Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Revamping

Sometime over the next few weeks, I'm going to be putting up a new website. Hopefully. (Keep your fingers crossed.)

I've been considering this for some time, but finally got the kick in the butt I need to get it going. :) I need something a bit more professional -- slick, clean, easy to navigate. But now I'm wondering...what exactly do readers like to see at author websites?

Here's your chance to tell me! AND you'll win a prize in the process. ;)

Just let me know what you like about author websites. Are there certain features you really like to see? Hate? Are there any YOU think are a must? Blog about it here... between now and the end of March ... and you could win a LUCKY IN LOVE pendant necklace featuring a heart-shaped, pewter pendant with an enamel four-leaf-clover inlay.

I'll pick one winner in a random drawing and everyone else who comments will receive a hand-crafted, beaded book thong featuring a Celtic cross charm.

All this in honor of my Irish historical and St. Patrick's Day!

Good luck! And don't be shy... I need ideas!!!!

~~Meg

22 comments:

JUDY said...

I like the new color schemes that the websites are coming up with. I also enjoy going to a website where it is easy to find what you are looking for. If I click on books, that is what I like to find. Not something in left field. I don't especially care for the double clicks, even though I really do not know the purpose of that. I also like websites that are updated from month to month, or at least to what the author says they are going to be doing. I know you are very busy, trying to write your books for us, but like everyone sometimes we get ahead of ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I like color to the wesite but just plan with a little graphy design at top page small book cover that don't take forever to feed in. A quick blurb to read then a little bite more if I like it. The faster the better for me being a dialup take forever sometime to get a site up.
Hugs!
Lisa

shellya said...

A lot of the websites have a picture either at the top or down the side with a plain background for the text. This make it easier to read. I'm sure you will have a bio, books (with excerpts) and links pages in the website. Good luck on your website. :)

ingrid said...

Hello,
I like a bookshelf page. all the published books there and if you click on them theres a blurb about them and a link for where to buy them. I also like a WIP or news page to let me know whats going to be out soon or if something special happened for the author. I also like easy to follow format. (Darn, I like too much!)

Allie Boniface said...

Easy to read (not too much print on a page, or too small, or with background colors that make me have to squint). I like book covers that link to where you can buy them. Review excerpts. And a page that doesn't take a long time to load (don't like Flash either).

Good luck!

Julia C. said...

Hi, Meg! I like color, but more as an accent than something that hits me between the eyes. Readability and easy navigation are the two most important features of a site to me. Please, no fancy, scroll-y fonts, no "trailing" cursors (stars, or hearts, or sparkles scattering in its wake), and up-to-date info & links! Good luck with your new site...

Crystal Stone said...

I have to say my favorite websites are those design by Moonglade Designs. The color schemes and the navagation is perfect for anyone. The most recent one I have seen so far is Emery LaRue's site. The colors match perfectly and the navigation is great and very user friendly. I know all the pages are not loaded but you are welcome to go see her site at http://authoremerylarue.com . With some one work with colors the best impression you can make is with your graphics and color scheme. Red, Black and Gold go good together as well as Red, Black and White like mine. Hope I can you a little bit. And if you need any help I am more than willing to help you for no charge.

Crystal

Debra said...

Good Morning, I like a site that is easy to navigate. Once it took me about 4 clicks to get to what I wanted when the button indicated I would be right there. I like the print to be of a decent size. I love the new bright colors being used but please make sure the contrast is good. I do like what Judy said, regular updates are a must.

tobfree35 said...

I like the color of the website. I also like the holiday schemes.I like the bookshelf page with excerpts. I also like to see what the books look like. Some sites do not show all the books. I love the news and contest pages too. LOL

Amelia Elias said...

I'll tell you one thing I don't like on websites--white print on a black background! Talk about eye strain!

Joye said...

I like an easily navigated site that is colorful and informative with a the book cover, excerpt and synopsis. A bio, new releases, and a contest and newsletter signup. What I don't like and it usually freezes up my computer is too much information with alot of moving, revolving things that are distracting. I like to be able to contact the author to leave a message about their book.

Rachelle said...

I think the musts for an author site are:

*visual quality (design, color scheme, layout, soft background)

*easy navigation

*constantly updated


- Rachelle
raeshylle[at]yahoo.com

sherlyn said...

i really hate it when the site is not accessible on opera but can be accessed by mozilla and IE. so i guess it goes without syaing that the author must check to see that her/his site is browser-friendly.

Loney said...

what i like about an author site is really the originality - in every sense of the word - in her writings, stories, book designs, website designs, etc. I feel that the writer values her readers/viewers if she gives an extra effort to make her book/website look not just pleasant but fabulous! I notice that most writers who don't give a damn about their websites end up way..way...far down below.

marylin said...

Here’s a list of five things every author website must have within 1 click.

1. Booklist, both with covers and a printable list
2. Where to buy the books (especially important for OOP or ebook authors)
3. What’s Next (even if you haven’t sold anything, tell us what you would like to see in print soon)
4. Bio
5. Contact (only if you are going to reply)

Arlin said...

Something i like most about writer sites are their freebie sites. i like to read free short stories written by the author. It sort of acts as a gauge for me whether to read/buy a book from the author's backlist or not. If she can't write a good story, how can I expect a great novel from her?

Cez said...

what i don't like;

-music (it's irritating when you're trying to read)
-bright colors as background color of the page (eye-straining)
-pages load very slow..ly (it's annoying to wait)

what i like:
-cool/soft colors on the background (easy on the eye)
-lots of content
-updated content
-genre element present in the site(if author writes mystery, the site looks mysterious/spooky, etc)

Kimberlee said...

Hmm..let me see. I think what I hate most about writer sites is when they put up a contact page but they don't bother to answer emails. I know, authors can be way too busy, but can't they even bother, or just be polite enough to at least reply? If they're busy then why not say so? At least their fans would know what they're doing. In the first place, that's why they're putting up sites. to connect to the readers. Ain't I right?

What I like about writer sites is they make it easy for the readers to get updates on their books and updates of their booksignings, giving hopeful fans a sneak peek of their writing life.

Dylan said...

It's always good to interact with the author and the visitors to her site, so I guess I would recomment having a forum/messageboard on your website.

Leif D. said...

Things I hate on an author website:

bakgrounds - stars, flowers, hearts... (hard to read, shows immaturity)

mazelike interface (i don't like having to go throgh so many links before I could find out abt the author's books)

graphic overload (i hate it when I have to wait for pages to load, most of the time, I just leave the site and never come back)

g.i. george said...

As long as the website doesn't look like Suzanne Brockman's site (http://www.suzannebrockmann.com/) I think I can tolerate.

Meg Allison said...

Wow! I asked for help, and I've been given a lot!

Thanks to everyone who's answered, so far. We still have one day left in March... so if you're late to the 'party', step on up and throw in your .02! (GGG)

Not sure I can please everyone, but hopefully I'll be able to please most of you.

Again, this has been a really helpful discussion. Thanks a bunch!