As I mentioned in my previous post, I finally broke down and set up an author website. The first draft was easy enough. I simply chose a theme, plugged in my information, and customized my menu. Then, I introduced myself. Whoo hoo, I was on the web.
But setting up a website that accurately represents me and my work was far more difficult. The longer I looked at the theme I had chosen, the more I realized how bland it was. It showed my name and a list of my books, but it didn’t accurately portray those books or the settings I hope to connect my readers to in those stories. The site failed to do that because I failed to defined it for myself.
So I began to customize.
First, the theme. The original theme was attractive enough, but I had difficulty placing a photo in the header that represented the southern beauty I strive to portray. I went through several themes before I settled on the current one. It doesn’t quite fit–the black box gives the entire site a more dramatic tone than I would like, and I can’t change it–but the background photo was spot on. Plus, it gives the site a cozy feel that speaks to a simpler time.
Next, I had to refine my tag line. Author of fiction set in the south was vague and somewhat boring. I changed it about as many times as I changed the theme, but with each change, I narrowed the focus, choosing my words as carefully as I would in a novel. I’m sure I’ll go through a few more iterations, but for now, anyone who sees, Christian fiction served southern style to bless your heart and soul, will have a good idea what to expect from my stories.
As you see, presenting oneself or ones business online if far more difficult than it seems. We have to step back and try to understand how a person with no knowledge of our product or services will view us by the way we represent ourselves in graphics and text.
And as Christians, we need to step back and think about how the world views us by our words and actions. Sometimes we struggle to do so. Sometimes we have to start over, making mistakes and corrections along the way. That, too, is an element of my work, so I guess this website is beginning to fully represent my stories.