Author Business

How to setup an author website: lesson 1 of … I have no idea

I decided to make the first post on my author website about some of the lessons I learned about how to create an author website…which is actually becoming a series of posts, but that’s a story for another day.

First lesson, not all website engines are created equal.

Sitting down with a friend one day, we tried to figure out how to embed a MailChimp signup on her website (if you don’t know about mailing lists, I’m sure I’ll have another post on those — once I figure them out).

Anyway, after banging our heads against our respective laptops and googling help files, we realized something.

There’s a difference between and – who knew?

If you want to embed a signup form for your mailchimp mailing list (or other purveyor of mailing lists), rather than adding one of those annoying pop-ups that come up automatically, you need to set yourself up on It possibly also makes eCommerce easier as well, but I haven’t gotten that far.

The good news is that they both provide a similar site construction experience, so if you have experience with, you should be able to figure out

But you’ll need to get yourself a domain name. Which leads me to registering a domain name. I had already registered a domain name years ago that has sat gather cobwebs on the interweb. However, it was a .ca. Yup, I’m a Canuck), and happy to be one. But since this site is for something that I want to be my business, I realized I wanted a .com. This is the general recommendation out there, by the way, unless maybe you’re a

I was already using my full given name for the job that is currently paying the bills. So I needed to figure out what my domain name would be. I went through a bunch of options, took a riff on this name and that.

And in the end settled on a pen name, something I never intended to use.

Yours truly, C. Rene Astle

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