WHAT’S IN A WEBSITE?

I promised myself I would be productive this weekend. I even made a list:

1. Write at least one new chapter of Transition
2. Do an email blast about the release of In Her Mother’s Shoes
3. Watch the science DVD I purchased as research for Transition
4. Update my website

I did everything I could to avoid #4 – which, as it turned out – may have been the best thing I could have done to get the first three done. I’ll admit I also procrastinated a little today by reading one of the 99 cent Kindle books I’d recently downloaded. (It wasn’t the worst one I’d ever read.)

But I dreaded working on the website. Part of the reason – no, most of the reason – is because I just don’t understand how the website works. I purchased a website that allowed me to make changes whenever I wanted – even provided me with written instructions and training videos. And yet, when I get “in there” – those pages behind what the website viewer sees – nothing seems to work as neatly as the instructions and videos imply.

Of course, as I found out today, you can’t just watch the basic page editing videos. You have to watch all the support videos, which are where you find out about things like Pixlr Express, a nifty website that allows you to resize images to fit the space provided. I’ve only once or twice changed pictures, and only on the Home Page, and I managed to size the new picture manually. I tried to ignore the fact that the photo looked distorted, but was reminded every time I saw that Home Page. But with Pixlr Express you can access all kinds of tools to play with the image – even make yourself (or whatever the photo is about) look better – sort of airbrushing for dummies.

You also can’t assume that just because there is text at point A and photos at point B that they will be replaced in exactly the same way when you play with it. Things go haywire when you don’t watch the special positioning video. Geez, I can’t watch videos all day – when would I make the changes if I did?

Earlier this week I cried “uncle” with the Purchase Page – I could figure out how to add the book, but not how to add the links to the right pages on Amazon and B&N, and definitely not how to hook the purchase into Paypal. I’d already succeeded in making changes on the Home Page and color scheme to reflect the In Her Mother’s Shoes cover design. I knew I had to change the purchase page before I sent out the email blast in case someone wanted to buy a signed copy, but I was baffled. Finally, I called the website management company and swallowed my pride and paid them to fix that page after I’d made a mess of it. But I wasn’t about to give in on the rest of the pages – and I certainly wasn’t going to lay out $50 per page to make the relatively simple changes I needed to make.

So this morning, after taking Nala for a power walk to clear my head, I started working on making the necessary changes in the My Books, Biography, and Author Activity Pages. I’m proud to say it worked (alright, embarrassed to admit to it taking nearly 4 hours). By the time I experienced that heady success, I was hunting for reasons to do more, wanting to add more pages, make up stuff just to give myself more opportunities to kick butt on my website pages. Eventually I conceded that I’d changed everything I needed to change and anything else might be overkill (or I might run into problems and lose the euphoria of success).

So if you haven’t been to my website in a while – www.dawnlajeunesse.com– please visit! Sign the guest page while you’re at it! Now that I’ve got the hang of this, I’m ready to tackle just about anything!

And I’d be remiss in my marketing efforts if I didn’t add: after you read the summary and excerpt on the web page, consider purchasing In Her Mother’s Shoes either directly on the website (introductory price of $9.99 – now that the purchase page actually works!) or on Amazon or B&N. Kindle and Nook versions will be available for only $2.99 after June 10th.

About Dawn Lajeunesse

I, like so many others, am a novelist struggling for recognition. In Her Mother's Shoes was published in June 2013 - available through Amazon, B&N and iPad, e-book (only $2.99!) as well as paperback. Autumn Colors was my first. My third novel, Star Catching, was released in November, 2016 and has been very well-received! My writings are mostly women's fiction, most also suitable for YA. My website is www.dawnlajeunesse.com. Come visit me there!
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