Times are hard, we all know that. This isn’t going to be a blog about the war in Ukraine and its impact on global gas/oil prices, nor a political dissection of what’s going on in Westminster. Nor am I trying to gain any sympathy for what I’m about to tell you all….
The cost of living crisis is hitting us all in many ways, big and small. One small way it’s impacted on my new book – Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere, my third crime novel featuring Detective Constable Dominic Strider of Chester CID – is in the way I get to promote it to the book-buying masses.
Like most people, I’ve had to recently re-evaluate our household finances and cut out any unecessary expenses or luxeries. One of the things I axed, after serious consideration, was my new website which I’d just started.
I’d bought a domain from Go Daddy and was mid-way through a free trial period in which I had virtually built the new site. But I looked again at the future cost of maintaining the site. It would have been £7.99 a month – or £95 a year – and that was during a Go Daddy sale, as it was normally £15.99 a month. When we all have rising costs for food, gas and electricity, that was a potential ongoing cost I just couldn’t justify.
It’s a shame to lose the website, as it’s a shop window selling your goods, in this case me and my three Strider novels (so far). In normal times, it would have been a terrific way to promote myself and my work.
But, after axing it due to the cost, I got to thinking: what would it have offered that wasn’t already available to you? The video showing Strider’s race through the city centre with the bomb? Well no – that’s pinned to my Twitter and Facebook profiles, its on LinkedIn and Instagram, and available on my own YouTube channel, as well as on my Amazon author’s page and Patreon page.
Watch my video showing DC Strider’s race through the city centre with the bomb – available on my social media and YouTube channel now.
Details about me? Well, you can read as much or as little about me as you like on this, my WordPress blog, as well as on my Amazon author’s page and social media.
A peek at the first chapter of Strider Begins? You can get that by clicking on the book title on Amazon and reading my introduction to Strider’s first ever murder investigations.
Details of future book signing events? Well, due to COVID, the traditional signing sessions whereby I sit down and meet n’ greet punters have stopped for the forseeable, and any time I sign copies of my book (so the store can advertise them as ‘Local author – signed copy’) I’ll be promoting them very heavily (with pics) via WordPress and my social media channels.
What else? How to contact me? Social media. Pictures of me at my previous book signings, from the dim and distant past when I was promoting my first two Strider novels? See below. Pics of Chester? Used copiously in my blog and on social media.
So what have I really lost by shutting down the new website before it had even gone live? Not much in the grand scheme of things. It’s been a minor disappointment, yes, but at a time when we all need to tighten our belts to save some cash, it’s no biggie.
All my major channels of communication and promotion – WordPress, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn – remain free to use. Thank goodness for that and long may that continue. When times are tough, we need to be more creative and resourceful about using as many cheap or free tools as we can.
And who knows: when the nation’s finances start to recover, I might still return to the website idea. Or not, if I find it offers nothing new of value. Watch this space I guess.