Any author sites hosted here?

I will soon be self-publishing a book, so I’ll need a proper author’s site with email-list software in order to build a list of engaged readers right from the start, which is important for sales of subsequent books. It costs money to run such a site once it attracts users, but I won’t have the money to back that until I’ve sold a decent number of copies of the book, so I’m looking for advice from anyone who may already have done this through Infinity Free in order to know what software or settings for it are best for minimising the risk of the site being cut off repeatedly for 24 hours during the early stages before upgrading to paid hosting (which I won’t be able to do straight away because you have to wait months to get paid for books sold). Any advice on this would be invaluable, and perhaps it could be turned into a community guide if there’s enough to justify that.

Congratulations on the book :slight_smile:

You can make a basic website in WordPress and add plugins as desired… a gallery etc.
This also depends on the number of visits and e-mails you expect
it’s not the same whether it’s 10 people a day or 5,000+
Software/plugins are not hard to find, but integrating it and testing it - all this consumes a lot of time,
and in most cases, such software cannot be run on free hosting or it will break the limit and suspension will follow.

Everything else like e-mail/marketing integrations, SEO, payment, social media, e-commerce, booking, membership,a scan of a book cover - perhaps a 3D model, quoting and citing them on the page,
photos of you as the author, and hundreds of small details that make a page professional…hmmhm,
there is a lot of work there - I think it will cost you at least €100

And that should all be ready before the book appears,
so that when someone types in your name or the title of the book in Google, G will immediately take them to your website, and not for your website to appear somewhere on page 4+

I think it’s better to pay for hosting anyway,
because here on the free service, you never know if there will be some work on the servers or if there will be a DDoS or something similar, which can then keep your website offline for several days.

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Thanks (for the congratulations and the extensive detail). It’ll be a good few months yet before it’s launched, but I need to get things set up before that.

I’m looking for the absolute minimum to begin with: a single page that shows the book cover, blurb, links to places to buy it, and an option for people to sign up to my email list. Bells and whistles can wait until I’ve got enough income coming in from the book to support paid hosting. I’ll be publishing under a rare name that should be top of search results. I can do most of this by building a page directly myself, but I don’t know how to handle the email list, so I’m just looking for any tips from anyone who might already have done that here. As soon as I see sufficient sales, I’ll upgrade to paid hosting to avoid the risk of being cut off, but I don’t want to do that before I see actual sales because there’s no guarantee that there will be any. Over two million books on Amazon have never sold a single copy.

The easiest (maybe not the smartest or the best way) is to use a contact form and just have the email address sent to you by email, then then you update a manual list that you have.

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How much knowledge do you have about HTML and JS?

I ask this because if you know some basics, you can download a free HTML5 template from the net for an author’s website and then edit the text, links and insert some pictures.
Such a static website is more resilient and is not “hungry” for server resources such as WordPress and other dynamic ones that use PHP, which when a large number of requests/visits appear exceeds the hosting limits.

With this, you would separate the static part and the dynamic part with the initial design and thereby distribute resources.
So the home page - where most visits/reqs will happen will be HTML (static)
and then, if necessary, generate some php pages that will be connected with some form from that html page for interaction.

What you should have is also the shipping cost and this amount is automatically calculated depending on the location.

You also need a business email address (domain) not authorXyFromTheBook @gmail.com


I don’t know what is the subject of the book and whether it is directly useful, but
I think for sale, it is much more important that you have created satellite accounts on various social platforms and forums where you will subtly (as a third person) write something like:
“This book is great and very useful”, simply to promote yourself a bit until things get rolling.

On your website, you can also have an option where you will for an additional €5
make an autograph and/or dedication in the book according to the user’s wish/name.

Or along with the price of the book, the purchaser also gets something silly,
it can be a rubber duck, a set of dishes :smile: , or something related to the content of the book,
and somehow, through a joke, jump out from the crowd and stand out.

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Thanks for those suggestions. I’ve now found advice telling authors to put their site at wordpress dot com for free (the downside being adverts appearing until you start paying) and to use email software with it which is free to use until you have collected a thousand addresses, so that would solve the biggest problem, avoiding any need to collect and manage an email list manually. I could use that for building the email list while keeping a static page here for everything else, with the only added cost being that I’d need two domain names instead of one. That isn’t such a bad thing though as it would be good to have two anyway with one using the name of the book and the other using the author’s name. That would keep the main page free of adverts and let me control every aspect of it, making it easy to use JavaScript and SVG to add fun components, which is important as it’s a children’s book (middle grade) - I’d like to provide a bit of magic on it. (I’d also need a simpler main page for phones to view.)

The links to places to buy the book in email form would take buyers to Amazon initially - it’s best for the ebook to be exclusive to them so as to take advantage of people reading it for “free” as that massively boosts visibility through the recommendation engine. Later on I can consider “going wide” once it’s established and potentially sell it direct from my own page. For print-on-demand copies it’s possible to sell through multiple routes, and they all handle shipping costs. The only paper copies that I’d be selling directly would be to local shops and through school visits if the book takes off sufficiently well to justify printing it in batches of 500 copies. 95% of sales of children’s books are of print copies rather than ebooks, but 40% of their sales are online, so it’s still potentially more lucrative to self-publish rather than to hand over control to a traditional publisher because the royalties from self-publishing are so much higher. I’m keen to keep control over the book instead of signing away rights to it because the market is clearly moving away from the traditional model and I don’t want to get trapped in it.

I’ll certainly want to include quotes from reviews, such as:-

It’s nae bad - the local postie

I’ve chewed on worse books - the dog down the street

There is also potential to sell products related to the book, and there’s one particular thing that I could sell at a wide range of prices - musical instruments related to the story (I actually manufacture inexpensive, high quality flutes made out of craft resin, and flutes are involved in the story), but the book would need to become a big success before that would take off. Initially though, I could give some away as prizes.

So, I think I have a better idea now about how to set up a proper web presence for the book. I’d still like to see what other people have done if anyone’s hosting their author’s site here - I’m sure there’s a lot that I could learn from their advice. The odds are that they’ll never see this thread though as it will soon disappear off the bottom of the page never to return, while any such sites are hopefully also transitory as they’ll upgrade into paid hosting as soon as buyers push them through the hit limits.

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