A friend of mine heard author Michael Sullivan speak at a local library on “Boys and Books,” and knew I would have enjoyed his talk about keeping boys reading. So, I cyber stalked him and found his lovely website called Boy Meets Book, which is a fabulous resource for finding books for boys, sorted by age, from preschool to high school. Michael is a teacher, librarian, writer, and expert in matching boys to books they want to read.
A writer after my own heart!
But as I searched for Michael’s author information and website, I was confused by another author (Michael J. Sullivan) and ultimately realized that the original Michael’s information was listed on the Boy Meets Book page. The link is buried in a list of links at the top, which I missed on the first pass through.
Beth Revis recently blogged about creating author (and book) websites, and she made the excellent point that author websites and book websites serve two different purposes: author websites establish the author’s online presence, their cyber “home” where anyone can find them as well as links to all their books, whereas book websites promote a particular title. I think this holds true for “platform” websites as well, which focus on a topic rather than a particular book.
While I applaud Michael Sullivan’s emphasis on books for boys on his website, I wish that it was easier to find his online presence as a writer. This could be as simple as highlighting an “About the Author” section, or somehow making it clear that Michael is an author and has books as well as a wonderful platform.
Sometimes you are cursed with a common name (can you say “Susan Quinn”??), but there are ways around that: middle names, maiden names, pseudonyms. It would have been great to google “Michael Sullivan” and immediately come up with his website.
When I google “Susan Quinn” I come up with a therapist in L.A., another author in Ohio (who first published under Susan Jacobs! I feel her pain), a third Susan Quinn on Facebook who’s a fan of Seth Godin, and yet another author writing about The Deep Spiritual Life. I have nothing against a spiritual life, deep or otherwise, but I don’t even make the first page of the google search! It’s enough to make one feel small, lost in a sea of dopplegangers with more interesting alternative lives – although it is strange how many of us Susan Quinn’s ended up being authors. Perhaps fate had a hand in it after all.
On the other hand, when I google “Susan Kaye Quinn,” the top 5 listings are all me, including Ink Spells, Facebook, Goodreads, and the YAlitchat ning. When I have an author website, it will hopefully be in that top 10 as well.
One of the fantastic things about being a writer in 2010 is that you can easily connect with other readers, writers, agents and publishers. That is, if they can find you!
p.s. you can reserve your domain name (www.YourAuthorNameHere.com) for around $10/year. Even if I wanted to use Susan Quinn as my authorial name, the domain name is already taken. Something to think about …