This weekend I’m celebrating a small victory.
As a self-published author, I wear many hats. I am the sole proprietor of Murky Press, a small publishing business. I manage my business taxes and licensing requirements. I keep records of sales and inventory. I manage the business website and a variety of software licenses that help me do all the work. I publish through Amazon and IngramSpark, and I maintain accounts with each of those companies as well as with companies that provide my web domain and host my website and manage my ISBN numbers.
I’ve written recently about my rather lackadaisical marketing efforts, but I do try to come up with creative ways to get the word out about my books. BC (before COVID) I would spend time at book fairs and speak to small community groups. I post regularly to this blog to stay in touch with all of you.
And then, of course, I have to write the damn books. That may require research assistance, travel, and coordination with editors and cover designers and possibly illustrators. I do my own page layout and book design for both printed books and ebooks, so I am spared contracting with even more individuals for that work.
Of all these myriad tasks, however, the one that gives me the biggest headache is troubleshooting technical problems. Now long, long ago, I worked in the tech industry and I prided myself in keeping up with technology advancements. But I’m way past that. Things change, sometimes dramatically, every three to six months now. I’m no longer interested in keeping up, and I only fall farther and farther behind with each calendar year.
So I dread wrestling with technology problems. And they befall us all, whether we’re simply trying to manage a smart phone or an online business.
For a couple of months now, I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of the “Not secure” message that had appeared next to the Murky Press web address in some browsers. A couple of my loyal blog readers had expressed concern about encountering dire warnings relating to stolen passwords and credit card numbers.
Let me state up front that the Murky Press website was never risky to visit. I do not request passwords or credit card numbers from anyone. But I know it was unsettling to see those messages. It was for me. And I learned this summer that it could seem downright scary for some of you.
Today, as you access the Clearing the Fog blog, you may finally see a closed lock symbol indicating that the site is now secure. Whew. I hope all those frightening messages have gone away. I didn’t really do anything, in the end. But after multiple phone calls and online chats, I finally got my domain provider to talk to my website host. They changed one number in my IP address and voilà—I have now been certified as the legitimate owner of this website.
The cynic in me wonders if this recent security requirement—an “SSL certificate” for those of you in the know—is simply a way to justify staffing up the customer support lines and thereby expanding business. Perhaps if I were selling products from my website I would have more patience for this stuff.
Nonetheless it appears I have finally solved the riddle. I finally have a website that won’t scare the bejesus out of my loyal visitors. Thanks to all of you for trusting me during these uncertain times.
So raise a glass with me to one small victory over the worldwide website warlords! They stole hours and hours of my time, but you can now read future blogs with a sense of total security.