Peter Pollock is an author, blogger, stay-at-home dad, web hosting trainer and geek (and proud of it!) His most recently published book, Web Hosting For Dummies, is proving to be a hit with readers as well as people within the hosting industry as they are recommending it to their clients.
Time to chat with Peter!
How did you come to write your new book, Web Hosting For Dummies?
I’d have to say it was hard work, trial, and error and not a small amount of serendipity! I get asked this question a lot and the honest answer is, I really don’t know. One thing led to another and all of a sudden I had a book contract in my hand.
The most important thing I did though was going to conferences and, despite my shyness and the fact I’m an introvert, I made friends and talked to as many people as I could.
It was those connections that put me in the position where everything could come together for me.
What was your inspiration for writing the book?
To the average person, web hosting can seem too technical of a concept to understand. As I try to demonstrate in my book though, most of the functions and facilities provided in a hosting account are actually very easy to master, if you have the right teacher.
My belief in pretty much everyone’s ability to get more out of their hosting than they currently do led me to write the book and also start planning a series of workshops around the country to teach people, in a hands on environment, what they need to know, but have been too afraid to try. For more information, go to WebHostingWorkshops.com.
How can your book help people with hosted blogs?
My main aim in everything I do is to help others. I believe that we can all do so much more than believe with our websites if we could gain just a little more knowledge – simple knowledge at that.
There are many facilities which come with web hosting that people don’t know about but which are actually really simple and can assist any and all website owners seem more professional and make their sites more secure and protected.
In Web Hosting For Dummies, I try to lay those things out in simple terms using analogies anyone can understand to help people get the most out of their hosting accounts.
Why are you such a fan of WordPress?
WordPress helps level the playing field between those who can afford professional developers and those who can’t. Obviously, there will always be a market for expert professionals but WordPress enables anyone to make a professional site on his or her own.
What were the easiest and hardest parts of writing this book?
The easiest part by far, was procrastinating – but the publisher tends not to like it when I do that, I can’t imagine why! The hardest part was ensuring that I made the book simple enough for anyone to understand and follow yet detailed and deep enough to teach valuable skills. Finding the right balance was very tricky!
Is your recent book part of a series?
WHFD is part of the fantastic For Dummies series of books, which now extends to over 1600 titles. I feel incredibly blessed and honored to have been able to write for this series.
If you were to advertise your book on a bumper sticker, what would it say?
Okay, you got me there. I did actually make Web Hosting For Dummies bumper stickers, which just have the Web Hosting For Dummies logo on them. Now you ask that though, I am going to have to come up with something clever for the next batch. Maybe something like, “I’m no dummy now that I have read Web Hosting For Dummies.”
What else have you written?
Earlier this year I self-published a children’s fiction book, called A Very Different School, which is the first in a series called The Fantastic Fieldtrips series (yes, I am on a campaign to make fieldtrip an acceptable compound word!). The second book in the series is planned for later in the year, to come out in time for Christmas.
What part of writing a non-fiction do you enjoy the most? The least?
The best thing about writing non-fiction is that you get to do something that you know will benefit people in the future. Conversely though, the hardest part is the weight of knowing that people will rely on you to get everything right and knowing that if you make mistakes, you will be panned for it in reviews. With fiction you can’t be “wrong,” with non-fiction, you can be very, very wrong indeed!
Some authors, like me, always write books in order. But I know some people write them out of order. How about you?
I wrote this book mostly chronologically simply because it’s easier to keep track of which chapters have been done that way. I have to admit though, that some of the chapters were more difficult to write than others and at times I skipped the hard ones to write the easy ones.
Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?
Being active in social media is essential these days. However, making your voice heard in the crowd can be difficult. I use Facebook and Twitter more than the other platforms, but that’s just my own personal preference. Just remember that every update you write affects how potential readers see you and how they judge your writing abilities, so even the shortest of updates can influence whether or not someone decides it read your book.
A lot of authors are frustrated by readers who don’t understand how important reviews are? What would you say to a reader who doesn’t think his or her review matters?
People are highly influenced by not only what reviews say, but by the volume of reviews left on each book. Even a very short review tells another potential reader that the book was either good enough or bad enough to warrant sixty seconds of your time to rate it online. So please take a moment to leave a review of any book you read on sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads.
Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?
We currently live in the armpit of America, aka the Central Valley (California). It is hot and it smells! If I could move anywhere, I think maybe somewhere around Denver, Colorado would be my preference, because it is hot in the summer and nicely cold in the winter.
Trains, planes, automobiles, or boats?
Planes, definitely planes, I love flying. Or maybe automobiles – I love fast cars! … I’m a guy!
What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?
Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream is my favorite comfort food!!!! (although I generally just eat the brownies and throw most of the ice cream away.
My least favorite food is…. umm…. I can’t think right now, all I can think about is a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Thanks, Lisette, now I have to go shopping!
If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?
I would love to be able to draw/paint. In fact I would love to have enough fine motor control to even write neatly. My handwriting is terrible!
What music soothes your soul?
“Oh, give me the beat, boys, to soothe my soul I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away…”
What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?
Buy my book
Read my book
Tell others about how awesome my book is!
… At least, that will make the world a better place for me… and one person out of 6 billion isn’t bad, right?
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