Authors Beware – a common mistake made by self-publishing authors

We’ve started work on a site for a self-publishing author recently, who already had a basic site setup at one of the more prominent free website networks for authors. He has his own domain name, and – frustrated at how poorly his site has worked thus far, in terms of search engines in particular – decided to take the plunge and set up a more robust and sophisticated site to promote his book.

First problem to encounter – transferring his domain name to a new server. He registered the domain name through this self-same prominent network, paying a whopping $99! Had he registered the name himself, using any accredited domain registration service he would have paid under $10 for the same thing.

But that’s not all. On closer inspection, the network have registered his domain using their company as the official registrant – making them, not him, the legal owners! It’s an old and dirty trick. It remains to be seen whether they’ll transfer the domain name back to him without a fee. In this case, if he kicks up enough fuss, there shouldn’t be a problem, but imagine that his book had already taken off and his name was getting well known. In that case the network would have every possibility of holding onto the name, and exploiting it for their own purpose. It’s a recipe for a marketing disaster and perhaps costly legal battle.

If you’re an author, and you’re setting up a website, get informed before you sign up for things like domain registration, or website design. Don’t think that because the company you’ve chosen to print and package your novel have done a good job in that field that it automatically makes them the people to trust with your online presence.

Our unfortunate author did, and he ended up

Paying over ten times the market value for his domain
And effectively handed over his online presence at the same time

So, how to avoid it? Ask questions. Shop around. There are plenty of sites that give free advice. We, at Bodu Web, for example are happy to explain technical issues like domain registration, free of charge and with no obligations.

Tags: , , ,