Fyddeye.com has gone to that great internet in the sky. I euthanized it yesterday, after my web host provider, Rochen, threatened to kill it. Last week, the techies at Rochen placed the site in what they call an “abuse queue,” a kind of digital woodshed, and told me that Fyddeye.com was taking up too many resources on a shared server. (I found tech support at Rochen officious, rude, and unhelpful, but that’s water under the bridge now.) Shared servers are like apartment buildings for cheapskate webmasters such as myself. The service costs only $12 a month, but if the site takes up too much water or electricity, in a manner of speaking, the landlord can demand more money. That’s what Rochen did with me, and I moved out rather than pay $150 a month for a dedicated server. I don’t have that kind of money.
In truth, Fyddeye.com lives on my laptop in suspended animation as a zip file. I have no plans to revive it, because it was getting in my way. For months, I’d been considered a change in strategy for marketing my books. Fyddeye.com was intended to help me market the Fyddeye Guides (see links to the right), and it worked. But the site was growing stale, and I was stuck in the maritime history genre, which isn’t going to make anyone rich, let me tell you. So I decided to focus on my author persona as my “brand,” rather than Fyddeye itself. That’s the way most independent authors such as myself present their products.
I still have plans for Fyddeye. I’d like to publish a second edition of The Fyddeye Guide to America’s Maritime History, and the Fyddeye Guide to America’s Lighthouses. Maybe in 2014. But the Fyddeye brand will not have its own web presence. I’m already feeling that marketing my books under the “Joe Follansbee” brand will be easier and more flexible. And I can incorporate other projects, such as my science fiction.
What do you think about my strategy change?