Saturday, January 06, 2007

Author Websites--Help!

Well, it's time. You know I'm not one for self-promotion, but I have to build a website for my psuedonym (don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to go there! I have two bits between this and my pseudonym because I couldn't keep a secret to save my life!) But it's time for a website.

May I ask a question or three?

  • What makes you go to a writer's website?
  • What do you like to see on a writer's website?
  • What makes you go back?
  • Which author websites are your favorite?

Here are some really awesome ones:

  • JA Konrath's website is chock full of tips and information and a wonderful blog. Seriously, his website is bulging at the seams with content.
  • Cherry Adair has the coolest kick-ass website ever.
  • Marcia James has a funky design--I love all those curly q's!
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon's is cool, too!

One thing that seems to be lacking in thriller websites is what's coming next. I had to write four authors and ask them when their next book was coming out, so I could put them on my list for next year! This issue only seems to pop up with thriller writers, so I don't know if it's a genre thing or what. Romance websites almost always have the publishing list for the next year or so.

Off to write!

16 bonus scribbles:

Avery DeBow 1/06/2007 05:22:00 PM  

I pretty much go to see when a new novel will be released, or if someone I like will be going on tour.

As far as the sites, I like some of the interactive stuff, but when it takes too long to load or is overly busy, it turns me off. I don't like having to click a million things to get one piece of information. Same with graphics. I like cool ones, but if you have to watch something spin around the screen for twenty seconds before your click takes you to the link -- forget it. My attention span is way too short.

Information about the business is nice to see. J.A. Konrath has a very nice site -- especially within the range of imparting wisdom to others.

J.K. Rowling's is great, overall, but who has that kind of budget?

L.A. Banks' site is a good mix for fans. She has a lot of extra (deleted) scenes from her novels and side-stories and theme music for her lead character. I'd say hers is one of the best I've come across.

There are links to all of the above on my page (I'm also way too lazy to re-link from here).

spyscribbler 1/06/2007 05:59:00 PM  

LOLOL ... you're so right. I didn't even think of JK Rowling's site because that's just so ... way up there in the stratosphere, LOL!

You mean her Vampire Huntress site? I like that better than her 'normal' site, but they're both really good.

But I only make a little money from my little novellas, so my budget is ... little. ;)

Karen Olson,  1/06/2007 09:09:00 PM  

I put basic things on my site: scheduled appearances, contacts/links, and I have pages for each of my books, with a general synopsis of plot, reviews and excerpts as well as links to Amazon and Booksense bookstores. I've also got a bio, so readers can find out why I think I'm so qualified to actually write what I'm writing. And I've got a link to my blog.

I think those are pretty much the major things that at least I look for when going to a writer's website, which is why I put them on mine. I'm going to revamp mine in a few months, too, since I've signed a new two book deal and got a new book coming out this year and I'm having a new author pix taken. I also want to do a book trailer that I'll post on my site for the new book.

Those are probably the basics. The blog, though, is a good place to link from, since everyone knows you from here and will most likely link through to your site from here.

Just my two cents...

Christina Rundle 1/06/2007 10:25:00 PM  

I like Neil Gaiman's website. He has pictures that change on the side every time you refresh the page or back track.

I'm actually looking into getting my professional site started. I have it now, but from what I could do, it looks like a 5 year old decided to make a site.

Good luck with yours.

Kate S 1/06/2007 11:41:00 PM  

I look for personal information - I like to feel I'm getting to know them a little better (maybe I'm weird that way), but it just feels warmer somehow. I also love blogs and release date info, excerpts and insights into the writer's vision of the characters/series, etc. For instance, I love when Rowling clarifies questions or adds little background tidbits of information about the characters and their world. Contests are nice too. :)

Hmm... darn, now I'm going to have to totally revamp my own site! lol

Zoe Winters 1/07/2007 01:49:00 AM  

I like links to blogs. (not trying to be difficult. that's just what i like lol.)

An amusing FAQ is fun. email contact info. Also, if you have a PO box some people like to write real letters (I like to write real letters, i have great stationary and I use it.) To me real letters mean more than email letters and so I like to have an address to send them to.

Be sure your website is on your "about the author" section in your book.

Mostly I like a site with personality, that isn't cold and sterile.

spyscribbler 1/07/2007 07:53:00 AM  

Karen, I really like your site. I had to go look it up. :-) Congratulations on the new contract!

Christine, I forgot Neil Gaiman's site. That's a really good one. And yours is just simple. It certainly appears to be cleanly designed!

spyscribbler 1/07/2007 08:07:00 AM  

That's interesting, Kate! I'm curious, when does too much personal information become too much? I mean, does it ever turn you off to a person?

Zoe, I love links to blogs, too. I like to find good ones to program into my reader. (Which I love, because then I can keep up with so many more blogs without so much time!)

I've become bad with stationery and such. I used to love old-fashioned letters! So romantic. I need to get on that again.

Bernita 1/07/2007 08:52:00 AM  

I like clean and strightforward.
Busy, busy sites w/ bells, whistles and the kitchen sink turn me off.
But that's just my barely post-Luddite self.

Erik Ivan James 1/07/2007 10:14:00 AM  

I am really enjoying the comments you are receiving here, Spyscribbler. If it ever comes the day for me to have a website, I'll have learned something here.

And, I am absolutely honored that you have linked me as one of your daily reads. Wow! Thank you.

spyscribbler 1/07/2007 10:37:00 AM  

Aren't they helpful? I am too, Erik. And of course I read you every day! (Why don't we have a rolling eyes icon in here?) Goodness, LOL.

I agree, Bernita. That's what I like about Christina's site. Clean and simple. You can find everything, and it's not cluttery. Karen's, too, but hers has a really cool graphic.

Edie 1/07/2007 05:20:00 PM  

Spy, I went through this when I had my website designed. I like websites reflect the writer's books. If you go to Allison Brennan's website, you can see that. The same with Karin Tabke's, Jenny Crusie's, etc. I agree with whoever said they didn't care for too many whistles and bells. In my case, I admit it's because I have dial up. When I get high speed, I might have a different opinion. *g*

Kate S 1/07/2007 06:44:00 PM  

Hmm... ever been put off by TMI (too much information)? Actually, yes, I was once. It was because the person was SO negative about EVERTHING. I'm not talking about just having an off day or two, but just seemed unpleasant in general.

Otherwise, I've seen things I've disagreed with, but it didn't turn me off to the writer. To each his own. :)

spyscribbler 1/07/2007 07:10:00 PM  

Edie, I agree with you on that. I mean, I like clean whistles ... things to do or interact.

But I skip the book trailers, and the flash intros. Unfortunate, because I know they're cool, but ... it's just a time thing.

If an acquaintance/friend author talks about it enough, then I'll watch a trailer. They are neat.

The Insect 1/12/2007 09:24:00 PM  

Holly Lisle's site is amazing. HollyLisle.com . I came to it for the hundred thousand words of writing articles, which I've now read multiple times. She helped me rise from infodumpy writer mired in mediocrity to writing at my current level, whatever that may be -- I'm hardly an objective judge!

spyscribbler 1/12/2007 10:00:00 PM  

Thank you ... the discovery of this article on starting a novel is perfect timing! I'm going to have to spend quite a bit of time at her site.

Lately, I feel like the universe has been giving me a helping hand in starting this novel. I feel so grateful and lucky!

Thank you for the link!