The Practicing Writer Web site is now approaching its sixth birthday. So much in my writing life has changed since it was launched in the summer of 2004. I've moved to a new city; shifted from freelancing and teaching to a full-time (albeit writing-and-editing-intensive) office job; added poetry-writing to my personal practice; established the Practicing Writing and My Machberet blogs; started a Twitter feed; expanded the subscriber list for The Practicing Writer newsletter from 400 to more than 3,200 readers; and, oh yes, finally found a home for my short story collection, Quiet Americans.
I don't believe that the original site has kept up with the times. I've often thought that if I were re-starting my online presence, I'd do it through a blog-based platform (Wordpress seems to be a common choice). And I've often wished for a single, easily-edited and super-flexible space in which I could base myself, my writing (of all kinds), and my services for writers. Consolidation seems most appealing!
I've also thought that it's probably time for me to add some kind of direct merchandising/sales capacity to my site; those of you who haven't been completely satisfied by Lulu's handling of the e-book sales will probably agree.
Now that Quiet Americans is on its way, it seems to be the perfect time to take a good, solid look at what my primary Web presence should be--and work to create it. So I've been reaching out to designers for ideas about their processes, products, and prices. I'm learning a lot, but I'd love to glean the benefits of YOUR experiences and insights.
Which author sites do you particularly admire? Why? Based on your own experiences as an author (or as a reader), what advice can you offer me as I pursue this? What do you wish someone had told you before you (or your designer) built (or rebuilt) YOUR main site? And are there any designers out there whom you'd recommend?
I am really looking forward to your comments. I say it often, but it can't be overemphasized: I am tech-challenged! I will appreciate all the help that you can offer!