Sunday, March 10, 2013

Build a snazzy web page

(This is #13 of my How To Publish An eBook thang)

One of the things you want to pay attention to when you set out to write has nothing to do with writing. It is to create an author's platform. Part of that author's platform is a web page for your work. A long time ago, I bought a domain name, and I set up a web page at When I brought out Finding Time, I also set up a web page at and I also set up

At the same time, Facebook enabled me to set up pages for The Aristotelian and Finding Time. And also, Amazon lets me set up an author page.

All of these pages are a work in progress and they vary in quality and completeness based on when I put them together. I tried the hardest to get to look best, but even then I can point out things I haven't gotten around to doing. In this last page, I hired a designer and then began tweaking what she made.

I am a programmer and a good web page should involve a dialog between the designer and the programmer. The programmer will have a better idea of what can be realized with existing technology and software tooling. A designer will have a better idea of what works visually and aesthetically. In more complicated web pages, you may want to consider human-factors and UX--User eXperience, but an author's platform has much simpler requirements.

You want to put information of interest to your readers in front of them in a form they find appealing and that can easily yield conversions. Conversions can mean anything:
  • selling a copy of your book, 
  • signing up for a newsletter, 
  • engaging in an online discussion group,
  • contacting you with fan mail, etc.

This is getting into the idea of an author's platform, and when you're self-publishing, you are 100% responsible for making that author's platform as good as you can make it.

Am I an expert in all of this? No. Are there others out there who can do a better job of setting you on the right path? Probably. I'm not trying to do anything more than make you aware of what you need to do and it's up to you to figure out how to best make it happen.

(You can find the bullet-point outline of How To Publish An Ebook here.)

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