Author Essentials Part 1: The Domain

Good morning to all the Story Empire readers, PH here today with a new series for authors. You may find yourself, especially as a new author, with a lot of questions about how to approach your writing and how to go about establishing yourself. There are quite a number of essential needs you will have as an author beyond merely writing a book. To that end, this series will attempt to address some of the basics that you may find yourself lacking. These essentials are not necessarily meant to help you become a great writer or strengthen your craft. Instead they are practical details for how to build your writing presence.

Many authors begin their new found career with a desire to jump right in and write a book and then self-publish it or submit around the traditional publishing industry. However, before you begin that long journey you might want to spend some time creating the foundation you will need for your writing career—even being traditionally published. Almost all authors will begin at ground-level. This means your audience will be at, or near, zero. This is hard fact is a reality, one which you must accept as soon as possible so you can begin to make decisions about how to build your audience. The essentials that will be discussed in this series are ways to lay the foundation so that it will make it easier for you to market your work once you have self-published your book.

One of the issues with which I struggled making a decision for a long time while I was trying to develop a book was understanding what I needed to begin to attract readers. While you are writing that first book or subsequent books, now is a great time to work on the other essentials. There are any number of ways to get this work underway, but the bedrock of your efforts should be identifying, or branding, who you are as an author. No, this is not a deep existential premise. Instead, it is simple matter of establishing a brand for your writing, something upon which you can begin to attract readers and build your audience. My suggestion is that you begin with your domain.

There may be some questions about why I choose an Internet domain as the first essential you will need to build the foundation for your author brand. However, this goes very deep and it is a simple matter. But first, you may ask what is a domain? A domain is simply the Internet address that you will claim to direct people to your information when you are engaging with them over the Internet in any way. This is essentially your digital storefront, one where you begin to place quite a lot in the window so you can attract passersby to your work.

But why is a domain the beginning for your writing essentials? Here are several reasons for establishing your domain first:

  • As mentioned above, this is your storefront. It is the place where you will direct people to come find out about you or find your books as you publish. It will be the basis of everything you do. From establishing your domain, you will be able to establish an email address from which you can communicate to the world around you as well as the number of other necessary accounts for social media.
  • A domain gives you a distinct presence, one that sets you apart from all of your other personal actions on the Internet. This will cover everything from a website, to your email, to all of your social media outreach. Everything you do will depend on your domain.

So what are the ways in which you need to pursue creating a domain.? First of all, your domain and your website are going to be intricately linked, as well as your email address. These two essentials will be discussed at a later time, but they are also the foundation for what you need to operate your self-publishing. Your website and your email communications will become synonymous with your domain.

You should choose your domain very carefully, and if possible, it should include your author name whether it is your real name or a pen name. With that in mind, make sure you do some research about your domain and test whether or not the domain you want is actually available. For this reason, you might come up with several different names. Most of the time, when you establish your domain, it is when you create your site and the provider will let you know if the domain name is taken. Again, I’ll share more about setting up a website in a later post.

However, you should always try to use ending of an Internet domain because this is better suited toward the sales that you want. The ending simply means that you are choosing a commercial domain. Once you have chosen your domain, it is a question of where you will sign up. For me, this was when I signed up with a free WordPress site. At that point , I could choose to register a domain for $10 or $15 a year. This is important to remember because as you are a new author, you should consider building the foundations of your brand carefully with a budget in mind. After all, you don’t want to spend a lot of money before you know if what you’re working on will sell well. So choose wisely and proceed carefully with a budget in mind rather than putting out a lot of money on the front end when you should be using your money and resources for more important needs, such as editing and possibly cover artwork as well as formatting your book.

Hopefully I’ve pointed you in the right direction for the first step in building the foundation for your writing experience and branding. There are quite a lot of other considerations that you should make before proceeding much further. I will continue sharing more of these essentials in future posts. Thank you for stopping by story Empire today. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section and I will reply as soon as I am able.

P.H. Solomon

33 thoughts on “Author Essentials Part 1: The Domain

  1. Pingback: Author Essentials Part 6: Marketing Plan | Story Empire

  2. I’m a bit late reading it, but I like this series a lot! There are several articles out there about the craft, but less that deal with practical issues.
    For what concerns my domain, I wish I had started with my own. Instead I started with a free wordpress site (with the word wordpress in it) and then, when I signed up with Bluehost for a self-hosted site, I had to move the entire site… and it was a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you found them useful. Sorry to hear you had trouble with your site. That’s a consideration from the beginning and most people don’t realize the effect. Just my opinion, but I think most authors are good just upgrading to paid on WP. Otherwise it gets troublesome bringing site followers over after migration to self hosted.

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. There are so many little things and so many mistakes but in the end I’ve always felt consistency pays off. By putting our name out there, by letting people know what we do over and over and most of all engage, people will begin to associate us with the work we are trying to produce.

    As always, excellent content. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember purchasing my domain name before I even started writing my first book. By the time I submitted to a publisher, I had an fairly active blog, website, Facebook account, and Twitter account. A lot of small presses will ask if you have a website when you submit to them, and also which social media platforms you use. These days the bulk of promotion falls back on us as authors. It’s so important to begin building your brand right out of the gate.
    A good reminder post, P.H.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I think this is a topic people tend to forget about or take to time to make careful, considerate decisions. I was lucky; my name isn’t common, so my domain wasn’t claimed. I know Joan couldn’t just use her name because it was already in use by someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good post. Establishing your domain is an important first step. I’ve tried for years to see if Joan Hall (dot) com is available. Someone owns it, doesn’t use it, but wants to make big bucks off it. I had to settle for (dot) net. I keep checking in the hopes someone will forget to renew the payment on the dot com site! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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