Friday, November 16, 2018

REVIEW: Pub Site

When offered the chance to explore, experiment with, and review Pub Site, I jumped at the opportunity. In the past, for my own author needs, I've simply used Blogger, but there are more advanced and targeted tools out there for authors. Pub Site is one of those tools, and I was curious to learn more.


"Up and running within an hour." - - - Okay. I'd take that challenge. I set a timer for 60 minutes and started from scratch, knowing nothing about the site. 

Here are the important items I learned in 60 minutes:

1. The tools on Pub Site made the process quick and easy for me to get started.

2. I followed their step-by-step process.

3. Pub Site offered ten templates to choose from and color variants within each.

4. Once I chose my template, a box popped up offering a tutorial video to help me customize my template. Because I wanted to see how long it would take me on my own, I waited to watch the video later.

5. The "Add Titles" option was confusing to me at first, because I thought it meant add headers or banners to the various pages of the website, but it actually meant add titles of books or other products I wanted to sell on the site. And upon closer examination, I realized when you hover your mouse over the icon, the site pops up an explanation that clicking here will allow you to add products to your site. Admittedly, I was rushing, trying to beat that 60 minute timer to build my site. My advice: take your time and read the little pop ups that are offering assistance.

6. I didn't understand the field "order by" . . . Most fields I was able to figure out, but this one left me baffled.

7. Pub Site offers tons of fields to add purchase links, which look very professional in the final web page.

8. For traditionally published authors, I'm not certain how necessary the "e-commerce" pages are, but I can see that these would be especially beneficial for self-published authors, publishing companies, and collaborative ventures.

9. Since the site gives you the option to add multiple authors, I see the potential for group marketing that could benefit all involved. Small publishers may find this web service especially helpful in designing a professional site.

10. After 50 minutes of adding content for myself as the author and for one of my books, I clicked on "view site." WOW. I had high expectations, and yet, I was still pleasantly surprised at how professional the site looked after only a short amount of time invested by me.

11. I was also pleased to see in the "view site" option, there were many easy-to-click edit buttons to add taglines and additional content.

12. I was confused on how to add a blog page - but keep in mind, I did not watch the tutorial before experimenting to see what I could accomplish in the first 60 minutes.

So, there you have it. Those twelve items listed are the major things I accomplished and learned in the first 60 minutes. No. My site was not finished. But I was thrilled with how it looked after just one hour invested. I'd predict, it would probably take at least another hour to get it closer to being finished. If you have more than five books to enter data for, it would take even longer. Probably plan data entry time of about 5-10 minutes per book, depending upon whether or not you already have the content created. For me, it was simple to copy and paste the data into the new website.

But that's not all. 

After signing up for my free 14-day trial, I received an email from the company welcoming me and offering to personally answer any questions I had. I replied and asked about setting up the blog page (see #12 above). I received an immediate response with helpful tips.

Terms of Use
While I am not a lawyer and cannot offer legal advice, the terms of use appeared pretty standard. Nothing popped out at me as alarming or unusual. The terms are long and thorough, but I encourage you to take the necessary time to read before agreeing to them.

14-day Free Trial
I highly encourage you to take advantage of the free trial to experiment with the site and see if it works for you.

So, how much does it cost?
According to the site: "Streamlined and affordable pricing - Our all-in-one package is just $19.99 a month and includes all of our current and future releases and features, including a complete ecommerce solution, and book-specific features. It also includes industry leading website hosting."

Final opinion from me:

I had high expectations of Pub Site and was still pleasantly surprised at how professional my author website looked after only fifty minutes entering content into Pub Site's easy-to-use template.

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