twelve dollars. Below you will find an Update about a guide that can deepen your understanding and aid you in creating (if you’re a beginner) and developing your website.

Here is a brief list of domain providers (alphabetical order):

  • 1 and 1 (1and1.com)

1and1.com is a domain registrar that is both trusted and a reliable provider of hosting. Its services pretty much cover all types that are related to domain and Web hosting. Ideal for ITs (Information Technicians) as it has a dedicated server, website builder, SEO services, powerful web hosting, and email solutions.
You can get a domain for only $0.99 (first year) plus up to 5 sub-domains. In addition, it offers ecommerce.

  • Bluehost (Bluehost.com)

Bluehost.com is one of the best at the web hosting services. It is very useful to manage and host your website. Starts at $2.95 per month. See Update below for further information regarding Bluehost.

  • Dreamhost (Dreamhost.com)

Provides Web Presence Solutions to professionals, individuals and small businesses. Helps customers grow and develop their online presence by providing business class email service, ecommerce solutions, website builder products, digital certificates and web hosting. Starts at $2.59 per month.

  • Godaddy (Godaddy.com)

This is probably one of the best web hosting providers and domain registrar in the world. We use it for our T&R Independent Bookstore website which includes author websites.

Godaddy provides many services in addition to buying a domain ($2.99 1st year) and hosting ($2.49/month). These are Godaddy website builder, business email accounts, SSL certificates, SEO and other services.

  • Hostgator (Hostgator.com)

It has a popular web hosting service. They provide various types of hosting such as shared hosting, Reseller hosting, and VPS. In addition it provides dedicated server and domain registration. Starts at $3.95 per month.

  • Hostmonster (Hostmonster.com)

This powerful web hosting service provides unlimited bandwidth, hosts unlimited domains, unlimited email accounts, free site builders, free online stores, and one click WordPress install. Starts at $4.95 per month.

  • Justhost (Justhost.com)

Real cheap Web Hosting. It uses shared hosting on Linux server and costs only $3.95/month. Plus they offer you Adwords offer ($100) and Bing Ad credits ($100).

  • Inmotionhosting (inmotionhosting.com)

A hosting service that provides business hosting, reseller hosting, virtual private server, or dedicated server hosting. Also provides marketing credits for marketing your business. Business hosting starts at $6.39 per month

  • iPage (ipage.com)

This Web hosting provider enables you to host your website at intro price of $1.99/month (reg. $7.99). It provides such features as unlimited email address and Disk space, site building tools, Search Engine and Marketing Credits, free online store, and more. In addition it has tools ranging from Google Adwords, Facebook, analytics, and other valuable tools.

  • Mediatemple (mediatemple.net)

Mediatemple has been around since 1998. It provides hosting plans called grids that can handle a large amount of traffic without slowdowns or crashes.

Their hosting plans include Shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated server, and managed hosting.

  • Name (Name.com)

Mostly known for buying a domain name, they now provide website building, hosting and other services, including SEO. Starts at $4.99 per month.

  • Namecheap (Namecheap.com)

Provides domains and hosting services at very low prices (hence, namecheap). Also provides whois privacy feature plus other features, all at low prices. Hosting starts at $2.88 per month.

  1. Website creation need not be expensive

See the list above. Hosting plans are relatively cheap.

  1. You do not need to be an expert

You can easily manage your own website. I use Godaddy which provides a user-friendly interface allowing me to build the site the way I want. No HTML experience necessary although it is helpful for a more advanced website.

Update: Anya Skrba has written a guide that develops the theme of this blog further with emphasis on WordPress and Bluehost. It is a guide designed for beginners, but old timers (like me) can learn from it as well. The guide is called How to Make a Website. Check it out (I received no inducements whatsoever for recommending this guide).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), or Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), and Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Update on Authors Resources Part 3

FeaturedUpdate on Authors Resources Part 3

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing to update my blog on Authors Resources Part 3.
In response to my blog on Authors Resources Part 3 I received an email from Robert Mening. I have never met or previously heard of this gentleman, but his email intrigued me. Now I have to confess I love my website with Godaddy, but Robert has some good points and I thought you might want to check him out.
Robert has a Website Guide that you might want to read and apply. He also has a special offer (I receive nothing for this update, nor is this an approval by me – I just felt led to offer this additional information.)
Before deciding to do this update I first went to his website and reviewed the content of his guide. I only found one minor thing I would disagree with. I use Godaddy’s Website Builder and have been very pleased with it. Robert indicated that Website Builders are limited to one page, however Godaddy’s has multipage capability, which I use. Just a minor disagreement.
I have notified him that this update was forthcoming and he was pleased. As a blogger I think providing good, solid information is always right. Whether you use this particular information or not it is your prerogative. As stated above I make no approval or disapproval, but I do consider it valuable information that can help you make decisions going forward.
Building a website is something that is critical.
When I first started out I knew some code and actually used it. But I have found that making use of good software, whether a website builder or WordPress, you find the going much easier and more professional in appearance.
One thing in reviewing his three step guide I found he covers some pertinent material that is helpful for the newcomer and his 3rd step is on how to Set Up & Customize Your Site.
Let me know your thoughts.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Author’s Resources Part 4

FeaturedAuthor’s Resources Part 4

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Resources Part 4 of the series which deals with the author’s website SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Once it was an unknown term; now practically anyone who has a website has probably heard of SEO. But while better known it still remains somewhat unappreciated.
Why is SEO Important?
We live in a world where search engines are used by millions of people every day. They are valuable tools. We all have our favorites. Some people like Bing, some like Google, others like Yahoo, and so forth.
As an author I love Google Search. With it I have looked up space travel, warp drive, medical equipment, Ross 128 b, Abraham of the Bible, Jacob, and more. I have found it an invaluable tool!
But what about people looking for me? That’s what SEO is all about, helping you and me to be found. With millions, perhaps billions, of people on the Web it is increasingly hard to find the people, business, and answers we need. SEO is the answer to that problem.
How Does SEO Work?
The best way to answer that is for you to step back and look at what you need and how you go about finding answers. I would guess that one of your first steps is to go to Search and type in what you imagine is a common word or phrase associated with your quest.
For example, you may type in the name: R Frederick Riddle. You hit enter and a whole slew of information about me will come up. That is SEO at work. There are several things I do to optimize my SEO. Let’s take a look at some of the ways I get my name out there.

  1. Regular Web Updates
  • I frequently update content on my computer.
  • I also add new items such as new books that I’ve authored.
  • Every time I update my website I am refreshing the data and the bots out there come to check me out.
  1. Use of Key Words or Phrases
  • I originally used only single words
  • But I’ve learned that a string of words (phrase) is better
  • You want words that people might use to find you
  • Generally speaking you want words or phrases that are in your content
  1. Linking my blog, social media and web page.
  • You don’t want those purchased links that are often illegal
  • You want natural links, such as links from your blog to your website. Take a look at this page where you will find links to my Facebook page, my website, my Amazon Authors Page, and my email.
  • Internal links (between pages) are also fine

These are just three ideas. There are many more. If you’re a novice you may want to seek out books, blogs, etc. on the topic.
What’s the Difference Between Onsite SEO and Personal Promotion?
My understanding is that Onsite SEO is in relationship to your webpage while personal promotion would be Social Media, etc. While separate they are connected to one another; both need your continuing attention.
What Are Some SEO Ideas?

  • Website Name should be Unique. For example the use of your name in the Url
  • Easily remembered Urls
  • Use of Image linking (click on image takes person to website)
  • What are your competitors Using? (if relevant you might want to use for yourself)
  • Links to other blogs
  • External links from blogs, etc. to you

SEO doesn’t guarantee success, but it is believed to be essential to success!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Authors Website

Authors Website

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Authors Website.
Perhaps you are a new author and have decided to build a website or you have one up and running. There is much advice floating around about website design. Some is very good and some not so much. After seventeen years of working my own website, I have identified five critical website design issues.
You may have additional ideas and I welcome your comments. But here are mine.
The Home Page
This is regarded as the most critical page because this is where your visitors will most likely land. And this is true whether you have one or more home pages.
More than one?
Yes. As an Independent author I am also an independent publisher. Therefore, I have designed my website as a publisher’s site, and every author (all two of us) have their own Home page, plus more.
The Home page is where you want your usual visitors to come to. Therefore, you will have most or all of your marketing linked to that page. If the visitor Google’s your name (author’s name) it should bring the potential customer to your (the author’s) Home page.
Now, as I mentioned our website is actually tied to T&R Independent Books – the publisher of our books. Like other publishers we then have “home” pages for the authors. For this to work the authors need to be:

  1. Identified on the Main Landing page
  2. Be accessible from the Main Landing page
  3. Have their own pages where their books are featured
  4. Author’s Home page should be accessible directly from Internet

On this page (whether site’s home page or author’s) it is always wise to employ good SEO practices. As you build your site you may want to see how well you are doing. I recommend Website Grader, which you can use for free.
The Url
The Url is critical. Put a lot of thought into this. Among the things to consider is whether you are a one book author or you have or will write more books. If you write multiple books, you will want to use your author’s name in your url. The exception would be like a publisher’s site. But even then you want a url that goes to the author page, such as r.-frederick-riddle-books.html. If you are doing your own publishing don’t forget the primary site. Click on the link above to see the full url. You can also give out a bit.ly shortcut.
Most of you will have your own personal site. You might wonder why it has to be your name and not the name of a book. Simple. As you write more books you want people to know your name. People may seek a particular book title, but as your name recognition grows they will seek your name.
The About Page
The About page is very important because you want the visitor to know as much about you as you can reveal. How much you reveal is up to you, but a variety of experts say we should include our bio (of writing career), education, awards (if any), and a peak into your personal life.
Only reveal that which you want people to know. And please don’t include your Social Security Number or other potentially vital information.
The Store Page and/or Book Page
A Store page is very important if you sell on site. I would recommend that you also have a Book page where visitors can learn about your books. If not selling on site, it is important to have links from each book to the site(s) where it is sold.
A Book page should include a Cover photo, a description of the book, important stats (such as publisher, author, title, ISBN, and ASIN) and, of course, the links.
Media Page
Aside from potential buyers, you also want the media (newspapers, radio, television, etc.) to also visit your site. This page is designed to provide them as much information as possible without their having to search the site. Some of the things included is a listing with links of every book you’ve written, a photo of you (a professional photo is recommended), links to any blogs you may have written, links to such things as Press Releases and other marketing sites where you are active.
Contact Page
Even if not selling directly, you need this page. It provides an opportunity for your visitors to talk to you. Perhaps they have questions about you, your books, or even an opportunity for your book to be marketed or turned into a movie.
These are only five ideas, but you might want to also include a Blog page (assuming you write a blog). But the five listed above are absolutes. You need these. Seek expert advice and don’t be afraid to visit other authors websites for ideas. This will combine a visual with the technical advice available all over the web.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Five Important Website Issues

Five Important Website Issues

Perhaps you are a new author and have decided to build a website or you have one up and running. There is much advice floating around about website design. Some is very good and some not so much. After fourteen years of working my own website, I have identified five critical website design issues.

You may have additional ideas and I welcome your comments. But here are mine.

The Home Page

This is regarded as the most critical page because this is where your visitors will most likely land. And this is true whether you have one or more home pages.

More than one?

Yes. As an Independent author I am also an independent publisher. Therefore, I have designed my website as a publisher’s site, and every author (all two of us) have their own Home page, plus more.

The Home page is where you want your usual visitors to come to. Therefore, you will have most or all of your marketing linked to that page. If the visitor Google’s your name (author’s name) it should bring the potential customer to your Home page.

On this page it is always wise to employ good SEO practices. As you build your site you may want to see how well you are doing. I recommend Website Grader, which you can use for free.

The Url

The Url is critical. Put a lot of thought into this. Among the things to consider is whether you are a one book author or you have or will write more books. If you write multiple books, you will want to use your author’s name in your url. The exception would be like a publisher’s site. But even then you want a url that goes to the author page, such as r.-frederick-riddle-books.html. If you are doing your own publishing don’t forget the primary site. Click on the link above to see the full url.

Most of you will have your own personal site. You might wonder why it has to be your name and not the name of a book. Simple. As you write more books you want people to know your name. People may seek a particular book title, but as your name recognition grows they will seek your name.

The About Page

The About page is very important because you want the visitor to know as much about you as you can reveal. How much you reveal is up to you, but a variety of experts say we should include our bio (of writing career), education, awards (if any), and a peak into your personal life.

Only reveal that which you want people to know. And please don’t include your Social Security Number or other potentially vital information.

The Store Page and/or Book Page

A Store page is very important if you sell on site. I would recommend that you also have a Book page where visitors can learn about your books. If not selling on site, it is important to have links from each book to the site(s) where it is sold.

A Book page should include a Cover photo, a description of the book, important stats (such as publisher, author, title, ISBN, and ASIN) and, of course, the links.

Media Page

Aside from potential buyers, you also want the media (newspapers, radio, tv, etc.) to also visit. This page is designed to provide them as much information as possible without their having to search the site. Some of the things included is a listing of every book you’ve written, a photo of you (a professional photo is recommended), links to any blogs you may have written, links to such things as Press Releases and other marketing sites where you are active.

Contact Page

Even if not selling directly, you need this page. It provides an opportunity for your visitors to talk to you. Perhaps they have questions about you, your books, or even an opportunity for your book to be marketed or turned into a movie.

These are only five ideas, but you might want to also include a Blog page (assuming you write a blog). But the five listed above are absolutes. You need these. Seek expert advice and don’t be afraid to visit other authors websites. This will combine a visual with the technical advice available all over the web.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.