Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Domain name - tick; blog - tick; twitter - tick... (Anne Rooney)

It used to be the case that when you thought of a title for your book or series you were pleased, tried it out on a few people, and got on with writing. You might check whether someone else had used the title for anything similar. Now there is a whole post-title task-bank to work through.

Task 1: buy the appropriate domain names and put up holding pages. Tick.
Check the domain name for your title is available, or something you can plausibly use instead. If you can't use the title, is that being used for something you don't want your child readers to visit by accident? My series title is Vampire Dawn: it would be entirely plausible for a steamy temptress called Dawn to have taken this domain for her page of naughty vampire photos, in which case I would have changed the title. Luckily, no such vamp is operating. VampireDawn.com has gone (to someone respectable), but VampireDawn.co.uk is now secured and a holding page in place.

Task 2: set up twitter account @VampireDawn. Tick.
Get any useful twitter names and start using them. This might be the title, or the name of a key character. Gillian Philip has @sethmacgregor for one of her characters, for instance.

Task 3: set up blog. Tick.
Now the blog. This was trickier as the blogger name had already gone. Wordpress, then. Pick a vaguely appropriate off-the-peg theme for now and put up a post or two promising what is coming.

Task 4: set up Facebook page and start using it. Tick.
And the Facebook page. For now, this will have updates on progress and a few snippets, but it's important to get the name now in case it goes to someone else. It's better to have a few followers on it before publication day, too.

Task 5: set up YouTube account. Tick.
We'll need a trailer, eventually. Here I ran into problems, as there is an independent film in production called Vampire Dawn. That's the group that has taken vampiredawn.com and vampiredawn.blogspot. And they have the YouTube account. So I grab VampireDawn2012 quickly. No need to make any films yet, but it's a good idea to start commenting with the account occasionally.

From the publisher, I needed the logo for the series and an early cover image - nothing else. Depending on your book, you might need something else - or nothing at all. And you might think this is all too much faff and you aren't going to do it. The characters in my series will be using Facebook and an iPhone app to keep in touch, so some online traces of these make it all more real. If your story is set in the eighteenth century - or even the 1980s - that won't be necessary. Phew.

Now - time to get on with writing the books....

@VampireDawn
Vampire Dawn website
Vampire Dawn on Facebook
Vampire Dawn's blog

11 comments:

Creative said...

Excellent advice, Anne.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Couldn't agree with you more, with all the networking, my writing often takes a back seat! Arghh!

Nicky Schmidt said...

great post, great advice!

catdownunder said...

Oh my goodness - it all sounds excellent advice - but terribly compurrlicated for a mere cat to get her paws around!

madwippitt said...

Blimey, I feel exhausted after just reading this ... Interesting advice, although I'm not sure I'll have the energy or time to pursue all of it AND write as well ...

Penny Dolan said...

Am going for a lie down.

Savita Kalhan said...

Wow! Great post and brilliant advice. Thanks, Anne. Now off to digest it all. There may be questions...

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Phew Anne! Yes I've done 'some' of those things but then the publisher decided that they didn't 'quite' like the book as much after all... so a few domain names etc etc are going begging. Unfortunately I signed up for the 'cheaper' deal of 7 years. Oh well could always change the title of my next book to include this last one!

scattered_laura said...

An intimidating task list when I'm not even sure if my writing is any good to begin with!

Cindy Jefferies said...

Crikey Anne. Respect!

Stroppy Author said...

Oh, I didn't mean to be intimidating... and I certainly wouldn't suggest you did all of these before you had signed a contract.

That's bad luck if the publisher changed their minds after you signed and bought domain names, Diane. Can you write something else with the same title??