A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 2

CalendarThis is a continuation from Monday’s blog, The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity. It took time to get to the place where I was ready to commit to writing after the events described in my previous post. But that bit of serendipity certainly affected what I’ve done this past year as well as where I’m going next year. In Part 1 of this series I’ll revealed how I’ve progressed this year in several ways but now I want to get more specific starting with my email decisions.

Last week, I wrote about where I started the year as I reviewed how I’ve developed my writing platform. As I shared in the previous post, I started with nothing – no blog or website and no social media accounts. There wasn’t even an email account.

The email account was one of the most important pieces of the puzzle I needed to progress with anything. It’s incredibly important to have an email that reflects your brand as a writer. Your name appears on everything you use with your address – website, blog, social media accounts, etc.

Now there was a challenge to getting my email address. I felt strongly about having my own domain registration for consistent branding purposes. However, I have been limited by monetary challenges during the year.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

I could have created a free account on one of the many hosts available. I new that a domain registration was not very expensive at all but hosting a site and email was a larger monetary commitment than I wanted to spend.

What was my hesitation? Well, I considered the whole endeavor to be something of a test. I didn’t want a large monetary commitment without a reason and simply wanting to self-publish was not significant enough. So I wanted to build the author platform with little money spent and grow into it.

I did some research about email hosting. With a domain registration in hand, I found that I could simply designate an email address and host it with Google. I took advantage of the free trial period in case I needed to end the project. But at the end of the trial period, I was required to make a commitment to pay for the hosting. I chose to pay only $5 on a monthly basis so I could end the payments whenever I need to – either because I needed to abandon the author platform or upgrade to a fully hosted alternative. At that point, I could use Google to check and manage my email.

At this point, I had the chance to build more of my platform. I started my website and blog. I created my first social media accounts for my writing brand with Twitter and Facebook accounts. All these are aspects of the foundation for my author platform. But the email address is the most basic element; it’s like having nails to put pieces together.

I consider my decision to handle my platform with a branded domain and subsequent email address to be a solid decision. As I shared last week, I had already made mistakes with months of hesitation and moving too quickly into a crowdfunding campaign. But the email address is was a better decision.

As I noted above, I plan to share more about the details of how I started, what I used and the reasons for my decisions – good and bad – in the coming weeks. I’ll also use another series to discuss my plans for the upcoming years and why I’m setting such goals. Along the way, I’m also planning to reveal what I hope will be a helpful Scrivener template related to all these issues and how I plan to move forward. Again, I’m sharing this for other new or floundering would-be authors so if you know someone giving a it a go as a writer please share my posts with them.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

How did you start your author web-presence? Is you branding consistent and why or why not? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

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