Every Wednesday, I get together via Skype with my critique group and we review each other’s work. Wednesday is a great day to take in a new tip or trick on writing!
Today I want to talk about author websites and the proverb of the cobbler.
The saying goes, “The cobbler always wears the worst shoes.” Since I was raised on my father’s cobbling bench, I can say with authority, this is true. For years my father had the worst shoes: beat up, stained with dye, polish, and dust from grinding heels down on a machine.
Taking care of other people’s shoes.
Cobbling work was pretty seasonal. Heavy rush in the fall to get cowboy boots and winter boots resoled, lighter work in the summer when people needed straps fixed on sandals. My father repaired bridles, too, and saddles once he got a machine that could handle some of the work. In the fall and winter, he’d work long days, often coming home after I was already in bed. A lot of my formative memories as a kid were spent at his shop. My first Big Mac. My first Slurpee. My first footlong hotdog from 7-11.
Okay, he wasn’t big on cooking or packing a lunch.
Didn’t leave a lot of time to look after your own shoes, and on the slim profit margins Dad had, taking care of his own shoes would result in him losing money. He got paid when the customer’s shoes got fixed, not his own. So he didn’t fix them. It wasn’t until my brother got old enough to scold him and work alongside him at the shop that he started bringing a second pair of shoes to work: good shoes and work shoes. My brother urged him to take care of himself and rightly pointed out that if he wore good shoes when out and about, he would be advertising his own wares and abilities.
What does my Dad the cobbler have to do with an author website?
Well, I was treating my website the same way. I’ve been focusing on the other work I have to do, forgetting that my site is just as important. A lot of authors treat it as an afterthought, but the ones who get it (and have a fantastic following) treat their website as the valuable piece of real estate it is and update it regularly. It’s a place where you can show the world who you are and connect with people, with no restrictions.
It’s important. You’re important. What you have to say matters, and people want to hear it.
So break out the polish and give your online presence the shine it deserves.