Meet Author Media

Thomas Umstattd Jr.

Author Media , owned by Thomas Umstattd, Jr., is the company that built my new site – and all authors should know about them! They do so much more than build websites, and you can benefit from their incredible knowledge for FREE by following the blog, Author Tech Tips, and following them on Twitter (@AuthorTech). You’ll get a constant influx of up-to-the-minute tips, all aimed specifically at authors.

There is so much good stuff here that I’m writing this post NOT because they asked me to (they didn’t) but because I totally believe in what they’re providing. The folks at Author Media truly “get” the writer’s struggle to deal with all this marketing and techy stuff on top of writing, and they’re generous in the way they share information. Their blog and Twitter feed has info on:

  • Blogging and blog tours
  • Author websites
  • Social media including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more
  • Book promotion via radio and speaking engagements
  • Viral marketing
  • Tech how-to’s
  • Writing and publishing

My website design package included several tutorial Skype calls with the experts at Author Media, who taught me strategies to increase my blogging effectiveness and build my traffic as well as how to use WordPress. They’re also answering all my questions as we launch this blog and smooth out the kinks. I couldn’t have asked for a more painless experience.

I have to admit – and pardon if it seems like I’m over-the-top with my enthusiasm but I can’t help it – that I’m impressed with how they not only got the entire blog and all the comments (over 900 posts!) over to this new WordPress site, but they also fixed it so that everyone got the new feed seamlessly. This was amazing to me!

A HUGE heartfelt thank-you to Thomas Umstattd, Jr. and his entire amazing team at Author Media, a division of his company Castle Media Group, LLC (which also includes Webroots Media for Political Organizations, and Umstattd Media for Small Businesses). Special thanks to Samantha Fagan and Katherine Seuss who did the bulk of the work and have tirelessly answered my questions.

Start following Author Tech Tips and the @AuthorTech Twitter feed now if you haven’t already!

I found this photo on the Author Media site - Thomas Umstattd has my old website up on the screen. How fun!

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. […] have great clients who love to promote them. (Like me!) And Rachelle Gardner! I love to refer people to Author Media because I know they’ll be treated with respect and […]

  2. London Escort Service on July 1, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    I believe that the creation of strong communities of individuals committed to a cause can change the world for the better and we can leverage the new technologies and tools of social media to help us do this.

  3. Samantha Fagan on June 22, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    Thanks for the shout out, Rachelle! It was a pleasure!

  4. Sana Quijada on June 22, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    thank u for this connection. i gained a lot from it.

  5. Mike Koch on June 20, 2011 at 4:36 AM

    I wanted to chime in as well and say thanks for the redirect to Author Media. I will definitely make use of their ideas.

  6. Vicki Moss on June 19, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    I was just talking with another writer about doing something similar. And then she emailed me this post. Great timing! I’ll definitely be checking out the information and thank you Rachelle.

  7. Mary DeMuth on June 19, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    I adore Author Media. They did my site too, and I heartily, fully endorse them.

  8. Nancy Sagui on June 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Thanks for the tip on Author Media. Between your blog, Writer’s Digest, and Author Media’s great info, I’ll be a well-informed writer with no time left to write!

  9. D U Okonkwo on June 19, 2011 at 6:12 AM

    I’ve heard of these guys before and have looked at their site. They did a great job here, layout is really cool.

  10. Rosemary Gemmell on June 19, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    Thanks for the Author Tech link, Rachelle – I’ve signed up for their newsletter and now have their excellent blogging tips e-book.

  11. Ellen Painter Dollar on June 19, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    This could not have come at a more perfect time! I’m planning to migrate from Blogger to WordPress this summer, plus start using my own domain name and get a brand spanking new, beautifully designed site. Your new design looks great and I’m so glad to know of this resource!

  12. Natalie Sharpston on June 19, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    Thanks for the introduction to Author Media. I’m looking forward to exploring their site and then telling my friends all about it.

    I’m also a big fan of WordPress. Ra ra WordPress! It is easy to use, robust, and streamlined with Facebook and Twitter. There are quite a few free, beautiful template themes to choose from, many of which have lots of handy widget options. By the way, love your new site design and layout. I’m particularly fond of how orange is used as an accent color throughout.

    Thought I’d suggest a best-practices tip about adding links to your text. When entering the destination URL, consider checking the “Open link in a new window/tab” check box. That way, your readers are not sent completely away from your site to investigate the link; instead, a new window or tab opens to a new page, keeping your website open and easy to return to. You want to keep us on your site as long as possible. : )

  13. Neil Larkins on June 18, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    This all looks pretty doggoned good. Looking forward to giving it a try.

  14. Gillian Marchenko on June 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Great information! I signed up for the tips from Author Media.

    Question: How important is it to have a professional looking website before seeking out representation for a manuscript?

    I have a website that I put together myself from a simple hosting package. I am not happy with it but I also do not have the funds handy to purchase something professional.

    However, I can possibly sell a kid (I have four 🙂 or something if it is important to have a better website. I am hoping to start sending my manuscript out at the end of the summer.

    Thanks Rachelle.

    • Rachelle Gardner on June 18, 2011 at 10:54 PM

      Gillian, you’re not expected to have everything all professional and perfect at the time that you’re querying. Don’t worry about it. The more important consideration is what kind of audience are you building with your blogging and social networking?

      Still, this is most important if you’re writing nonfiction. If you’re a fiction author, don’t worry, the platform can come later.

      • Gillian Marchenko on June 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Ok, phew, great. I guess a kid can stay.

        I am wriitng a memoir, and I know platform is a big deal. I have a fan page on fb, and I’m on twitter. I write articles about special needs (main area for memoir) and have published a few essays here and there. I am also setting up speaking gigs (with fear and trembling) to build my platform.

        Honestly, kind of hate all of this work, but I know that I have to keep going if I want anyone to consider my ms.

        Thanks for all the great info.

  15. Kristy Ks on June 18, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Thank you for the tip!! Your blog looks great!

    I switched from blogger to wordpress last year, then went back to blogger because I felt totally overwhelmed with wordpress. Dumb move on my part.

  16. Lisa Jordan on June 18, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Thanks for the information. As a new author, I’m finding the world of marketing and book promotion a little overwhelming. I’ll take any tips I can get.

  17. Barbara Watson on June 18, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    I didn’t know about Author Media! Thanks for the tip.

    I also didn’t know about gravatar (but was wondering how some people had photos and why I was the shadow blob). No shadow blob anymore. Thank you for all you do, Rachelle.

  18. Lisa Marie on June 18, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Does Author Media create basic blog templates? I’m fairly WordPress proficient, but this is the flakiest, buggiest platform ever. I managed to damage my template while attempting to modify the code, and I do not have time to fix it. So now I have the world’s most uninspiring header, and I’m stuck with it. I also have a huge problem with spam such that my hosting service sent me an email about it. WP is wonderfully flexible — really, you can make it do anything. But I am at my wit’s end.

    Gosh, I miss using Dreamweaver …

    • Rachelle Gardner on June 18, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      I can’t really speak to your assertion that “this is the flakiest, buggiest platform ever” since that’s the opposite of everything I’ve heard, and the opposite of my experience so far. In any case, I’m sure you might be able to work out some kind of a consultancy with Author Media. They have all their contact info, packages and pricing on their site. I was able to choose between fully customized; using a template with customization; or sticking with a template. I chose the middle option.

  19. Elizabeth Varadan on June 18, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Thanks so much for the good share. I’ve bookmarked it and will go the the sites.

  20. Joanne Wiklund on June 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    This looks so good. Your blog is helping me decide what it is I want to do next to promote my new ebook, An Angel for Duane and Gladys. I was so glad you read OLd Mamas for me. While I have not yet placed it with an agent, I keep trying! Thanks for all you do to help emerging and established writers. Joanne

  21. Nathan Go on June 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Wow, awesome site! I like the texture and colors. Nice job!

  22. Marcia Richards on June 18, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Love the new site! One day, I’ll get a pro to do mine, too. In the meantime, I signed up for emails from themThe tag cloud is very cool!