View Full Version : Website

01-03-2009, 07:58 AM
I'm putting together a new website to shamelessly promote my little self and I'm putting the old standbys in - bio, news, calendar, works, contact - but I'm wondering, what other things should I consider including? What have you found to be helpful (either for self-promotion or for "fans") sections to include?

Keeping in mind that I don't have a blog.

01-03-2009, 09:31 AM
What are you promoting? To whom? Figure out what you want to sell and who the market is, and tailor to that. If you don't have a publisher, you might be better off spending your time writing than tweaking your website (which is loads of fun, I admit, but maybe not so productive.)

Corpus Thomisticum
01-03-2009, 09:34 AM
What I would do is visit the websites of people who write stuff similar to yours, and take notes on what you like and don't like. I did the same for mine, asking myself as I visited other writers' websites what I wanted to learn by visiting them, what was interesting, etc. My greatest inspiration actually came from a very well-established and successful author who created a website that utterly horrified me, and left me disgusted with that person; I learned what not to do from them.

Dee Carney
01-03-2009, 02:17 PM
My "free reads" page is hands down the most popular. Yes, they are people out there who just troll for authors who post free reads, however, there are others who want a sense of my writing style before they commit to purchasing. Believe me, I analyze the heck out of my site and have seen plenty of people either start off at my free reads page and then move on to my bookshelf or just come back and explore the rest of the site another time.

Other authors who I list on the same page have commented on the number of readers who have visited their sites because of me, so it's doing something!

(That reminds me, happily, my "bookshelf" is the second most popular page. Be certain to sign up for a service like statcounter.com (free!!) which will let you analyze your stats pretty well.)

Good luck!

Linda Adams
01-03-2009, 04:51 PM
Keri Arthur discusses what to do put on a Web site: http://www.keriarthur.com/writerswebsite.html

Most notably what not to put on a Web site, too. I used to do a Web site for an actor--mind you, this was a well-known actor who had several series and was in a couple of big films, but not a mega-star. Personal information was the one thing we kept off the site, and it was the one thing that fans hated about the site. They would have been happy to see us post his underwear size! I've since seen horrifying disclosures of personal information on blogs, like what drugs the person is taking.

Let's see what else:

If you put up a picture of yourself, make sure it's a good picture. I visited a popular children's author's site, and she had this terrible photo of herself. It was in black and white; her hair was long and stringy; she was wearing a cheap t-shirt; and she was scowling at the camera. It was, bluntly, an ugly photo. I think her publisher must have gotten on her because the photo disappeared right before a release and was replaced with a better one.

One of the agents has mentioned the following: Providing "extra scenes"--things that were clipped from the book but that fans may want to see.

Providing a lexicon for a series.

Some of the authors have FAQs or, like Mercedes Lackey, answer questions from fans. I would tend to avoid the second one because of my experience with the actor's site. Fans can ask the dumbest questions, and there are also some agressive fans when it comes to getting information. We had one guy who would ask a question, and we'd post the answer on the site. A few weeks later, we'd get a slightly different variation of the same question from him, looking for, I imagine, a different answer than what he got. A lot of times we'd also get new people in who'd ask the same questions that had been already asked, and we'd just post a link to the question (though, to be fair here, no one realizes their question has been answered hundreds of times by the actor already).

Amy Tan has myths and legends on her site--a page prompted because of misinformation about her that is accepted as fact on the Internet. http://www.amytan.net/MythsAndLegends.aspx

Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child have a Rogue's Gallery (http://www.prestonchild.com/rogues/index.html), which are bad reviews. They also have fan art posted.

01-03-2009, 10:55 PM
Keep in mind that for a website to be successful, you have to get people to visit on a regular basis. You need to give people reasons to come back--that probably means changing up the content. A blog would be the easiest way to do this, but no matter what a stagnant website isn't much of a draw.

01-03-2009, 11:10 PM
Pictures of half naked, well-muscled men. Changed every week. That would keep me coming back week after week after week. :D

01-03-2009, 11:58 PM
Pictures of half naked, women. Changed every week. That would keep me coming back week after week after week. :D

Note I changed the word not nevada :D

01-04-2009, 01:16 AM
In the spirit of compromise, you could alternate weeks of men and weeks of women. :D

01-04-2009, 01:17 AM
That would work. As long as I don't forget which week is mine....;)

01-04-2009, 01:28 AM
How about I just put photos of post-op trannies? That's kinda like both.

Now I'm going to get some REALLY interesting visitors to my website...

01-04-2009, 02:00 AM
Yeah but I won't be one of them! :e2tongue:

01-04-2009, 02:30 AM
I read writing samples and bibliographies. I may read an author profile, but only after I've decided I'm interested in your writing.

For me, an introduction is essential. If the opening page doesn't have your name and your main genres, I'm likely to move on. I shouldn't have to dig through six layers of menus to find that information.