Authors Guild Makes $6 Web Sites Available to Writers

Seeks to make Internet marketing tools "standard equipment" for authors throughlaunch of AuthorsGuild.net
The Authors Guild announced today the launch of AuthorsGuild.net, offering Guild members customizable Web sites for $6 per month. The Guild's exclusive online software permits book authors and freelance journalists with no knowledge of HTML programming to easily build sites, post book excerpts and magazine articles, host discussions, send electronic newsletters with a feature that keeps track of subscribers, and link to online bookstores. Writers may devote pages to up to 10 separate works. (For prolific writers, the Guild is offering a 50-work site for $9 per month. There's also a single Web page alternative for $3 per month. The Guild is waiving the $75 set-up fee for sites activated by August 31.)

"Reaching your audience through the Internet has become a part of modern authorship," said Guild president Nick Taylor. "With AuthorsGuild.net, we're trying to make Web sites standard equipment for writers who want them."

The Guild has been testing the sitebuilding software with some members for several months to make sure it's as intuitive as possible. After 30 minutes of familiarization with the program, most writers can quickly build Web pages. Writers can set up free test sites at www.authorsguild.net.

"For years I've wanted a personal Web site, but haven't been able to make it happen," said children's book author Mary Pope Osborne. "I'm amazed at how professional my site looks."

Science writer Thomas A. Bass had also long wanted a site to post his magazine pieces and information about his six books. One might think that someone who writes for Wired magazine would build his own site, but "I've had no interest in learning HTML," said Mr. Bass, whose site also includes his pieces from The New Yorker and New York Times Magazine. "This is precisely what I'd hoped for."

Writers can assign a domain name they've reserved to their AuthorsGuild.net site, or they can use a domain address assigned by the Guild. Mr. Bass's site, for example, can be seen at www.thomasbass.com. Ms. Osborne's site can be viewed at www.marypopeosborne.com and at www.magictreehouse.com.

The site building-and-hosting package is part of a collection of Web tools the Authors Guild is offering members through AuthorsGuild.net. Other AuthorsGuild.net services are Web site promotion through submission of sites to search engines, domain name reservation, and Web-based e-mail services.

Writers' Website Promotion Service

Members and non-members may register their sites at AuthorsGuild.net for its site-promotion service. The Guild will submit all registered sites to the major Internet search engines and resubmit them quarterly over the next year to keep the information fresh. The service is free to qualifying writers who register their sites at AuthorsGuild.net by August 31.

To qualify, a writer must have been published by an established U.S. book publisher or must have three freelance articles published in major periodicals in the past two years. The service is only for sites directly related to the registrant's work as a writer.

Domain Name Reservation Without Surrendering Privacy

Through AuthorsGuild.net, writers can reserve domain names without making their contact information publicly available on the Internet. The Guild believes it's the only service of its kind. Guild members have already reserved hundreds of domain names incorporating the titles of books, book series, pseudonyms and their own names.

The Guild offers the service at $18 per year. (Industry leader VeriSign charges $35 per year.) Writers may transfer their domain name reservation to the Guild's service for $18 per year.

Web-Based E-Mail for Writers

Writers can use AuthorsGuild.net's e-mail service to manage their reader e-mail. The service allows writers to use their own reserved domain name for their e-mail addresses, which they may forward to their private e-mail accounts. The service is free to those subscribing to the sitebuilder service, and $3 per month for other Guild members.

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The Authors Guild, with more than 8,000 members, is the largest organization of published book authors and freelance journalists in the United States. It has been an advocate for effective copyright, fair contracts and free expression since 1912.

First-year dues for Guild membership are $90. For further information on the sitebuilder and other Internet marketing tools, see www.authorsguild.net. For further information about the Guild, see www.authorsguild.org.


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