Feedback on my author website

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The Second Moon

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So, I made an author website and I would like feedback on it. I've never made a website before, so be gentle but honest. I want to know if:

A) It looks good overall

B) It's easy to navigate

C) You can easily find the Amazon links for my two books

D) You can tell who my target audience is.

E) Any other suggestions

Here's the link: click here

Thanks in advance!
 
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ChaseJxyz

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-Normally I use (and recommend) wordpress.org, which is the version where you install it onto hosting you pay for elsewhere, as wordpress.com limits you in a lot of ways, such as having the ad for wordpress at the top of your page and the URL being wordpress.com. Are these "features" that you can pay to have removed? You might want to consider doing that at some point.
--Additionally, does it force the name of your site to be the same thing in multiple fields? Your subdomain is "mimistromauthor," the name of the site in the browser tab is "Mimi Strom Author" and the blog name (what's on the top of the page) is Mimi Strom Author, then it says "Mimi Strom's Author Website." If you're able to have these things be different, maybe change them up, like have "Mimi Strom, Children's Author" or "More about Mimi Strom"


-Perhaps instead of having the Home Button at the top of your site along with the blue bar in the middle of the page, you can just have your site "sections" (pages) at the top. here is a guide that should help you out


-You don't need to say "click the link below to..." since it's 2021 and the average website user knows how to use things. The text for the links you have (home, the book series, find me on instagram) are clear enough that people can find what they want


-Maybe instead of the yellow box that your bio is in it could be a light grey? It's always good to have your website be easy for people to read :)


-The pictures for your books should also be links for their Amazon pages to make it as easy as possible for people to buy them. here is a guide on how to do that


-On the book page, maybe make the colors for the blocks less intense? The peach you have with the section with the review is a nice shade, not too intense. If you google "hex color picker" google will give you a tool where you can pick colors and then it gives you the code number for it (you'll be using either HEX, which is #something or RGB, which is 3 numbers seperated with commas)


-And here is some instructions I wrote up so you can link your website places.

Your site is super-easy to navigate, which is great! Adding Amazon links to the images on your front page will make it easier for people to buy. You always want to make things as easy as possible for people to give you money :)
 

The Second Moon

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@ChaseJxyz - You're amazing!!!!! :snoopy: Thank you so much. I fixed (hopefully) everything you pointed out. I think I'm going to upgrade my "plan" so the Wordpress advertising isn't there. Once again you're amazing!
 

Morgan_R

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A) Looks pretty good, could maaaybe use some tweaking. On the series page, the colors on the book one box almost made me think I'd selected it somehow... the gray background and the gray-tinted yellow box. I'd make it more like the book two box -- nice saturated colors throughout. Also, your images of the book one cover are lacking the "1" after the "#" at the bottom. But these are nitpicky details, I think overall it's looking fine.

B) Very easy.

C) Click click! No problem.

D) You say it's upper middle grade, so again, no problem.

E) Maybe add a photo? I don't really look at author pages, but it seems like the sort of thing people might like. Especially if you include one or more of your pets.
 

The Second Moon

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A) Looks pretty good, could maaaybe use some tweaking. On the series page, the colors on the book one box almost made me think I'd selected it somehow... the gray background and the gray-tinted yellow box. I'd make it more like the book two box -- nice saturated colors throughout. Also, your images of the book one cover are lacking the "1" after the "#" at the bottom. But these are nitpicky details, I think overall it's looking fine.

B) Very easy.

C) Click click! No problem.

D) You say it's upper middle grade, so again, no problem.

E) Maybe add a photo? I don't really look at author pages, but it seems like the sort of thing people might like. Especially if you include one or more of your pets.

Thank you so much for viewing it.

I didn't even realize Book 1 was missing the 1 after the #. Thank you!

I'm very shy so...I'd be nervous about including a picture. Though I would feel better if I had my dog in the picture with me. That would take some of the eyes off me.
 

karasunoyashi

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A&B) The site was easy to navigate and I liked the colors. The only thing I didn't like, and this probably just me, was just how big some things are, specifically the covers on the main page. I Like to be able to see an entire book cover at one time without having to zoom out.

C) The cover for book #1 on the main page isn't linked to Amazon. Is that on purpose?

D) The audience seems pretty obvious.

Congratulations on getting a website up and running!
 

The Second Moon

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@ Karasunoyashi - Thank you. I changed the sizes for the images on the home page. Now I'm working on linking Book 1 on the home page.
 

sphynge

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Congrats on your website and on your books! In addition / reinforcing some keys points above:
- I'd scrap "Welcome To A Place To Learn All About Me And (Most Importantly) My Books." because it's extremely unlikely they've come here by mistake. Use that space above the fold to showcase your latest cover, a review for one of your books, your latest instagram post, where to buy your book, a witty quote from a character, a WWW question to pull in potential readers (Came here to know why an alligator lost a foot?). WWW questions are the who / what / where / when / why/ how
- Suggestion: you may want to add a teaser for each book, 1-2 sentences on what they're about on the home page itself
- Think about the calls to action you'd like visitors to take, in what order / what matters to you. Is it buy a book? Write a review? Tell a friend? Download a free coloring sheet? That might be different for you, but make that ask as high on the page as you can, as clear as possible, and as compelling - "Why".

Book page
- The colored background is distracting
- May want to have more margins, the reviews are a bit hard to read because they go all the way to the window
- I'd use a standard font for the reviews so it's easier to read

Technical
- You have jetpack and it has some default junk you'll want to change. For eg. it links to the wordpress twitter, don't think you want that on a permanent basis
- As you get settled you may want to just do a little more on SEO, meaning picking clear header, title, description tags so that when people google the titles of your books for example they can more easily find you
- Optional: may want to create a favicon (that's the tiny picture that appears in the URL bar, currently showing the wordpress logo)
 
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Undercover

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I think it looks really good. I love the artwork on the covers. I agree, I think you need to figure out how to click on the first book too, not just the second book.

I think it's a great start. Colorful, easy to read and again, the artwork is striking.
 

The Second Moon

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I think it looks really good. I love the artwork on the covers. I agree, I think you need to figure out how to click on the first book too, not just the second book.

I think it's a great start. Colorful, easy to read and again, the artwork is striking.

Thank you. What do you mean by:

I think you need to figure out how to click on the first book too, not just the second book.

UPDATE: I think I figured it out and changed it so the first book on the home page is linked.
 
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SapereAude

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So, I made an author website and I would like feedback on it. I've never made a website before, so be gentle but honest. I want to know if:

A) It looks good overall

B) It's easy to navigate

C) You can easily find the Amazon links for my two books

D) You can tell who my target audience is.

E) Any other suggestions

Here's the link: click here

Thanks in advance!

(A) It's not my style, but it's clean and it works visually, which is three-quarters of the battle.

)B) No, not at all easy to navigate. The home page doesn't invite me to look at anything else. When I click the item on the menu bar at the top I get to a page that describes the books, but I found that page to be very unappealing. I can't tell if it was designed for children, or for adults who buy books for children. Speaking as a graphic artist (which is what I was trained as before I became an architect, I felt the page was cluttered and disorganized. It uses too many fonts, and many of them are too large for the information you want to convey.

(C) No. Not easy at all. Candidly, it would never occur to me to click the image of the book on the home page and be taken directly to Amazon. I expected that clicking the image of a book would take me to a new page that describes the book.

(D) The target audience for the books is clearly children, but I can't figure out what age range. As for the web page, I have no idea if the web page is aimed at the kids who might read the books, or the parents who might buy the books.

(E) I would suggest looking at some other web pages for children's books. See which ones you think really work, and then make a list of what attributes they share that make them work. For example, you put text in colored boxes. Some of them look really "muddy," and there's not much contrast between the text and the background. That's not good.

The idea is that a web page should be graphically appealing and should draw you into the page and through the site naturally. Personal opinion: clicking is easier than endless scrolling. Your site relies too much (IMHO) on scrolling to get at additional information. I find that to be an impediment to conveying information quickly and concisely.
 

The Second Moon

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(A) It's not my style, but it's clean and it works visually, which is three-quarters of the battle.

)B) No, not at all easy to navigate. The home page doesn't invite me to look at anything else. When I click the item on the menu bar at the top I get to a page that describes the books, but I found that page to be very unappealing. I can't tell if it was designed for children, or for adults who buy books for children. Speaking as a graphic artist (which is what I was trained as before I became an architect, I felt the page was cluttered and disorganized. It uses too many fonts, and many of them are too large for the information you want to convey.

(C) No. Not easy at all. Candidly, it would never occur to me to click the image of the book on the home page and be taken directly to Amazon. I expected that clicking the image of a book would take me to a new page that describes the book.

(D) The target audience for the books is clearly children, but I can't figure out what age range. As for the web page, I have no idea if the web page is aimed at the kids who might read the books, or the parents who might buy the books.

(E) I would suggest looking at some other web pages for children's books. See which ones you think really work, and then make a list of what attributes they share that make them work. For example, you put text in colored boxes. Some of them look really "muddy," and there's not much contrast between the text and the background. That's not good.

The idea is that a web page should be graphically appealing and should draw you into the page and through the site naturally. Personal opinion: clicking is easier than endless scrolling. Your site relies too much (IMHO) on scrolling to get at additional information. I find that to be an impediment to conveying information quickly and concisely.

Thank you for being honest. I'll look into these things.
 

SapereAude

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Another thought in passing: On the page about the books, the review of book #1 (who is Hannah Strom? Sister? Sister-in-law? Having the rave review written by someone sharing the last name seems a bit contrived) uses the term "mg" twice. Okay -- "mg" = "middle grade." I'm a senior citizen. I have a daughter, two step children, and five grandchildren. I had never encountered the term "mg" before, and I had to look it up on the Internet to figure out what it meant. Is that writer jargon -- "inside baseball" talk? Your web site is intended to reach out to prospective readers and prospective buyers. Unless that's a term that parents and kids are going to understand, it's "inside baseball" and shouldn't be used.
 

The Second Moon

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Yeah. the reviewer is my sister...

As for MG yes, it means middle grade. My mistake for using it, I didn't know it wasn't widely known outside of the writing world. I'll look into changing that.
 

PastyAlien

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So, I made an author website and I would like feedback on it. I've never made a website before, so be gentle but honest. I want to know if:

A) It looks good overall The illustrations are really cute, but the site needs more white space and maybe some buttons. Also more pages.

B) It's easy to navigate It was hard to tell that the images were clickable, since they seemed more like background images. And there's no way to tell (at least on a phone) where the links will take you.

C) You can easily find the Amazon links for my two books See above

D) You can tell who my target audience is. While the illustrations are cute, they do make me think of a picture-book audience rather than middle grade. So do the bright, primary colours you use on the site.

E) Any other suggestions Below :)

Here's the link: click here

Thanks in advance!
Hi Second Moon, I just had a look at your site. A few suggestions for you:

Home Page

Remove "Mimi Strom's Author Website" from in front of the hero image, since you already have it in your header.

Consider removing "Welcome To A Place To Learn All About Me And (Most Importantly) My Books." That should be implied by the site itself, and it's a little awkward and clutters up the space unnecessarily.

Consider removing "Hi. My name is Mimi Strom" from your "More About Me" section, since that's not really needed.

On my phone, your book images stretch all the way to the edge, and that makes them seem more like unclickable background images than linked images. IMO, only the hero image should stretch all the way to the edge. Maybe shrink your book images down to create some white space, and consider adding a button that tells the user exactly where the link will take them (like "BUY NOW" or whatever). But I think the book images should link through to your series page instead of Amazon. It's pretty unlikely that someone's gonna buy your books without at least reading a blurb.


Barney and Mr. Thomas Series Page

Remove "A 5-Star Review & Book Blurbs!
(Click the images below to be linked to Amazon)" Seems redundant to me and is distracting.

The image/review stretches all the way to the edges on both my laptop and phone. Some white space would really help. And the review font is HUGE. I just wanna pinch it down. :p Also, you share the same last name as your reviewer, so it kinda looks like your mom gave you a review. Might be just me, but I don't think you should feature reviews from relatives because they're not really impartial. :)

The book blurbs fonts are also too big, IMO, and the images/blurbs need more white space/margins. Again, consider creating a button that tells the user exactly where you're going to take them.

Structure

Consider creating at least two more pages/menu items. Right now, there's no real way to contact you, except through insta. Not everyone uses insta, nor wants to click through just to contact you. You can add a really simple contact page with a form and all your social media and/or email or whatever.

You might also want to make a separate "About" page with a little more about you. If you're not comfortable with adding a headshot, you can break it up with a caricature or cartoon image of yourself, or places you like to go, or something that interests you.

Create a footer and move your instagram button there, along with any other contact information. Remove the "Blog at WordPress.com." No need to give them free advertising!

Create a favicon.

Did you use a template? There are lots of free author templates that make designing your site/adding pages pretty easy and look quite professional out of the box.

That's all I can think of right now (and they're just suggestions; feel free to chuck 'em). Hope it helps! :)
 
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The Second Moon

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Thank you PastyAlien. I am waiting for my mom to dig out a picture of me that she had professionally done.

I had no idea that it would look different on phones. I guess I'm just not that tech-savvy. *shurgs* Anyway, I'm gonna check that out now on my phone.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll look into them.
 

The Second Moon

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I uploaded a book trailer on the Barney and Mr. Thomas Series page. I know that wasn't anyone's suggestion, but I enjoy book trailers and thought it would be fun to have one for my book.
 

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it's very cute and colourful! looks like a cartoon or animation project more (due to videos). but i think eye-catching overall, and good design/illustration.

I really dont like your name in blue block in the middle of the page...... seems like weird and clashing with the rest of the design. also the instagram. I think your name in writing at the upper left corner is good enough? the social media buttons can be in small buttons at the top also, instead of so in your face as it is now...

Just my two cents :)