WGPodcast: Are Websites Necessary

Writer Groupie Podcast brings you discussions, insights, and insider details on planning, producing, promoting, and profiting as a writer.

Welcome to Writer Groupie!

websites

SHOW NOTES:

Good day, Writer Groupies! I am doing a flyby episode today in hopes that I am going to slowly get back to my podcast schedule. I think most of you know that my hubby is my producer and he has been in the hospital and unable to help me out for some time now.

At any rate, he will be able to direct me to do the production work soon, so we can get back to business! If you are a former guest, or one that I have had to cancel, I will be in touch to reschedule soon!

Today, I want to discuss a subject that is subjective, depending on what your preferences are, and I am certainly NOT trying to sway you one way or another. But, it’s about websites for authors and whether we still need them or not, and whether what we put on one is complex or simple.

What got me on the subject today was seeing a nice book cover on Facebook and following the links to see the book on Amazon-you know me, I love good book covers – and if you need one designed will be happy to do that for you- but I digress.

This book, a romance, was ranking on Amazon moderately, and I wanted to know more about the author. I always think about possible podcast guests. So, I tried and tried to find the author’s website. And there is not one. The author is exclusively on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

This made me sit back on my heels a little.

Are websites now no longer needed for an author?  Do we as consumers no longer desire to see the author’s creds and other items? This author only had the one book so maybe she will get a site up once she gets another one ready to go. I also tried to hunt down her publishing company and found nothing that matched exactly so suspect that she is using her own publishing information as I do with MKS Books. This is a common thing with indies.

But I have heard more than once that you should have a website, even a one page site. It’s just the norm. But I am seeing more and more indies going to a social media experience for their platform. I think in a way, that is an okay thing to do. I mean, where did I find this author? On Facebook!

So, it bears repeating…are websites going by the wayside? I find myself going less and less to sites for my information gathering…even of big companies. Now, yes, we all shop online and those sites are frequented quite heavily. But for an author? Or a book? Is it possible now to do away with a website?

When I visited the sites of two of my favorite authors, I found sites filled with info about their book tours and covers and links to their books (current books being sold—not really backlist) and nothing else. I suspect these NYT bestsellers are far too busy out in the world promoting to be worrying with blogging or any of that and likely have author assistants who do their sites.

But, if you have a site…what is necessary? For a long time, it was simply a placeholder for your image and bio and book covers and links. Then sites went the way of blogs and everyone felt the need to post blog posts daily or so…but I am seeing a whole lot of defunct blogs now because we are all very, very busy people and don’t have time to write out a long tirade. And even less time to read one. So, I think it is safe to say that blogging at least on a website is really sort of a dead thing.

And if the authors that I visited are any indication, sites may be going back to the placeholder days.

Either way, a website is in my opinion, an expense that an author just getting started could do without. I think they may well get more mileage from social media places. Eventually as they publish more and more books they will want a site.

What do you think?

Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear what you think.

Thanks for listening! You can find show notes, contact form, and more at http://www.writergroupie.net

You can find out more about Kim Smith at http://www.kimsmithauthor.net

Happy New Year to WGP fans and followers!

2017

I have had a major setback in my personal life and have taken a small hiatus from the podcast for a while. I cancelled all my scheduled podcasts for the now, and I apologize to all my guests.

If it were not serious, and necessary, I would never do such a thing.

But I will try to do a few flyby episodes here and there until my load lightens. Thanks to everyone who has stayed the course with me through all the tumult.

 

Merry Christmas to all our fans and followers. May your holiday celebration be filled with love and laughter and all things good.

We will be back on December 27 with an interview with the ever-fabulous, Jack Wallen. Feel free to click on his name and check him out NOW.

Until we meet again, Joyeux Noelnoel

Episode 75 – Lori Roberts, author and living historian

roberts
Lori Roberts is an author, educator, historian and presenter for historical events and workshops. Lori has been an educator for more than twenty years, currently teaching United States History at the Middle School level.

Lori as a living historian, often portrays Mrs. Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, wife of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

She has spoken at Civil War events in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia. As a presenter, Lori has given first-person programs to the Southern Indiana Education Center/Living History Fellowship Grant, Journey Through the Hallowed Ground Conference, George Mason University. Lori was a 2011 nominee for the Guilder Lehrman Social Studies Teacher of the Year.

Lori has a passion for history, and bringing history to life for her audience. Bringing characters to life through historical interpretation is one method Lori uses to engage her students in the classroom.

Lori and I chat via audio podcast only for this show and you can see what books she has below.

Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

roberts

roberts

roberts

In this episode with Lori Roberts, we discuss:

SHOW NOTES

  • Her journey as a writer and living historian
  • How she can begin another book even in the midst of the current one
  • What she did about writing during Nanowrimo this year
  • How being a teacher has influenced what she writes and how sometimes hinders her writing
  • Discussion about free-writing and if an author can or should do it
  • Why she chose the Civil War era and if it was related to a familial connection
  • How Gone with the Wind influenced her decision about the era to write in
  • If she might write in another era-say, medival history
  • Insider details about how research has played a part in her writing life
  • Insights on how current opinion has affected writing historical fiction esp. in the CW era
  • AND SO MUCH MORE! INCLUDING HER ADVICE FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS

    PODCAST LINK

    You can find Lori Roberts online at:

    LINKS

    Website : http://www.stonewallswife.com
    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/lori.crecelius.roberts
    Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Lori-Roberts/e/B0089A94EG

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
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    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

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Episode 74 Gerald Hausman, storyteller and author

gerald Gerald Hausman chatted with me about his work and the writing life.

gerald

Gerald Hausman is the author of more than 70 books. His live storytelling has been praised by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, History Channel, and the Bank Street College of Education. He and his wife have received numerous awards in the field of children’s literature.

“As a writer I have often been called a scribe. This is because in the gathering of oral tales, I have always tried to get the story right. To capture the flavor, the region and the moral as the original storyteller gave it to me. The NYT Book Review called my collection of American Indian stories, Tunkashila ‘an eloquent tribute to the first great storytellers of America.'”

In addition to his 22 years of story gathering and telling in New Mexico, Gerald also spent 13 summers on the island of Jamaica where he ran an informal writing school with his wife, Lorry. Together they collected Anansi stories, stories from and about the Kebra Nagast, and traditional West Indian ghost stories.

george-and-gerry-copy

“I remember when History Channel filmed tales from my book “Duppy Talk”. My best friend Roy was not an actor, but because of his handsome face he was cast as the man who was enchanted by a mermaid. When I saw him on film, I asked Roy how he was able to do the underwater scene and keep that look of astonishment when he saw the made-up mermaid smiling on the river bank. He told me, ‘That look on my face comes from the fact I can’t swim. I was very scared.'”

Gerald teaches writing workshops in various parts of the United States and is most recently the author of “The American Storybag” — 40 years of story gathering on and off the road. He lives on a barrier island in Florida.

Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

GUNS

Video Link

In this episode with Gerald Hausman, we discuss:

SHOW NOTES

  • We learn where Gerald started creating his stories and how his mother was instrumental in his idea development for stories
  • Why Gerald writes
  • What Gerald did when he quit writing for two years and how it brought him back to the writing of stories
  • We learn a bit about sun signs and moon signs and what that means for writers and creatives
  • Insider details about the Guns anthology that Gerald edited (mostly collected the stories from the interesting authors) and contributed to, and how some of the most famous characters in classic stories had ancestors and historians contribute to this book
  • Gerald reads to us from GUNS (Billy the Kid)
  • We get a great insider look at guns and how a spiritual life to a gun is a part of this anthology
  • How asking the right questions can get a book created
  • How listening to the answer to the questions can also bring about the story
  • We talk about audiobooks and how it impressed Gerald with its resonance
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!
  • AUDIO ONLY LINK

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Gerald Hausman online at:

    LINKS

    Website : http://www.geraldhausman.com
    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/gahausman
    Publisher : http://www.speakingvolumes.us
    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gerald-Hausman/e/B000AQ4WEO

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
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    Episode 73 Janie Franz, acquisitions editor

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    This week we welcome Janie Franz, the new acquisitions editor for MuseItUp Publishing. Janie is an accomplished author in her own right.

    franz

    JANIE’S BIO
    Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Her work is honed by the frigid winters of the Northern Plains and the high desert and mountains of New Mexico and influenced by her degree in anthropology. She is an author, a professional speaker, and reviewer. Previously, she ran her own online music publication (Refrain Magazine) and was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor. She is the author of eleven novels (fantasy, thriller, and contemporary), a freelance writing manual, and co-author of two wedding how-to books. “Refrain,” the second book of The Lost Song trilogy, was a Top 10 Finisher, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, 2013 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll.

    Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

    Video Link

    In this episode with Janie Franz, we discuss:

    SHOW NOTES

  • Janie tells us about her new “hat” as an acquisitions editor
  • We learn about what MuseItUp Publishing is looking for and when someone can submit
  • Insider info about the New Adult or NA category
  • Details about what an acquisitions editor does
  • We talk about the Muse It Up Conference and other cons Janie attends and speaks at
  • What the main thrust of MuseItUp Publishing is and what they offer authors
  • Info about cover art and distribution at MIU, including foreign translations
  • Details about author participation in promotions and marketing their work in today’s industry
  • Janie’s thoughts about Imaginarium, the con we both attend in Louisville, KY
  • Discussion about pitch sessions and how they are handled at a con (there are differences!) and why you should develop a good elevator pitch
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!

    AUDIO ONLY LINK

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Janie Franz online at:

    LINKS

    MuseItUp Publishing site : http://www.museituppublishing.com
    Janie’s Website : http://janiefranz.fourfour.com/home
    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Janie-Franz-Author-115142155208007/

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

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    Episode 72 Kathryn Sullivan, YA Sci-fi and Fantasy

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    This week, Kathryn comes back on WGP to discuss her experiences as an orphaned author and how it wasn’t necessarily the end of her writing world.

    sullivan

    Kathryn Sullivan was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Berkeley, Illinois, where she started writing her first stories. Kathryn now lives in Winona, MN, where the river bluffs along the Mississippi River double as cliffsides on alien planets or the deep mysterious forests in a magical world.

    Her first published novel was The Crystal Throne, which won the 2002 EPPIE for Best Fantasy, and its sequel, Talking to Trees, was a finalist for a Dream Realm Award for Best Young Adult. Her short story collection, Agents & Adepts, won the 2003 Dream Realm Award for Best Anthology. Her children’s picture book, Michael & the Elf, has been reprinted by Guardian Angel Publishing.

    A Chick who has dug Time Lords for many years, she has an essay, “The Fanzine Factor”, in the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords and a review in Outside In: 160 New Perspectives on 160 Doctor Who stories by 160 writers.

    Her recent works are short stories “Search and Rescue” and “The Oracle of Cilens” (Amazon) as well as “The Taste of Treasure” in Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells, and “The Theft of the Royal Jewels” in the pirate anthology A Tall Ship, A Star and Plunder (Dark Oak Press).

    She also has a review in Outside In Boldly Goes: 117 New Perspectives on 117 Classic Star Trek Stories By 117 Writers. She is a proud member of Broad Universe and EPIC. Any birdlike beings in her books only slightly resemble her cockatoo owner.

    Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

    Video Link

    In this episode with Kathryn Sullivan, we discuss:

    SHOW NOTES

  • The changes that have taken place in Kathy’s writing life since last we met at Imaginarium. Link to previous interview HERE where she was my 40th interview on WGP
  • Her Eppie nomination on Search and Rescue and how she went with self publishing it
  • How many books and stories she had with Amber Quill Press (her former publisher)
  • Insider details about small publishing woes including when they go out of business etc. and Kathy’s advice on what to do
  • How networking with others can be of help to orphaned authors
  • Why spreading your work out among more than one small press is smart
  • Why waiting for a little while after losing one’s publisher before looking for a new one might be a good plan for some
  • How Kathy shopped around for other publishers
  • What to tell your prospective publisher about repub and genre
  • What authors are faced with so far as promo and cover art etc. when losing a publisher
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!

    AUDIO ONLY LINK

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Kathryn Sullivan online at:

    LINKS

    Facebook: Kathryn Sullivan, author
    Website: Kathryn Sullivan, author website
    Amazon page
    : Kathryn Sullivan, author page at Amazon

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

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    Episode 71 S.C. Hall, Book Critic and Book Reviews

    podcast logo
    INTERVIEW WITH S.C. HALL
    hall

    Since the age of 11, S. C. Hall has been in the world of writing. Throughout the years his mediums of word form have steadily evolved. From poetry to articles, then to short stories and critic work. When asked why he writes He simply replies, “To stay sane,” due to his struggles with bipolar/depression. He uses writing as an outlet to help process his depression. This is evident in his first project titled “You Are Not Alone,” which will be a collection of short stories all focused on the reality of what it is to live with depression.
    When not writing he is killing Zombies and other forms of gaming enemies. He also enjoys the cinema and building or refurbishing furniture.

    To get any of the books we discuss in this interview simply click the cover!

    LINKS To BOOKS

    In this episode we learn:

    Show Notes

    • Who S.C. Hall is and what he does as a book critic
    • The difference between a book critic and a reviewer
    • How the process of book critic works and how S.C. Hall manages his time with a book
    • What specific things he looks at when critiquing a book and how a book critic is something like an editor
    • Whether an avid reader could consider themself a book critic
    • Info on book reviews and how Mr. Hall handles those (see links below)
    • We learn about his work with Hydra Publications and other small presses and how he promotes them as clients.
    • He defines his work ethic and whether he works with indie authors or not.
    • How he keeps bias out of his opinions
    • Why bringing something new to a genre is always a great way to interest a reviewer/critic
    • Insider details about Hall’s collection of short stories and how he hopes it helps the community of people who suffer from mental health issues.
    • and his BEST advice for aspiring authors!

      Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

      You can find S.C. Hall online at:

      LINKS

      Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dragoncritic
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/s.c.hallwriting
      Twitter: @SCHallWriting
      Email: s.c.hallwriting@gmail.com
      Blog: https://www.dragoncritic.blogspot.com and https://schallwriting.blogspot.com

      _______________________________________

      Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
      We appreciate your time!

      Did you enjoy this episode?

      If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

      Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
      Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
      Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
      We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

      Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:

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    Episode 70: James Patrick, political thrillers, Blood Profits

    James N. Patrick
    Jim Patrick is a former Senior Executive and is an author, life coach and a specialist in world affairs, trend analysis, business development and startups.

    Jim was deeply involved in the political arena during the late sixties and during the time of the Watergate scandal. He managed political campaigns at all levels and was a well known strategist in regards to the emerging ‘baby boomer’ vote. He served on the advance team for the White House and attended numerous White House receptions and got to know all of the key players at that time in our country’s history.

    He has 45+ years of experience at all levels and has worked with or for some of the top business and government leaders globally.

    To get a copy of Jim’s book simply click the cover!

    BLOOD PROFITS

    Interview with Jim Patrick

    Show Notes
    In this episode we learn:

    • About Jim and his career in politics and writing
    • What led Jim to write Blood Profits and who KT Frog is
    • Why Jim wrote the book in serial fashion and how it has to do with corruption
    • Why Jim wrote all the landmarks in the book from real places
    • How Jim put together the characters and all their info and how he wove the cast together
    • What made Jim decide to write political thrillers
    • We discuss whether it is a character-driven or plot-driven sort of series
    • Brief reference to book two (which is upcoming!)
    • We learn if Jim thinks the series will make it into the movie industry
    • How this election year has become like the movie “Network”

    and so, so much more, including his BEST advice for aspiring authors

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find more about Jim Patrick and his work online at:
    Blood Profits, The Lithium Conspiracy
    Amazon
    Blood Profits’ Facebook Page
    Twitter page

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:

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    Episode 69 – Co-authoring and the Survivalist series, with Sharon Ahern

    ahernSharon Ahern, Dragoncon

    Sharon Ahern, along with her late husband Jerry Ahern, is the co-writer of over ninety novels, some short stories, magazine and newspaper articles and even an unpublished song or two.  Best known of their work is THE SURVIVALIST series which ran from 1981 to 1993 and then picked up and continued in 2013 by Sharon with fellow friend and writer Bob Anderson. The series has been considered men’s adventure, science fiction and soap opera with a twist of in your face social commentary thrown in.  Two spinoffs have evolved from the SURVIVALIST series, EVERYMAN, also co-written with Bob Anderson, and CAMP ZERO, a young adult series, written by Sean Ellis. 

    An avid researcher, Sharon has traveled around the world during various times in history via national geographic and Britannica searching for information to broaden the scope of their stories and make them as fact based as possible.  In some cases, looking for a particular piece of information has led to the inception of still another story idea. Some days, all it takes is listening to the news.

    Sharon is also a professional photographer and a small-time antiques and collectibles dealer. She’s an avid reader and enjoys anything that requires getting dirty such as refinishing furniture and gardening and has lost a lot of her thumbprints using hot glue guns.  She is the proud mother of two children and five grandchildren and lives in Northeast Georgia with her hound dog Shelby and two goldfish.

    Her upcoming book LODESTAR will be the 34th book in the series. It will be available at Speaking Volumes http://www.speakingvolumes.us 

    lodestar-draft3

    To get her other books simply click the cover!

    BOOKS

    Interview with Sharon Ahern

    Show Notes
    In this episode we learn:

    • How the Survivalist Series came to be (1980s) and how Sharon and her late husband, Jerry, used the series to kill off the population of Atlanta.
    • Who published the series in the early days, and why it was considered men’s adventure rather than science fiction.
    • Why Axel Kilgore and Jerry Ahern are closely affiliated.
    • Who made up the stories for the series
    • Sharon’s thoughts on series writing and how to know when the end of the series should happen
    • What co-authoring is like and if it is easy or hard to accomplish
    • How authors create characters when co-authoring
    • What Jerry wrote specifically and what Sharon wrote – and how they acted out scenes in real life
    • One huge mistake can make a reader stop reading your book and Sharon shares how this happened to Jerry and what the outcome was
    • Sharon shares what she thinks the formula for success is for a long-running series

    and so, so much more, including BEST advice for aspiring authors

    Listen to the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Sharon online at:
    WEBSITE: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/a/sharon-ahern/
    FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/jerry.ahern.73
    AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Jerry-Ahern/e/B001HP264U
    SPEAKING VOLUMES:  http://www.speakingvolumes.us/

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:

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