It occurred to me, when I got a pretty big check from Amazon for my book sales, that unless I did something drastic, I’d end up owing lots of money in income taxes come next April. I didn’t like that idea at all. So I spent some time trying to figure out how to avoid paying taxes, and the only solution that did not include the possibility of jail time was to spend some money on legitimate expenses that I could write off at the end of the year. I’d been keeping track of certain things – whenever I sent out a book for review, I saved the postage receipt. I’d been to two conferences. I’d paid for proofreading. I’d bought some advertising space on book sites. I’d even bought a cool new office chair. But so far, that didn’t count for much.
The main problem was that I write in an office in my house. This is not an environment that creates much expense. But then it occurred to me that I could use a website. In fact, I needed a website. Not only would a website rocket me into the next level of Author-stardom, but I could give a bunch of money to someone other than the US government.
So, I called some very nice folks that I met at one of those conferences, and asked if they could build me a website for X amount of dollars. They said yes. Since all of us involved worked out of our homes, our first meeting took place in an I.H.O.P. We talked, shook hands, and a few weeks later I signed contracts and sent out checks, and now – I have people.
Yeah, you heard me. I have people. I have somebody doing all the technical work, like putting together all the bits and bytes needed to actually be online. And I have a team working on content. I know –A WHOLE TEAM! We had a few phone meetings and Eric – my ‘tech’ person, sent over a sample front page, and I was on my way.
After a few false starts, my page looks pretty good. It should be going live in the next few weeks. My picture is in the top corner. Although it’s the same picture I have on my Author page, and Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog page, I was thinking that for a real website that I actually paid money for I needed a better picture. So I’m going to have to get a photographer. Who is also a PhotoShop expert. In my initial meeting with ‘my people’, I mentioned wanting to look ten years younger, but that exact wording never made it into any of the contracts I signed, so I can’t call anyone up and say “Fix this.” I’m going to have to work this out on my own.
I’ve already got a whole bunch of stuff to put up there – samples from my two books, a few review quotes, and a sample from the audiobook. Then there are all those ‘Buy’ links. I’ll link to this blog. One of “my people” suggested a ‘martini of the week’ feature, which I would totally get into, but I wouldn’t want my readers to think I spend all my spare time swilling martinis, because that is SO not the case. Not during the week, anyway
I had a few great quotes that I wanted across the page, right under my name. One was a bit about writing by Carol Burnett. Then I changed my mind after finding this great quote from Andy Rooney about women over forty. But I found out that Andy was misquoting somebody else, and the original quote wasn’t nearly as good. So do I give Andy credit for something he really didn’t say? I’ll have to run that by my content team.
I love saying that. Content team. Kind of just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? I have great people.
But, to paraphrase Peter Parker ( aka Spiderman) with great people comes great responsibility. It’s not going to be enough just to have a website. I have to do things that were worthy of a website. Like write more books.
Writing is hard work. Yes, I know, there’s an image out there of The Writer waltzing into a sun-drenched office, usually overlooking the ocean, coffee mug in hand, wearing fuzzy slippers and jammie pants, sitting down at the computer and tossing off a few thousand, brilliant words.
Someday, I want to be that writer.
All I have to do is write more books. Did I mention it’s hard work?
It’s really hard when you have to fit it in between the paying job, the husband, daughter, dog, both cats, house, yard, friends, life…
I could get so much more writing done if I didn’t have all that other STUFF cluttering up my day.
I wonder – I could get my people on that?