My Website Name Is Taken

I'm looking ahead to the day that I will have a published novel. I know that you recommend having a website. My name as I plan on using when I publish is already taken as a website. I've thought of using my middle name, something that doesn't have my name in it, etc. What is your thought on what is best for naming a website? I would think using your name would be the best, but if it's not available, what are some other ideas to think of?
Wait until your book has been accepted and then talk to your agent/publisher about it. That may sound like a lame answer, but really, it's the best one. When you're ready to publish, your publisher and/or agent will do some checking on your name. If it's the same as someone else who writes in your genre, they will suggest other options—using a middle name, maiden name, initials, pen name. If you do need to use a pen name, they can help you choose one that will give you some marketability or exposure.

Also, website ownerships come and go all the time. Even if it's taken now, it may be available in a year or two. In the meantime, I suggest doing something free, simple and professional, like a blog. If you don't want to post to a blog, you can adapt that format to make a more "static" site that you don't have to post to. You can also join a free social networking site and create a profile that looks very nice. There are lots of options out there other than a traditional website.


Katie Parker said...

That happened to me. The site I wanted, katieparker.com, wasn't taken for years...until right before I was ready to buy it. I ended up with katieparker.net, which is an OK option--although I do wonder how many people have looked for me under katieparker.com and not found me. You can also use a hyphen (say, katie-parker.com) or something like that. But like LDSPublisher says, it's a good idea to simply consider writing under a different, more distinctive name--with a middle initial or maiden name in the middle or what have you. That way people can find you exactly as your name is on your book.

Rachelle Christensen said...

I agree and I think it's a good idea to get something going now because when you are "famous" your publisher will probably have a separate web site for your "famous" book. For example, Stephenie Meyer has her own site and a twilight.com site. Starting a site or a blog now will be good practice until the day comes when you have to worry about all that.

Annette Lyon said...

Another thought--avoid doing a website with your middle name or initial if that's NOT what will appear on the book. That makes it hard for readers to find you--many won't bother Googling after failing when they type in yourname.com

Stephanie Humphreys said...

My name has been taken for several years by a page someone put on for his wife's birthday. It never is updated, but I am still going to have to find another option. I always wonder how many ways a name can be used that still makes it easy to find.

LDS_Publisher said...

Stephanie, situations like that are extremely frustrating. You could possibly contact them and see if they'd be willing to sell you the URL. Go to http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp
and enter your domain name. It should bring up the name of the owner and a contact e-mail.