Monday, October 5, 2009

Website Wonderings

IN THE NEWS: Cat survives after being shot in head with arrow. Read more HERE.

Well, as I hinted to a few blog postings ago, my website is going to have a face lift. Yep. I decided to stop being a cheapskate. It was time to have a more professional look and finally have one designed for me. (With matching blog!)

I'm psyched!

I'm not going too crazy with it, though. I'm limiting it to about six pages. So I have to make the most of what I put there. Right now, I have a page for my book (soon to be books), favorite links, recipes, and a link to my blog and e-mail. Kind of standard stuff.

But after the Romancing the Blog post by author Jennifer Estep (who is also having a new site designed) I decided that maybe a change was in order. I confess I probably visit author's blogs more than their actual websites. Probably because their information is updated more frequently there.

I do visit an author's website to read an excerpt, to read any how-to articles an author might have written, or to get their e-mail to contact them. Anything else I see that's interesting while I'm visiting is a bonus.

Why do you go to a website? Do you like photos, contests, recipes, awards? I can't include them all, so I'm trying to narrow down what's most important.

So I'll just bring the question Jennifer asked here:

What do readers really want to see on an author's website? What's most important to you?


Nadia Lee said...

book info - isbn, blurb, cover, reviews & excepts, etc.

latest news and/or blog

author bio

In THAT order.

Jessica said...

I usually check out the website to see the books the author has, plus I like to read the bio and if there are writing articles I'll read those too. I wouldn't check out recipes or pics or anything else, probably. (just going by my past website wanderings) :-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Author bio. Hmm...I forgot about that.

Marianne Arkins said...

I figure websites are for information -- if I read a book by someone and I like it? I'll go to their site to check out if they have a backlist and such.

Blogs, though, I visit on an almost daily basis. Even so, I think a website is a must-have (and please, please NOT one of the free webs ... I really hate those).

Imani said...

I usually go to an author site for book info, especially excerpts, then I look for writer resources, blog and bio.

Can't wait to see your new site!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I think websites and blogs serve two different purposes.

I love pics on blogs but the only pic. I want to see on a website is one of the author.

Also, I love an about section of a website, a chance to know some more not so ordinary things about the author. A contact page is good too.

~ Wendy

Nadia said...

I think author contact info should be on the site IF you plan to respond to emails, etc. Otherwise, don't have it. People get annoyed when they're ignored.

BTW -- I think writing articles, etc. are of interest to other writers, not necessarily readers in general. FWIW, non-writing readers seem more interested in free reads (short stories, etc. that they can read for free).

Diane said...

So happy for you. They say it's all in the marketing.... I'm sure whatever you do, it will have your fun personality in it! :O)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Nadia: Do I look like an ignorer? LOL!
Thanks for the insight! Good things to think about!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I like seeing direction on how to write, and also learning about the author, too.

Can't wait to see your new look!

Tamika: said...

Like you Jennifer, I visit author/writer blogs more than websites because they are updated on a regular basis.

On a website I want to know about the books they have published. I love what Christa Allan does on her website, in that she includes a brief summary of upcoming titles. I am already ready to read them.

I can't wait to see your new design! Congratulations!

Cindy said...

I visit blogs more than websites, too. But I need to work on my website more now that I have a better idea what to put there.

I like to see a bio and information about their other books for the most part. It's fun to see what's going in the authors life, too (kind of like blog stuff but maybe just a quick summary on the home page).

Renee said...

I'm with you, I tend to visit blogs more because they tend to be fresh and updated. When I do go to author websites, it's usually to look at their book lists and their bio.

T. Anne said...

I can't wait to see the new look! I'm considering a face lift for my (blog) site as well. I'm not at the website phase yet although hope to quickly progress. Mine will most likely resemble the 'ponytail facelift' as opposed to your professional nip and tuck ;)

Please include lots of pic, recipes and other goodies. Your blogs already so great I can only imagine your website will rock as well!!!

Glynis said...

Good luck with the new project. I visit because the personality of the author shines through. I like the relaxed banter style blogging authors, such as yourself. So your style works for me.

Dawn VanderMeer said...

When I go to authors' websites, I'm often looking for a list of their books, the blurbs, and sometimes reviews.

Stephanie Faris said...

Book excerpts and maybe the author's bio and booklist. That's about it, really. I rarely visit authors' websites but when I do, I want to know what else they've written and maybe even be able to buy those books from a link there.

Jill Kemerer said...

Congrats! I can't wait to see it!

When I go to an author's website, I'm looking for a variety of things. I definitely like to see a picture so I have a mental clue of who is writing the book. A bio is a must. Other than that, I like to see a list of books and what's coming next.

If they write books in a series, I want the titles in order. I also like it when multi-pubbed authors of series books give extra information like family trees of their characters and such.

Can't wait to see your new look!

Kristen Painter said...

Can I just say ditto? lol

Natalie said...

I love reading the About the Author section and Works in Progress.

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

The two main author sites I visit I do because I want to know when their next book is coming. And Amazon isn't always right with that information.

Jasper Fforde's website also has a ton of extras for his books that I find fascinating. There's a shop, etc.

Tamora Pierce has a bibliography that includes dates for future books (usually just the season and year if it's really far away).

Fforde also has his appearance schedule there and such.

Sometimes I've visited an author's website to find out if they're planning a sequel for a book of theirs that I read.

It varies.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

well, from our conference, i learned not to have a lame greeting. have something unique and fun...with your brand. good luck with all that!

I wanted to let you know about my blog address change. *sigh* If you're following me, my posts now won't show up in your feed, dashboard, sidebar, whatever. So please forgive me, but you'll have to change the address for my main writing blog, Where Romance Meets Therapy, to To do this, you have to "unfollow" me and follow me again. Sorry for the confusion!

The Character Therapist

Shelley Munro said...

I visit an author's website to check out current releases and upcoming ones. I want to know about releases. Sometimes I'll explore a little more, but mostly I visit blogs. You could always do your contests at your blog to save a page. Do a sticky post or something.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, Jeannie! That's a good idea!

Shelley: Yeah, I was thinking of leaving contests for the blog, too.