So, here’s the deal. My digital presence on the web so far has been a LiveJournal page, my Facebook account, an author page on Amazon, and a Goodread’s author page. I used to have a website on SFF.NET, when they gave free space to SFWA members, but that option isn’t there anymore, and my page was an incredibly clunky, self-taught, HTML design mess that made real web designers squint with pre-migraine agony. Even my sons, who are computer engineers, would look at the page and say, “Make it stop!”
Clearly I needed to up my game, so I finally bought a domain name (which was more of an ordeal than I expected–there is another James Van Pelt who had bought this domain a few years ago, but decided he wasn’t ever going to use it. He offered to transfer the domain to me, but we both were clueless enough that the process took days). I’m now the proud owner of jamesvanpelt.com.
In theory, given enough time and the patience of searchbots, this page will be the first one that comes up on search engines if someone is looking for me. Also, the address is pretty easy to remember, so that may help.
The idea is that my career as a writer will expand, and this website will be useful for readers who are looking for me. Of course, if the career goes downhill from my current status as a regularly publishing short story writer, then this page will be another of the dusty, never-visited spaces in the world wide web.
We can only hope.