Frequently Asked Questions


For those who like to pop the hood and see all the geekyness that makes TAS run, we’ve broken the questions and answers into topical catagories for your perusal. If you have a question that is not addressed, please ask your question in the comments section so we may include your inquiry in the FAQs.

Topic Group: TAS & Author Platforms

What is The Author Spot?
The Author Spot is an odd beast as we have merged website hosting, website design, e-store design and hosting, video production, and sales-marketing into a single cloud-based service designed for both indie and traditional authors alike. Yes, that’s a mouthful, but there’s really nothing else quite like TAS.

Several years back, we realized that authors are not necessarily computer geeks, but at The Author Spot, we are geeks. Our tech team eats Binary O’s for breakfast—we love crunching 1s and 0s.

We designed The Author Spot to help technology-impaired authors. In case you haven’t noticed, the publishing industry has evolved into the digital marketplace. As an author, you must embrace this evolving market, and TAS is here to help you do just that.

What is The Launching Spot?

The Launching Spot is an author website design based on a hero page. A hero page is a single scrolling page that can display your books, an author bio, a book synopsis, a contact form, and link to purchase merchandise. Which components we use depend on each author’s needs.

Every TAS platform is equipped with an eStore and preview reader. Additionally, we can setup TLDs or Top Level Domains that land on either or both the hero page and the estore page.

To see both in action, go to srwittmann.com for a TAS member’s hero/author page and unchainedandundercover.com to the same platform’s estore page.

What is Spot's Choice?

Spot’s Choice is our most popular design. It contains all the features of the Launching Spot, but instead of a hero page, Spot’s Choice contains a landing or home page with a custom banner, a dedicated author page, a dedicated book page for single or multiple books, a dedicated Contact page, and an author blog.

What is The Pro Spot?

The Pro Spot bumps platform features up to the next level. It includes all the features of The Launching Spot and Spot’s Choice, but adds a customized theme to emphasize the author’s brand. Also included is a Gravitar account to point back to the author’s site when participating in discussions on other WordPress sites.

What is The Custom Spot?

The Custom Spot’s title speaks for itself. This platform is custom designed and built to the author’s needs. It’s a unique one-of-a-kind build for a specific author and their brand, and because of it’s uniqueness, a design consultation is required. Once The Author Spot team can visualize the project’s scope, a custom quote will be offered.

Is eMail Marketing Included in an Author Platform?

Each platform includes an administration email account created in the name of your preference. This is used for composing, sending, and receiving individual emails, or email to small groups. This kind of email service is not designed for mass marketing emails.

The admin email may be accessed via a webmail app or configured for mobile devices. Additional admin email accounts are available on request for authors with staff, team, or contributing writers.

For author members with an existing contact list or those ready to embark on email marketing, The Author Spot offers Mail Poet as an integrated upgrade.

Please see Mail Poet in the Add-Ons & Upgrades section below for more details.

Topic Group: Social Media Array

What is a Social Media Array?

The Author Spot is so much more than your hosting company or website designer. At the heart of your author membership is the TAS Social Media Array.

Social Media Array is what we call our diverse social network for promoting our member authors and their books. The array is built on video blogging, text blogging, podcasting, and live streaming.

One of the first things you’ll do as a new TAS member author, is participate in a choreographed online video conference. During the conference, we will record multiple interviews, each covering a different aspect of your book, your author journey, and your merchandise.

Then back at the TAS studio, we’ll create a wide variety of video and audio clips to promote your brand through our social media array.

You will also participate in live events where your readers can meet you in a live setting.

What if I don’t like to speak in front of people?

 

We have you covered. If you’d prefer a less interactive program, we have AI (Artificial Intelligence) personalities that can speak for you. We’ll help you choose a voice you like and they will interact with your readers and fans on your behalf.

 

How is the video conference choreographed?

 

Before the live event, we will outline a series of questions about your author journey, your inspirations, your book’s characters, memorable moments during the composition phase of your book, and even moments of struggle.

You will have the questions and answers before we begin, but best of all, you will be a participant in designing the best material to promote your book and your author brand.

What social media platforms does TAS use in your array?


Social media platform popularity ebbs and tides, and so TAS must also flow with the changes. Therefore, the best way to know what platforms are currently in vogue, is to watch our social media toolbars on our main site. All secondary pages host a floating toolbar on the left side of each page. Also, there is a complete social media toolbar in the footer of every page. And finally, there is a drop-down menu titled All Menus that will also display the social media toolbar.

At the time of this writing, the TAS social media array includes: Facebook, X (Previously known as Twitter), Odysee, BigMarker, YouTube, Rumble, Instagram, as well as a couple newcomers that specialize in marketing for authors.

Topic Group: Hosting Enviroment

What are the TAS server's specifications?

The TAS server is located in an environmentally controlled data center in Central Florida, not too far from the University of Central Florida.

The server is connected to an Internet backbone through fiber-optic cables, providing a light-speed connection to the Internet.

At present time, the TAS server is running at less than 20% capacity with 80% of its processing resources available for the TAS cloud and its author members. Unlike retail hosting companies, TAS does not “throttle” server resources. Throttling is restricting server resources to a small percentage of the server’s ability. Retail hosting services often do this to pack more paying customers onto each server without risking an overload. This practice comes at the cost of reduced performance to each hosted site. At TAS, each member author has un-throttled access to server resources through the TAS cloud.

In the event that the TAS sustains an operational load exceeding 50%, we will upgrade the hardware or daisy-chain an additional server to split the load.

The TAS server is currently running the cPanel suite of hosting software on the CentOS 7 operating system. However, due to licensing requirements, we are scheduled to upgrade to AlmaLinux at the end of 2023.

If you have additional geeky questions, please ask them below in the comments section.

What kind of security does TAS run?

At The Author Spot, we take a layered approach to security.

At the server level, we run firewall and antivirus. Each and every file in the TAS cloud is scanned for all known and even unknown exploits using a method known as heuristic scanning. Basically, this means if we don’t know what it is, but it quacks and waddles, then it’s probably a duck. This scan is run weekly on every file in the TAS Cloud. And if that’s not enough security scans, we also run two seperate command-line scans on alternating days that look for known exploits.

We also have a security program keeping watch over users and comments in each author site. Because of this layer of security, hackers and spammers are virtually eliminated.

But that’s not all. We also maintain a regularly updated block log of all known words used by spammers. This security layer adds additional protection against hackers, spammers, and bots.

Still more security is found via the CAPTCHA “are you human” test on all TAS forms. Certainly, you’ve seen these many times before, but when added to the other security features already running, the TAS cloud is a secure environment for member authors.

And it that is not enough, the entire TAS cloud is backed-up every 24-hours offsite where in the event of an unforeseen catastrophic failure, TAS can be back online within an hour.

Okay, sure, you could say we take our security seriously.

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Topic Group: Add-Ons & Upgrades

Mail Poet eMail Marketing

For author members who do not already subscribe to an eMail marketing service, The Author Spot offers Mail Poet as an upgrade.

Mail Poet is similar in function to other email marketing services like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp but with two big differences—it’s open source and Mail Poet allows users to design and send campaigns from within their TAS author platform admin console.

Mail Poet integrates with WooCommerce, the built-in e-store in every Author Spot platform. This provides built-in custom forms and e-store functions such as abandoned shopping cart reminders. To see the full list of Mail Poet features, please go to Mail Poet Features.

The main reason The Author Spot offers Mail Poet as an upgrade is simplicity. In keeping with the TAS tagline, Go on and write—we’ll handle the tech, our aim is to offer technical simplicity in as much as that is possible. An integrated e-mail marketing app is a step in that direction.

Mail Poet is a great starting place for new authors embarking on their authorpreneur journey. The Mail Poet starter account offers 5,000 monthly emails and 1,000 subscribers for free.

If you’re interested in adding Mail Poet e-Mail marketing to your author platform, contact TAS via our support app.

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