Choosing a Domain Name for Your Book Site or Blog

on September 9, 2008 in Marketing & PR

Not too long ago we talked about character blogs, and I mentioned that I wanted to start one for a novel I'm working on. I'm a big believer in the pre-launch, and want a blog not only setup but bringing in decent traffic and reader interaction before I even consider pitching a manuscript to publishers down the road.

To do that, I needed to get a domain name first (I strongly suggest going this route over a free blog host for any project that will directly or indirectly contribute to your business - especially your income).

In this case, I was pretty comfortable with the title, and even if that changes, the working title will still be relevant to the story in a descriptive sense. So I decided to incorporate it into the domain.

It's a two-word title. was already taken (as were other extensions like .net, .biz, etc.). That left me with a few options that came to mind quickly:


In this case, I went with the second option.

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While I don't want a huge amount of emphasis on the fact that it's a fictional blog, the domain name will make it clear without me needing to litter the blog itself with much of that background until the book itself comes out (and if I don't find a publisher who bites and choose not to self-publish the book, it still works as a decent "blook" domain where I could continue the blog with the book content itself.

I'm happy with the domain choice. Which would you have chosen, and why?

Obviously things are a bit different with nonfiction titles. In that case, would you choose the hyphenated version or the version (again assuming your title alone was already registered and you weren't putting the site up on a subdomain of an author site or something)?

Thanks for sharing!
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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. Through her company, 3 Beat Media, she operates All Indie Writers,,, and numerous other blogs.

Jenn has over 15 years experience writing for others, over 11 years experience in blogging, and 9 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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  1. Tracy September 9, 2008 Reply

    I started a webzine to go along with my as-yet-unpublished novel–

    At first I tried a character blog, but I found that it didn’t really relate to the novel as much as I would have liked because I couldn’t write anything on behalf of my character that wouldn’t foreshadow the ending of the book. (Plus, my book is set in 2004, which made blogging odd as all pop culture references would have had to have been timeless… or atleast pre-2004 as well!)

  2. Bookmarketing Noob September 11, 2008 Reply

    Good points, your website URL needs to not only be easy to find, but should contain either your book title or author name in it (depending on its purpose). This also helps with the search engines finding it since it has the keywords in it that you are presumably targeting.

  3. Ted October 28, 2008 Reply

    You need a domain name that people will search for. Who on earth will think of typing in ‘word1word2novel? You will get no traffic unless you can direct it there from other places.

  4. Jennifer Mattern October 28, 2008 Reply

    In the case of a novel, that’s actually not quite true. Domain names should be one of two things:

    1. Keyword-rich for SEO / search, or
    2. Brandable

    Any smart author or publisher will put a lot of branding effort behind a novel – in other words, you build the visibility and make people recognize the title (and therefore search for it). Remember, that URL has to be adaptable and marketable through a variety of mediums (magazines and newspaper reviews to websites to being easily shared orally during radio interviews – a reason odd spellings, abbreviations, numbers, and hyphens should be avoided in something like a book domain name).

    Keyword-rich domains are fine for a niche blog (like this one, where I’ve used one). But they would be rather inappropriate for a novel (although you might be able to make it work for a niche nonfiction book).

  5. David L. January 8, 2009 Reply

    How does one acquire a domain via a free blog host? Are there any websites you recommend where one can accomplish this?

  6. Jake Olvido March 6, 2009 Reply

    Having a book title for a domain name is rather a self-limiting approach to any aspiring bestselling author. An author is not limited to writing one book only; and it would rather be better that the domain name be premised upon the name of an author, like or In book marketing, most people overlook the fact that it’s not so much the book itself that is promoted but the author’s storytelling quality and writing abilities that will ultimately convince readers to buy or just skip entirely a book offer. In essence, book promotion is all about building up author reputation. Authors, promote yourselves!

  7. infant potty training March 8, 2009 Reply

    Sweet article, justa small Q, what is a good average search amount for a niche site? about 300 per month?

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