Thursday, 20 March 2008

Website v Blog

I mentioned last week that the gumption and sheer determination of the pulp writer Stephen Frances (a.k.a. Hank Janson) put us modern writers to shame. Following on from that, a small group of novelists from my writing group met here at my house to discuss the whole idea of self-publishing and possibly even setting up a co-operative publishing house. Our discussions continue, but in the meantime we also debated the merits of having a website.

I used to run my own consultancy business that had a pretty good website, the sole aim of which was to attract customers. Now, while potential customers may have used the site to check me out, I received not one single new piece of business through the site. But that was a few years ago - I'm told things may be different now. We certainly attracted a number of new members to Deal Writers partly because of our website (which until recently I maintained). And in the past I joined a running club purely because they had such a comprehensive and useful website. So maybe my thinking is out of date . . .

Anyway, now that I no longer have the responsibility of maintaining the writers' group website I've finally begun to build one of my own. It will be interesting to see what difference (if any) it makes - especially in terms of getting my publisher to get cracking with publishing The Belfast Boy . . .


3 comments:

Kanani said...

I think they're a lot of work. My own group was enthusiastic, but there were a few that just didn't like blogging.

So we got it together and put loads of fun information on it. But without everyone's participation, I just let it slide. This year, I put up a notice that the group was on indefinite hiatus!

I think the only way to get business through it is that you have to approach the promotion of it like a full time job!

Mary Witzl said...

I blush to admit this, Paul, but not so long ago I didn't know that a blog and a website weren't the same thing. And it took me some time to figure out that I had to click on that picture of you to open up your website.

There it is -- I've confessed! I feel much better...

The website looks great, by the way. I would go and set one up if only I could.

Paul said...

Hi Kanani - You're right about the amount of work required, and also about groups being resistant to blogging. I also set up a blog for my own group, and after an initial flurry of enthusiasm no one has posted anything since last year.

Hi Mary - I guess a blog IS a form of website. There's an article in the latest Society of Authors mag about that very thing. I learnt a lot about building a website from scratch last year while I was maintaining the Deal Writers site. I didn't have a clue when I started, but as with anything it didn't take too long to learn the basics. I'm still feeling my way, slowly and not altogether surely!