Every author needs to read this post.
It contains six important updates about our websites, other people’s websites, and your website (if you’re thinking about creating one, or already have one). Make sure you read all six (6) notifications below.
At least TWO of them are relevant to you.
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Six Important Updates – For Authors of All Genres
One of my websites, the one authors use to register for Introductory Coaching Calls with me (and see success stories about authors who’ve worked with me) is finally working again.You can click here to access it: https://markmalatesta.com/. An intermittent software issue was preventing the site from displaying properly. The same issue was preventing some authors from registering for a coaching call. If you tried unsuccessfully to register, you can do so successfully now by clicking here: https://markmalatesta.com/mark-malatesta-author-coaching/.
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I just installed a new search box on the sidebar area of all my websites, so it’s now easier to find what you’re looking for. Especially at https://literary-agents.com where I have a lot of insider articles. For example, if you visit that website and type “copyright” into the search bar in the sidebar, you’ll see my article about that. Or, if you type in “contract” you’ll see several articles about literary agent contracts. Etc.
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If you don’t have a website or blog, but you want one and don’t want to pay (or can’t afford to pay) for a designer or developer to create it for you, I have good news. Someone I know and trust (her name is Tanya) recently told me about a training website she recently put online to help authors create their own websites and blogs. You can see it at https://panopticnews.com/foundations/build-a-website/.
This is a great alternative for authors who want to do it themselves, but have someone show them what to do and how to do it. I’ve looked at Tanya’s promo material, and it looks her training would allow a ten-year-old to figure it out. A smart ten-year-old, but anyone who can make the complex simple is good in my book. By the way, I’m promoting Tanya because I know she’ll be able to help some of the authors in my community, and because I know she’ll do a good job. In other words, she’s not sending me money to promote her site.
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If you have a website or blog but don’t have an “SSL Certificate” installed, you should install one immediately. Internet/web browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc. are moving toward displaying all websites without an SSL as “Not Secure.” In fact, Google Chrome is already doing it. All computers with the latest version of Google Chrome are now displaying the “Not Secure” label next to website/blog addresses without an SSL.
What does SSL mean? An abbreviation for “Secure Sockets Layer,” which protects/encrypts visitor information when people share their email address, payment information, etc. online. Simply Google “Buy SSL Certificate” to see options. The good news is you can get a free SSL certificate at https://letsencrypt.org/ or buy one from your web hosting provider and have them install it.
If you don’t install an SSL certificate, that nasty “Not Secure” message is going to scare lots of people away from your website. Especially if they click on the icon for more information and see the following: “”Your connection to this site is not secure. You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers.”
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Whether you have a website/blog or not, you need to know about the latest website regulations recently enacted. If you have a website/blog (even in the United States), you can be fined by the European Union (EU), up to 20 million euros or 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher, if you aren’t following the guidelines posted online. Google it.
Lastly, if you have questions regarding particulars when it comes to GDPR compliance and what you need to do or not do to avoid those hefty fines, consult with an expert or lawyer. My main expertise is helping authors attract the attention of literary agents, and I know how to “stay in my lane.”
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Okay, this one isn’t really an “update.” It’s a related notice to inform you, in case you haven’t already seen it, that you can read a three-part article here about how to create an author website: https://literary-agents.com/author-website/. This article series isn’t a replacement for website training like the one Tanya is offering above. It’s simply something you should read primarily to decide which information you should put on your website, if you want to get the attention of literary agents.
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Question or Comment?
Click here to see The 50 Questions Authors Ask Most (along with answers to the questions) and/or post your question or comment. Click here to see our Guide to Literary Agents. And, click here to see some of our best tips to help you Find a Literary Agent and/or Get a Literary Agent.
Want help to make your pitch materials for literary agents as good as they can be? Click here to learn how you can get 1-on-1 feedback to improve your pitch material and/or first fifty pages during an Introductory Coaching Call.
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