The First Place to Begin the Deep Dive: My Author Website!

deep dive (1)

After a lot of deliberation about where to begin this mission to bring more awareness of my author brand, I decided it has to start at the one place that all the social media is supposed to point to: my author website.

Here’s what a visitor sees when they first go to the site, as of Feb 28, 2016:

sbjtheauthorhome22816

For over a year into my publishing career, I did not have a self-hosted website. I had my WordPress dot com blog, and contemplated a second blog dedicated to more Steampunk themes. The WordPress dot com blog is alive and kicking, btw, so there is no issue that it was taken down or redirecting or any of that. In September of 2015, I used the long Labor Day weekend to set up my author website using GoDaddy, both for the domain name (which I had purchased separately earlier in the year) and for the WordPress dot org hosting. I also used Simon Whistler’s guide on his Rocking Self Publishing website to help me at least get something up and running.

Now, I’m going into a deeper dive.

This week, I will be tinkering with my website in between writing. I have two new series coming out later this year, one of them tied to The Inventor’s Son (in that it takes place in the same universe), so I’ve been doing a lot of writing. That is why this website overhaul needs to take place in a week or less.

Right now I have some features that I want to improve or change:

  • I’d like to fix up the theme. I changed this blog’s theme and I like that it’s cleaner and not so in your face. I would like to change my website’s theme from Misty Lake to another theme, which may be a free one or may be a premium one, I don’t know yet.
  • My books are presently displayed using a plugin called MyBookTable.sbjtheauthorISTBpage22816 I don’t like the plugin for a couple of reasons, the most important of which is that I cannot use Amazon affiliate links with the free version of the plugin. I am adept enough with coding that I should be able to achieve something like a carousel-style display that will take a visitor to the full page description that will have an affiliate link that I can track more effectively than I can now. I started using this plugin on the advice of Simon Whistler’s very thorough tutorials, but they are a bit outdated and the functionality of MyBookTable has changed as well. One other issue I have with MyBookTable is that I need links to my books on sites where Tolino is used, as well as for Scribd and 24Symbols, where people can borrow my books, since I’m not in Kindle Unlimited with The Inventor’s Son. MyBookTable does not, to my knowledge, have the ability to link to them. One final thing I want to be able to do is direct visitors to get The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning directly from me rather than through any of the online retailers, since that is a better version of the book, and I can add people to my mailing list.
  • I want to get my art gallery up the way I want to it display.
  • I want my blog to be up to date there, without too many old posts that were ported over last year from the other blog, since at that time I thought I might be getting rid of that blog.
  • Whichever theme I pick needs to have a really good menu system, one that is visible at all times. And there needs to be a good hierarchy system as well.
  • I want to fix up my landing pages so that I can host them on my website. Right now they are hosted on Weebly, and I don’t like that at all. It was a temporary fix, and now I want a more permanent one.

I do not think I will have much more time to do much else, but I’m thinking that’s going to be enough. Once I get the website spruced up. then I will concentrate on various social media sites one at a time to help boost traffic to my website. By next week, the makeover should be complete and I can post the results here for you to compare!

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