Posted by: nancyisanders | October 28, 2011

Internet Marketing: Choose Your URL

The URL is one of the first things to think about as you’re considering building a new website for your book or your writing-related theme.

What is the URL? It’s the “address” on the Internet, or the dot com that you type in when you go to your website.

So before you choose your URL, you have to make some decisions including:
What will you call your website?

If it’s for your book, try to make the title of your website the book’s title or at least a shortened version of your book. That way, when people search for your book’s title, your website comes up. It’s also easy for your readers to remember.

If your website will be a writing-related theme, make the title of your website short and to the point, just like a book title. Nothing flowery here. You want people who are searching for your topic to find your website.

If your website is about YOU as an author, make the title of your website be your name. It can be your first and last name, but if that’s already taken, try your full name or your name with your middle initial. And if those are already taken, try adding a meaningful word or number to your name.

In my last blog post, one of my readers asked if she should build a website for her middle grade novel manuscript even if it’s not yet been published. (Great questions, Louise!) Here’s my advice:

Build a website so it “compliments” your novel but doesn’t give any fictional details away. For example, I just finished a middle grade novel that takes place on the farm in Pennsylvania where I grew up. I could develop a nice website that tells about the actual history of my hometown with great links to the current town’s website along with fun genealogy trivia (my hometown was first explored and then settled by men from Jamestown, VA!)

When I submit my novel to publishers, I can list this website as a reference to show I’m already building up a web presence on my book. But I wouldn’t put any of my fictional character names on it or give away information about my novel until after it gets picked up by a publisher. Then, when my publisher gives me the go ahead to go public with a book website, I can link the original website I designed to my new book website and really beef up the content!

To prepare for getting your new website up and running, also take about 5 photographs on your digital camera. If you have a book published, prop up your book and take lots of pictures of it surrounded by people and things you love. Or, if you’re building a writing-related website, take lots of photos that relate to your theme. Here are some examples of the kind of photographs I took for my websites:
A) Look up at the top of this blog. See that row of books? That’s my bookshelf in my house! I took that photo.
B) Here’s a photo I took of my book Yes! You Can with several props.
C) Here’s a photo I took of a cup of tea on my dining table with my writing journal for my website Bookzone.

So, here’s what to do:
1. Think of the website
you want to build. Choose a potential name for the website.
2. Google the name of your website and add www dot at the front and dot wordpress dot com at the end. In other words:
3. If your name is already taken, adjust it, keeping the main info intact, and try again. Search until you find an available name you like that closely matches the title of your book or your writing-related theme.
4. And to prepare for getting your new website up and running, also take about 5 photographs on your digital camera.

Then meet me here again on Monday. I’ll walk you through the steps to get your new URL up and running on the Internet.


  1. a question… I only have picture books, over 20, and i find it difficult to focus on one book…
    What do you suggest?

    • Nicole, are all these 20 picture books published? If so, you can make 2 websites: 1 for all your books and 1 for just 1 book. Check out my website Bookzone (for all my books) and also Drinking Gourd (featuring one book).

      And if these books of yours aren’t published yet, just choose one to create a theme for at this time so you can join in the exercises. Then after you get your first website under your belt, you can create lots more and link them together on your blog.

  2. yes they are all published…

    I think I’ll start with all the books, I can’t choose between them… Or the last published one? why not…

    • That’s fantastic, Nicole…good for you! And sure, why not start with your most recent published book? That’s a super idea.

      • Oh sure! You can make 2 websites at once. Why not?!

  3. And if I did the two possibilities at the same time?

  4. Hi Nancy,

    You have some really great information on how to create a website for my book(s). I am following along and I have created a website for one of my writing books, and will be creating another one for my adolescent girls book.

    I have a question…how can I upload photos to my blog so that the main photo is one of my own pics and not a wordpress theme? I have taken a few pics, and I can’t figure out how to upload them? I look forward to hearing from you….

    Thanks for all the wonderful information that you’re sharing here..


    • Hi Irene, Actually that’s what my next post will be about! Stay tuned and check it out on Wed. You can ask any questions, too, if you have more at that time.

  5. Hi Nancy,

    Wow! I guess we are on the same wavelength, huh? I will wait for your next post.

    ~ Irene

    • Oops! I meant to say, Irene, that I’ll be talking about that on next MONDAY’s post. I already have the steps up and ready to post. So stay tuned for next Monday!!!! Today is all about choosing the theme first.

      • Hi Nancy,

        No worries….I will wait patiently. In the meantime, I’ll just keep thinking of which writing-related theme I want to tackle next.

        Thank you for this opportunity to develop a writing related website with you!


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