I have just sent my fifth novel Winterdim to my agent. Now what?
Okay, the obvious thing. I'm three chapters into the next one, so, yes, I am continuing to write, but I still have this store of energy around the prior story.
Last night I set up a web site for Winterdim here.
Add to the platform
If you're writing, you should have a blog or web site, a place where readers, reviewers, the rest of the world can find you, point to, link to. That's your platform. Even if you prefer Twitter or some other social transient content service, you should have a site, blog, journal, Facebook page, something fairly stable and configurable to direct the reading world--even from your Twitter profile.
I think there are a couple ways to go from here.
Say you're on Typepad, Wordpress, Blogger, LJ, etc., and that's where you expect to send readers. Just finished or sold a book?
1. Site redesign: bring the look and layout of your blog up to date with colors, info, styles to match your new book.
2. New site: create a new site (really just a web page or a set of them) to show off your new book.
Do you grab domain names for your titles? Or at least try to? (A domain name is like google.com or saltwaterwitch.com). I still do, and my experience has shown me it can be a waste of time for two reasons. First, your editor may change the title--Seaborn and Sea Throne had different titles when I sent them in, and second, chances are, unless you've struck something really unique, the .com domain for your book title is already taken. (seaborn.com was long gone. SeabornBook.com was available, as well as other variations and compound forms, but I ended up going with SaltwaterWitch.com, which I still think has a nice ring).
Selecting a domain name…some rules
Learn from my mistakes. I've made gigantic mistakes in selecting domain names, user names, and other identifying words. My major blunder: the0phrastus, the location of my blog is https://the0phrastus.typepad.com, which may not seem that crazy until you consider that the "0" in the0phrastus is a ZERO. Big mistake.
1. Do not settle for anything but the .com domain unless you absolutely have to. The other top level domains that can at least be considered are .org and .net (not .edu, .mil, .gov), but the .com is so fixed in our web-using consciousness, any other can become a hurdle,
2. Your domain name must pass the shout-across-the-room test. That is, select a name you can shout back and be understood--over your screaming fans--to a person across the room. If you have to explain how to spell it, you'll lose people. My example above, the0phrastus, I have to say "It's theophrastus with a PH and the 0 is a zero"--and nine times out of ten I'll just get a blank stare back.
Buying domain names can be a crazy experience, but there are a number of registrars that make it fairly easy: GoDaddy.com, DomainBank.net, to name a couple. You go there, sign up, search for domains and buy them. Prices range from $7.99 to around $35 for a new domain name, and can be a lot higher (into the thousands) if you need to buy the domain from an existing owner.
If you already have a web site through a hosting service (e.g., pair.com) you don't typically need to buy another domain account from your hosting provider. In most cases, you can hang many domains off of one site using your domain registrar's URL forwarding services--usually free.
Here's an example of what a piece of my SaltwaterWitch.com site looks like on the inside:
The root (that first / ) is where all the files sit for the site's top level. So, if you click, https://www.saltwaterwitch.com that's what you'll see in your browser--the index file at the top level. If you click https://www.winterdim.com the URL Forwarding stuff I've set up with my domain registrar will direct you to https://www.SaltwaterWitch.com/winterdim/
I've even set the URL to be "masked" so when you click https://www.winterdim.com you will see winterdim.com in the address box of your browser.
Here's shot of what the URL Forwarding set up screen looks like at my registrar. You should see something similar: