In the publishing world, they say you must have a website to promote yourself. Of course, they tell you to do a lot of things to promote yourself. Unfortunately, we live in a media-saturated world of self-promotion (thanks to the Division of Public Relations) and it has become increasingly difficult to accomplish this. There is Facebook and Twitter and blogging and all sorts of other social outlets to master. As a writer, you can’t just sit down and write anymore, not if you want to be read. You have to spend just as much time promoting yourself, something most writers don’t really care to do. If you’re a self-published writer you have to wear several different hats. One of those hats is web designer.
If you’re a creative type who likes to experiment with different programs and create cool looking graphics then you’re in luck. I built this entire website myself, and it was not very expensive to produce. You can produce a very polished, profession website all by yourself for very little money. You just need the right tools, a little patience, lots of creativity, and some spare time.
Working on a Macbook Pro, I found an excellent and affordable website design application called Rapidweaver. It is extremely easy to master. You can then purchase custom designed themes and special add-ons to create a stunning website. Of course, there are other programs out there, including a free application from WordPress.
Making use of my graphic design experience, I created all the elements and banners myself using an affordable Photoshop-like program for the Mac, called Pixelmator. I bought royalty-free stock artwork at some remarkably affordable prices at Pond5.com. Everything you need is already out there on the web if you do a little research and some digging. Of course, you have to go through some trial and error before you get the glorious website you want, but it’s truly amazing what you can eventually accomplish on your own for very little money. So far I’d say I’ve probably spent a little over $100 to build this site. Publishing your site is another story, but it can be just as cheap and easy to do.