Friday, January 11, 2008

Back to the resolutions

I'm kind of liking this resolution thing. Keeping them very specific is helpful - it's easier to get started and, of course, easier to finish. My resolutions could have been summarised as 'keep writing' - but then I might start counting things like writing birthday cards, or forget about it all together.

So, I have 11. I won't bore you with them again, but, suffice to say thanks to some speedy beta readers I sent out Ghost Boys yesterday, so yippee and goodbye to resolutions 1, 2 and 3. The Christmas drinking is over, alas, so number 9 is gone. Ah, happy, but vague, memories. Did one of Church Lady's writing exercises today, so there's number 8 gone, and I'm managing to keep blogging with remarkable success, so I think I'll cross out 10 as well. See, this is going great!

However, it's time to get started on number 4: 'Get a website up and running - by the end of February, sooner if possible'. This might be the stumper. I wish I'd broken this one up a little, so I might do it now:

4a - register domain name (done!)
4b - research some HTML sites to see if I can be bothered teaching myself HTML again
4c - research some easy-to-use web creation, Mac-friendly sites/programs to see if that would be a better option - must combine a certain amount of creative freedom with idiot-proof simplicity
4d- structure web site (kind of done; I know most of what I would like to have on there)
4e - write copy (should be easy; I do this for a living along with other types of marketing copy, but, as we all know, doing it for yourself is, oh, a million times harder, than doing it for anybody else)
4f - source photos
4g - knuckle down and design website
4h - consider whether or not design is so pathetic that I should hand it over to one of my friendly design agencies to do for me - disadvantage is the megabucks it will cost
4i - test thoroughly in all programs and fix hitches
4j - choose host and get up and running

Did I miss anything? More experienced web folk please pitch with advice! I know December is partway through the process, as is Church Lady, anyone else ever tried this/feel like coming along for the ride?! Or, can anyone recommend any good writer web sites for me to snoop around? I like simple, edgy design. Simple is important if I'm doing it myself!

I think resolution number 4 is going to take a little time, but I want to create something that will last me for some time.


Conduit said...

If you need any help with this just give me a shout. :)

Chumplet said...

I like Joy Fielding's site. Simple, clean and easy to navigate.

My site is bare bones at the moment because my designer is still learning. He put it together as a favour to me:

I gave him a rough idea of what I wanted by throwing together a word document so he could extract the components.

I'd like to learn html too so I can change the website on the fly rather than emailing back and forth. Some designers give you a template and the freedom to make changes on your own.

It was pretty quick once the domain name was obtained -- a couple of weeks.

Robin S. said...

I have a domain name, and I had a working site that hadn't been published yet- but am now reworking, sporadically, as it wasn't doing what I wanted it to.
It didn't look like "me", you know what I mean?

I've backburnered it for now - otherwise, I think I'd play with it instead of finishing reworking my manuscript. But, when I do finish, while the novel sits a few weeks (again), I have the skeleton of a site in place, and that's when I plan to finish it - during the "further fermentation time".

So, I have no good ideas to give you, McK - all I can do is simply commisserate, and wish you the best of luck!

McKoala said...

Thank you, Conduit. If I get stuck I will absolutely take complete advantage of your expertise!

Also thanks Chumplet, I'll take a look at Joy Fielding's - and yours. And thanks for the support, Robin!

I've been giving myself a crash course in HTML and CSS, so I guess I'll give it a go and see how it looks!

Robin S. said...

Best of luck, by the way, with Ghost Boys! Sorry I forgot to mention that before.

December/Stacia said...

I am, as I said, finding GoDaddy's "Web Site Tonight" slow and difficult to customize. BUT, I will say that once you've accepted the lack of customizeability, it's pretty easy to work with and does make the site look professional. I also like that it automatically adds stuff like copyright info on the bottom of each page, unlike Moonfruit (who does my DQ page), where you have to add all that stuff to every page separately, which is a huge pain.

So WebSite Tonight isn't the best, but it's not the worst either.

Robin S. said...

Hi December- I'm also using GoDaddy's Website Tonight - it's rough sledding for a no-techie type like me.

I had tried using - it's a freebie one- but - they didn't have the capabilities to make what I wanted to happen, happen. They were, however, much eaier to use.

The good news for me is, with GoDaddy, they have good tech support people you can call.

I haven't done this much yet, because I was concerned that working with a website-build when I was supposed to be editing my manuscript was a red flag that I was procrastinating. But I think you guys all have finished products going out into the world, so all I can say is, I'm impressed.

Church Lady said...

4i looks good.

And YAY! You go with those writing exercises!!