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Authors with Websites: Who Owns Your Domain Name?

31 January 2018

From Indies Unlimited:

The initial response to the question of who owns your domain name would likely be, “I do”. In most cases, you would be correct. That’s what I thought, too, when I received a renewal notice last August. As it turns out, I was wrong – sort of.

. . . .

I’ve had the domain name yvonnehertzberger.com since 2009, when my first website was initially set up and my first book published.

. . . .

It all began when I received an email from some random company telling me my domain was up for renewal and offering to renew it for me. It had been purchased so long ago that I couldn’t remember who it had been set up with so I asked my techie, Carolyn to check into it. When she looked it up, the domain was registered with a company called eNom, which neither of us had heard of, and at an old address of mine where I’ve not lived for years. She suggested I call them.

The rep there told me that the domain name was listed under a reseller out of Toronto. They informed me that I could get it back for five years if I paid $249.00, seven years for $500+ or ten years for more than $700. By this time I was so upset I could not remember the exact figures. But I smelled a rat and sensed eNom, and/or the secondary reseller, were holding my domain for ransom. Somehow a shred of sanity remained and I said I’d have to look into that.

. . . .

Then I got the renewal notice for the other domain name, due to expire in October. It was registered with Namecheap, also taken over by eNom. I considered letting it expire, but Carolyn suggested trying to transfer it to GoDaddy, to get it out of eNom’s clutches.

Link to the rest at Indies Unlimited



7 Comments to “Authors with Websites: Who Owns Your Domain Name?”

  1. Yeah, as bad as having your backlog owned by a publisher that won’t do reprints and overprices your ebooks.

  2. The lesson here is: keep track of your accounts, including your domain name registrar. Sheesh!

  3. we recently had several domain names come up for renewal and a few we wanted to buy new, and thought to save money perhaps by transferring to Name Cheap

    Well, we found out Name Cheap is a bit cheaper because they have imo incredibly lousy customer service –the ‘agents’ dont know answers, will get back to you three days late, have pitiful training in customer service, have a nightmare of a store cart that disappears and to find it you have to know where the hidden ‘saved’ button is [buried]

    . GoDaddy customer service people seem like geniuses in comparison and really do know their stuff. Also the corporate ‘tude at godaddy has changed over the last couple years, and they just redid their store cart and it is ace simple without tons of bs that are at namecheap.

    Learning here that eNom is involved in namecheap puts the last nail in the coffin for us re namecheap.

    While I note that if one lets their domian expy at godaddy, they will charge you an absurd amount of money to re-register it, thus Meryl Yourish is right: put your domain[s] on auto renew ad you will receive email notices when they are coming due, and as Karen Meyers said, if you have updated credit card, make sure to register it at your domain carrier so it CAN auto renew for you.

    Last word: domains by proxy costs about 8 dollars per year for each domain name. With very few exceptions, we ditched all of it recently as there is no requirement to reply to trollers who say they want to ‘buy’ it or sell you something sounding related. We get that alot anyway.

    Lastly, long ago a person scooped up our highly unusual indie name and put up a website of three pages that was not offensive, but also not trackable as to the owner who took the name. Couldnt find anyone to ask them to return it, for $ or not.

    Over the years some people blistered us for not having a website people could find by using our name. And when I saw a rather long somewhat negative discussion about it all on one of the book sites, I wrote a comment on the site telling the story, that someone unknown had taken the name and we could not trace them. There was much sympathetic commentary then as people understood better…

    and… within a couple weeks whoever had taken the name, suddenly relinquished it in the middle of its paid period, and since I had it on a godaddy watch list, I was notified it was avail, for a reasoned amount. We purchased it and have held tight since. We have had various people write to us, telling it was ‘so and so,’ by name, who ‘stole the name’ but we really dont know, but very likely someone who reads book/publishing blogs. Have no idea of their motive, as they ran no ads, for instance.

    The last note I’d make is that there is an outfit out of Boulder Colo called HUGE Domains and they scrape up authors names, names of their books, their book characters and more for what domain sellers sell them for, often 8-15 dollars and turn and demand HUGE amounts of money to sell them [back] to the people the names/words are most associated to. They have offered to sell us what are our own words/works starting at 2k to 4k. They are, well, fill in the blank.

    The best way to avoid them is to, if you want to not see your name or other of your interests used by others for clickbait, ad revenue, to sell something unrelated only using your work as a hook including a porn site using association to your work as a way to draw people there… if you see your name/ set of words is taken, to put in an alert with your domain seller, who will notify you if it comes up for sale, and will help broker that sale.[they do get some kind of commission on it all]. And pay close attn to your emails and bid on your name/interests [perhaps more than once] if it comes up for you.

    Best of all is just to think if you want to corner your own way of beig known in the world with your work … and go ahead and be first buyer of domain [s] that cover what you have worked hard to bring in the way you want to bring it.

  4. Third attempt at submitting a comment … maybe because I linked to outside sources? (Although they verified that NameCheap and Enom have gone their separate ways.)

    a quick internet search shows that NameCheap disentangled itself from enom last year and is a direct registrar.

    I have used NameCheap for several years and have been very happy with them.

    And the original author recommending GoDaddy as an alternative is just plain ludicrous. Terrible company, price gouging, CEO likes to brag about big-game hunting trophy elephants. Despicable.

    • Bill smith, glad to hear update on name cheap

      the CEO of godaddy is long gone, about seven years ago. We were just talking about him the other night and glad he is gone.

      Not a promoter of godaddy, but we find customer service there quick and knowledgable the first time, and timely. They are warm and often have been with GD for several years, which says a lot.

      Actually just renewing a batch of domains last month, we compared prices with namecheap and godaddy and felt the diff of intoduct offers from namecheap which renew at rates equal to godaddy’s was not worth the 7 dollars saved. Would rather have ace responsive cs. YMMV

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