Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, August 2, 2015

New Webpage in the Works!

Fig. 1. Observe the happiness clean-cut businessmen derive from seeing strings of numbers on the World Wide Web.
Here in the whiz-bang ultra-sonic space-age a-go-go World of the Future, authors must have webpages. See the guy in the image above? He has a webpage. His cat has a webpage. So, as an author, I must needs have a webpage, too.


Look, I don't bloody know. Marketing. Presence. Author brand. Because all the other authors have one. Take your pick. The reasons are irrelevant -- unless you are Harper Lee and you wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird" before going into literary seclusion forty years ago, writers need a webpage.

I'm not anti-webpage. I enjoy these weekly blog entries. I like knowing there's a place on the web curious readers can find out who I am what I've written. I love connecting with readers, because you guys and gals are a fascinating bunch.

Once upon a time, building a webpage of one's own was even relatively simple. You needed to know fewer than 50 HTML commands. You could build the whole page using nothing but Notepad, the HTML commands, and a web connection. It really was that easy.

You can still do that, by the way. That's how my webpages were created and maintained for many years. They served their purpose, and did so effectively if not with an abundance of flash.

But as the Web has gotten more sophisticated, so have readers and internet folk. Expectations have risen. 

Sadly, my own technical skills have not. I know basic HTML, which is the language used to build webpages. Give me an hour, and I can make you a functional web page -- but it won't be very pretty.

Give me ten hours, or a hundred, and it STILL won't be very pretty. I lack any talent for graphic design. For proof of that, look no further than my own webpage,

Go ahead, have a look, if you want. 

See what I mean? All the necessary features are there. Links. Book lists. Bio and contact information, so when Paramount Pictures wants to shove piles of cash at me in exchange for movie rights they won't have any trouble finding me.

But yeesh -- I keep getting phone calls from 2002, which wants its webpage code back.

I think it was last year, maybe the year before, when I realized my hand-coding skills just weren't up to snuff any longer. So I bought a program that allowed me to build my website without resorting to line-by-line hand coding. The program allowed me to select a template, select the color schemes and layouts, and just add my graphics and text.

I thought I'd be able to create a modern, professional website using the program, which by the way did everything it claimed it would.

Instead, I learned a valuable lesson. 

I should leave graphic design and art to artists, and stick to tapping out words.

With this in mind, I set out to find a webpage design firm or individual who could build me a decent webpage. Bring me into 2015, so to speak. I've got a few books out. They're doing well.

Time to put on some big boy pants, I decided, and tweak my public image a bit.

A few minutes perusing price lists on website design firm pages drove home the grim realization that webpage construction isn't cheap. Most of the packages started around $1500 and rose quickly into the rarefied stratosphere. I checked my website design budget coffer (i.e., looked under the couch cushions for change), and, after a few hours of abject weeping, I resumed my search for affordable webpage design.

Well, I got lucky. I found a firm that didn't laugh at my budget, and was eager to build a page. 

No, the new page isn't done yet. But the process is underway, and soon you'll see a shiny, sleek new webpage with my name on it.

I'll keep you all posted on the progress. 

In the meantime, though, I need a new photo for the obligatory author bio page. I've selected a few random snapshots of me, taken as go about my daily routines. I'm sharing them below. One may wind up on the new page.

Does this beard make my butt look fat?
Practicing my puppet hands.

Just out for a ride on my horse, I'm totally NOT invading Ukraine.

The Good, the Bad, or the Ugly?

On my way to Waterloo, astride my war-horse Mr. Binky.
 I think I may go with the first image, because say what you will about my mug, I've got million-dollar gams.

The new page will be along in a few weeks. Until then, I'm plugging along on the new Markhat, so stay tuned!

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