Aug 22, 2011

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

This goes for both traditional publishing and self-publishing; whether you want to impress and attract that agent, or have a professional place for your fans to hang out. You must be prepared and do the work. 

Today, I want to talk about Blogs and Websites:

For the writer just starting out, a blog might be the answer, but if you've been blogging for a year or so and you're ready to begin the process of querying for an agent or publisher OR if you're thinking about self-publishing, you'll want to step it up a notch and get a website. My domain name is through GoDaddy, but I don't have a website through them. Instead I have both a blog and a website/blog. I've used blogger to set up a separate blog to look like a Website. My domain name links directly to that site.

I did this because . . . well . . . I'm cheap. I couldn't afford a more expensive site fee and it seemed to fit my needs at the time. As my career progresses, I will either switch to a site that I can manage myself or hire a professional to do it for me.

What you need on your Website/Blog:

1) A custom header with your name clearly visible & a template/background to match (Look professional) This should match your genre. If you write romance, you won't want it to look juvenile and if you write children's books, you won't want dark, paranormal stuff on there. (Unless your children's book is paranormal)
2) A professional looking head shot of YOU, not your dog
3) A link to your blog
4) Social media buttons & RSS feed
5) Information about your book(s)
6) An "about me" page with your biography and maybe another shot of you
7) A place to brag about awards, other publications, etc.
8) CONTACT information or link


1) Your book cover
2) Description of your book (back cover copy)
3) First chapter (if approved by your agent/publisher)
4) Purchasing links (Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, etc)
5) Publisher's info, logo or link
6) Agent info/who represents you
7) Reviews
8) Blog tour schedule with links
9) Your schedule (where you'll be doing signings, presentations and appearances)
10) News (links to interviews and media appearances)
11) Media kit (I need to do this, more later)
12) A place to sign up for a newsletter if you have one
13) If you're self-published and want to sell your book from your sight, you'll also need a PayPal button or some other secure way for them to purchase it. I'm going to offer signed copies, so need to use this option.

Now, go HERE. It talks about how your blog should look and the appeal it should have. It also covers some of the things I've mention above. It's a great read. Just be sure to come right back.

Whew!  That seems like a TON of work, and I still don't have it all on my site, but I'm working on it. I also have the same information on my blog. I know it seems strange to have both, but I see my website as an online business card and my blog like letters to my fans and fellow authors. They both have a different feel to them, even though they are very similar.

Did I miss anything? Would you like to share your website links with my followers to give us some examples to follow? Please feel free.


  1. You are totally awesome and so was this post.

  2. Wow. I just learned more in five minutes about professional blogs/websites than I have in months. Thank you so much.

  3. Tons of great information! Thank you!

  4. Hi Christine, You've given me a great idea. A really informative post. Many thanks.
    Valentina x

  5. I was adding links to my sites the other days for my free reads and it took 2 hours. Gah! Oh well, now it's done. I have a blog and website, too. I started mirroring the blog on the website, so people don't have to leave it. It has a lot more bells and whistles than the blog.

    I accept guest posts, if you want to do one for your upcoming release. :) I'd be happy to help you roll Bound out.

  6. This post so needs retweeting. So guess what I'm going to do as soon as I'm done here? ;)

    Thank you for the very useful info you've posted here. Thanks for your friendship, and for everything else!


    PS--I'm SO excited to see Bound in bound print! I'd love to participate in a book tour whenever you're ready, Chris!

    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  7. Thank you for this positive "how-to" post. I really appreciate that you've pointed out that you are working on it too.

    I am just at this point in my writing/revising life that I am considering what I need to do with my blog to help me in the query process that I hope to start in early October.

    One question I have for you, and anyone else who cares to answer, is: what if a writer writes more than one genre? I happen to write poetry (somewhat badly, but some of it gets published), fiction, and devotionals. Do you think separate pages make sense for that?

  8. Tyrean,

    I tried to go to your blog and it said your profile is private. That's something you should fix right away. You'll want an agent or your "fans" to be able to find you.

    As far as your poetry goes, I have a friend who writes fantasy, but she also writes beautiful poetry. She has it all on one blog. While your blog should be professional and include the features I mentioned in this post, it should also be a reflection of your personality. It's YOUR blog, so have fun with it.

    Good Luck! And thanks for visiting today.