Yep.  Another part of the marketing plan.  Time to find a site to host a real web site.  I’ll need to find something that allows me to build off of this blog, letting me add more as my writing developes.  Eventually, I hope to have a site where folks can:

1. Read the blog (if they’re crazy enough to want to).

2. Download audio podcasts of my writing (if they’re crazy enough to want to).

3. Interact with myself and each other (forum?).

4. Link to the Amazon site that I don’t have yet.  (Hey, I did say eventually!)

That all means that I need to have a site that will allow me to blog, upload and download files via ftp, store said files for an undetermined amount of time, install various widgets such as progress bars and book cover carousels, set up a secure sales point.

It all sounds a little daunting, quite honestly.  But I figure if I start now, I can start small and build it a little at a time.  It’s not like I’m about to start posting podiobooks or selling e-books tomorrow.  I just want to make sure I get a host that can support me when I do get to that point.  After all, why start a site now with a host that can’t handle my plans for the future?

In my initial (uneducated) research, I’m looking at GoDaddy’s “Ultimate” plan for three years.  It comes to roughly $250 for three years of unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, 1000 email accounts (though I’m not sure why I would need 1000 email addresses), and a free SSL certificate.  Plenty of research still to do, and I realize I have a lot to learn.

On a related note, after talking with a few new authors, and working as I do in the computer field, I think I’ve decided to begin writing under a pseudonym.  I’ve discussed with the family and together, we’ve chosen a nom de plume.  I’ve checked, and as of this morning, the name is available for domain registration.  Guess that adds another wrinkle to my writing life.  🙂

Just what I need, more complications.  Better that, though, than some of the worries I heard about from some other writers who are beginning to gain some success.  Had one guy who had received some frighteningly “innocent” emails from a fan who sounded more like a serial killer, and another who had been sent a bottle of his favorite scotch from a fan who managed to track down his home address through clues he found on the internet.

That, coupled with some of the things I already know from working in the field, makes me think it’s probably a good idea to take on a disguise.  I guess that also means that “Sm1ley” will have to change some of his blogging habits in the near future.  I may even go so far as to drop this blog completely, and pick up the new persona instead.  I haven’t really thought it all the way through, so I don’t know if I’ll have to go that far.  If I do though, and if I want to do it for security’s sake, then I have to make sure this new persona is completely disassociated with my real name and with Sm1ley, since the two can easily be linked with minimal research.

I guess it sounds a little paranoid, but I don’t want to do anything that could cause any additional worry for friends or family.