The first step in setting up your author website is to pick a name. You will then register this domain name as the address to your website (we’ll cover that in step 2).
Note: Some hosting options (which we will discuss in step 3) have a free option that does not allow you to use your own domain name. You still need to pick a name and make sure it is available. And I highly recommend registering your domain anyway, so it is yours when you are ready to use it. You can get one year of domain registration for less than $20 USD.
Tips for Picking a Name
- Use your author name
- Check the availability on Namechk
Ideally the name you want (or a shorten variation if needed) will be available on all the social media outlets you plan to use. (If you have already registered accounts there, then great! You are one step ahead). But don’t stress too much about this. You can always get creative with the names on social media. You will link directly to these sites from your website so naming isn’t as critical (but still important).
If you author name (as it appears/will appear on the cover of your books) is not available then you need to get creative. DO NOT use the same author name with a .org or other extension. This will be confusing to your readers as they are most likely to put .com when typing the address. It is better instead to find a different name with a .com available.
Things you can try:
- Drop the middle name or initial (if you are using one)
- Add a hyphen between your first and last name
- Choose a different name to publish under (if you haven’t already published)
- Add the word “Author” to the end
- Make it [YourAuthorName]sWorlds.com (for example KristaWaymentsWorlds.com)
- Make it [YourAuthorName]sBooks.com (for example Krista WaymentsBooks.com)
Avoid using “Writer” as most readers with think of you as the author, rather than the books writer.
Remember above all else: The website name should be easy to remember, and easy to spell.
So, it is time for you to got to Namechk and see if your author name is available. It is ideal that all social media handles are available too, but don’t worry too much about that. Especially if it is a social media outlet you don’t intend to use.
Write down the name and save it somewhere you won’t forget. Next week we will go over how to claim your name.