Website

One week left to pre-order… and some other updates

The last three weeks have flown by. Almost in the blink of an eye, as they say.

Since launching the new site here and getting My Last Days available for pre-order, things have been a little hectic. I’ve been packing and shipping pre-order copies out myself, which isn’t a big deal. Except I offered a signed copy with a “witty or funny inscription”, which turned out to be much more challenging to come up with en masse than I thought. And, surprisingly, most folks who wanted a signed copy opted for that option. I think my mailman hates me.

That said, time is running out to get a pre-order in. But only if you want a copy before the public gets theirs next week. Digital versions will go on sale on the 6th and I’ll do my best to get your copy to you before then if you order in the next few days.

I’m really pleased with how sales are going so far. I’ve outsold A Sour Chord already, which is not that much as that didn’t sell very well.

I got my first actual piece of press this week, too. Our local town blog posted a nice writeup about me and included details about the book. You can find it here.

That’s about it for now. My anxiety has had me up since 1:30am (it’s now 5am), so I figured I’d knock out an update while I couldn’t sleep.

I hope you’re well and staying safe. Wash your hands and wear a mask for pete’s sake.

So many updates, all at once!

Oh, hi there. It’s been a while, I know. Actually, it’s been over a year. That’s inexcusable, at least in my own eyes.

Anyway, I’ve been up to a lot of things. Besides just living life, being a dad, working my job, working my other job, keeping my humans alive and trying to be a good friend to my close friends, I’ve done two momentous things as of just now:

  1. I published My Last Days! Finally, it’s available for pre-order starting today and will be available on May 6th.
  2. I launched my new author site. This took longer than I’d like to admit, but I’m happy with the result.

As a special offer to those who read my blog, you can use the promo code BLOGREADER on my online book shop will receive 10% off their order, with no limit. Pre-order your paperback or hardcover of My Last Days and you’ll get it on May 1st, before the public. You may even get it sooner than that, if I can get out to the post office to ship them out.

It’s also available for Kindle, Apple and Nook, and is available on Google Play and Smashwords. eBooks are just $2.99 as a promotional launch price. The paperback and limited edition hardcover are on sale until the end of May. Buy them right through my site, pay by credit card, or through your Amazon account.

And, please, tell your friends, loved ones, strangers, the guy at the grocery store. Tell everyone, but do it from a safe social distance.

Thanks for all the love and support over the years while I got this thing finished up and available to you all!

A Real Website is Important

Over the past year and a half, since I started this journey, I’ve been to countless websites, blogs, Facebook pages, GoodReads profiles, Amazon Author pages and a zillion other services for authors. What’s the most surprising to me is how few authors have real websites, on their own domain.

As someone who works a day job building and maintaining websites, this causes some great concern. Not just because that’s my bread and butter as I sell copies of my book, but because it’s not always safe to do that.

Here’s some reasons why having a real website is important.

You control your data.

With a hosted service, such as a WordPress.com website, a Facebook page, or a Blogspot blog, you don’t own your content. If you read the fine print carefully in the terms of service, the service you’re publishing through owns everything you publish (in most cases). Which means you’re basically giving away your bread and butter.

More control over aesthetics

When you run your own website, you (generally) have much more control over how it looks and what features you can use with it. Granted, this can be limited by your personal skills, the skills of the person you hire to manage it for you, or the budget you have to spend on it.

I realize that most people go with a hosted service for one of three reasons: 1) Cost. 2) Easy. 3) It’s all they know how to do.

Security

It’s usually more secure to run your own website, because you have more control over what’s allowed. When you have an account with a hosting service (such as GoDaddy, 1&1, etc.) you can run your own software of choice, opting to keep it up to date and make sure that your content is as secure as you want it to be.

When you use a third party service, let’s use Blogspot for example, you have no control over the availability of your content. What if Blogspot goes down right as your book goes on sale? What recourse do you have for a service you’re getting for free? You can complain, but ultimately it’s not in your control of when your page will come back up.

If you run your own site you’ll have as much control as you want over that outage. In most cases you can get your site back up pretty easily, usually with just a call to your webhost.

A domain name

This one should be a no brainer! How much easier is it to tell someone you meet at an event or a book signing that your website is yourname.com or yourbook.com?

It’s easier to tell them and easier for them to remember. If you have to tell them it’s mybook.blogspot.com or mybook.tumblr.com, they’ll be less likely to remember when they get home. Having a custom domain name means that you have something more memorable.

Not to mention that the .book domain is coming in 2015. That means you can have title.book as your book and have it direct right to your website.

There are countless other reasons why you should have your own website and these are just meant as examples. In this self-publishing world where we all want to appear like we’re professionals with years of experience, dozens of books, and a literary agent that’s a big deal, having a real domain name with a real website is a must.

The Author Website

As you may have noticed, I have a website here.  Shocking, I know!  What you may not know is that I started building the website before I even started writing the book.

My day job consists of many things to do with websites – working on them, building them, helping people with theirs – so naturally I knew I’d need a website for the book.

The domain name (mjandreau.com) was purchased years ago, as an alternative to my personal blog’s domain for a job hunt that I did back in 2009.  Since I still owned the domain, I figured that my writing persona would be M. Jandreau, and opted to start building the site here.

Building the website myself has been a fun experience.  I’ve been able to use some great existing software (WordPress), and a bunch of add-ons (called plugins) that are specific for authors that I’ve never had the chance to use before.

The site’s using a number of cool things – newsletter manager, download tracking, client testimonials, event managers, and book managers.  It’s helped me get the site all ready for everything I’d need to manage it and sell my book.

I’ve also done some behind the scenes work so that when/if I release a second book, I can easily transition into having this whole website about a single book to having and selling multiple books.

It’s been a fun (and necessary) experience, and at this point I’m mostly done.  I just need the cover art and to start selling the book so I can get the links on the homepage (which I realize by the time you may read this, will have already been done) to finish up.