The Website – after non-techie confoundments, outages and outrages, technical problems and technical people problems, extortionate quotes, overhyped promises, rookie mistakes, antisocial media rabbit holes, integration problems, third party disappointments, et cetera et al – will finally be back up the day after tomorrow – 1 May 2021.
A website is a lot like a book. It looks easy. But it doesn’t just happen – not without a lot of late nights, a lot of work, a lot of people, a lot of back and forth. I’m happy with the end result, although it took twice as much time and energy as it could have (despite what all these lovely website providers promise, no one has quite cracked that market yet. Not one of them). I wanted the website to be a place where my regular readers could enjoy being. I care less about ‘being discovered’, playing the algos, or keyword-stuffed SEO practices recommended by marketers. To be completely honest, I don’t give one continental crap about any of that.
I want it to be a playground for the folks that enjoy my stuff. I want them to enjoy it. It needs to bring them value. So, it has to perform a lot of functions: It replaces my social media space, so folks can check in to see what’s happening in Peterland without some social badvocate with some unrelated and exaggerated beef over Lord alone knows what – vomiting bile all over it. And without the sneaky, agenda-tweaked social media pixels and trackers invading their privacy as well as insulting their intelligence. Everyone else in the free world can play that game – I won’t. It may be popular, or not. Neither my financial worth nor my self esteem depends on ‘likes’.
More importantly, it also has to host the newsletter – because my subscribed regular readers are the most important people in the world, online or offline, period. Information on the books and the writer – for those interested – and ways to get in touch for anyone who needs to, has to, or wants to – while protecting me from some of the anti-gay threats and other assorted nuttery I’ve dealt with since day one. I write for a living – to write and to live, I need a great deal of privacy. But I’ve never been aloof, cold, or distant – and I won’t start now.
Also, as a writer, I find the power of certain resellers of my work worrying (not just for me, but for the industry as a whole and also for the art form). The site has a store section, currently being developed. I’m sure it won’t revolutionize e-commerce as we know it, nor do I think it will be enough to counteract some of the anti-competitive behaviours of some of the biggest names – but it’s one small way to show that the industry flows from the art – not the other way around.
I wanted my readers to have the very best, so while I may not have aimed past the ceiling, I at the very least installed a floor.  Hope the readers enjoy it – that is my ONLY aim.