I’ve learnt since launching my website that I broke lots of rules.
Firstly a friend’s son designed it for me. I understand all the arguments against asking someone you know to design your site, and to a certain extent I agree with them, but at the time it seemed an offer too good to refuse. Obviously I wanted to keep costs down, since this was my first novel, but it was also reassuring to work with people I knew, who were so supportive and encouraging. At first, when so much was organised in terms of booksignings etc there could be a bit of a delay in updating the relevant web pages, but that frustration has been overcome by attaching my blogs to the web site. (which I will write about in my next blog entry) So it’s worked out really well now.
Secondly, the rules of marketing express clearly that the website should be up and running well before publication. In the end the timing of the launch of Riduna coincided with the website perfectly. This just meant that none of the details were on any of the publishing company’s publicity materials.
My steep learning curve of understanding my role in the marketing process often felt like a runner who missed the starting pistol. I was forever trying to catch up.
Thirdly it was all a bit of a rush and and at the last minute I did not have a suitable photo. The one originally chosen certainly gave me a few cringeful moments in the early days but this was soon rectified when one of my website’s designers came to the book signing in Luton and took a few choice shots with his high definition camera. A good photo is a must and I certainly agree with this one too.
Fourthly, I chose a name which was not the same as my ‘pen’ name. The name Diana Jackson had already gone as a .co.uk site and so I chose one with my middle name in too. www.dianamaryjackson.co.uk With hindsight I had not considered or understood the difficulties of searching on the internet, when no one knew my middle name was Mary. Silly really, because it probably took just that little bit longer to be recognised.
This was all in the timing – if the setting up the web site had coincided with choosing my cover name I could have chosen Diana Mary Jackson as my pen name in the first place. Hindsight is a wonderful thing they say.
Nevertheless, with the updates of tabs, links to Twitter and to my two blogs, the web site works really well now. A nice touch is that the background picture was cleverly chosen by my designer to reflect the cover of ‘Riduna’ with a modern photo of Alderney at night.
Now i’m pleased to say that my web site certainly appears on the first page of a Google search and has even crept to no 1 spot on a few occasions.