1. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    Authors' websites

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Lifeline, Jul 22, 2020.

    I hope I'm in the right subforum...

    Recently I've bought my writer's domain. Now, don't go looking yet because there's nothing up yet. So far, I'm surfing the web, look at other authors' websites and try to learn from them what to do/what not to do, before I set up my own (and make lots of newbies mistakes).

    Maybe you can help me make a list of good authors' webspaces? I'm not looking at the quality of their books, but if they present themselves engaging and intuitive in the web. Of course, if they are able to market their books through their webpresence, all to the better.

    That said: I really like https://jamigold.com/ webspace. It's a bit complicated to set up, and she's a lot of different topics (and I wouldn't advertise my name in block letters filling the whole of the screen), but otherwise it's easy to navigate.

    Which author's website are you favouring and why?
     
  2. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Contributor Contributor

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    From what I read on the subject, in preparation, you have to always keep at the front of your mind the fact that your website is only really there to do a few things

    -promote your book
    -promote your mailing list
    -inform the visitors of other books

    The website is an advertisement of you and your work, essentially.

    While that sounds cold, it means you should make sure to have those three things on the first page that your visitor sees. Jami's site is odd because the first time i load it, it gives a weird "Psst message" which puts me off, and doesn't do any of the above. Then you have to scroll down to see what you want out of the site, then the site re-loads the original part of the page with a book. It's not very efficient at getting the three points across.
    Having links to the pages that do is good, but you need to minimize the amount of effort the visitor needs to see your product down to zero and the instant the visitor loads the page. Once you have that stuff out of the way, then let them delve deeper. Because at the end of the day, 99% of all visitors will visit your website because of your books and will be interested in your new book or the previous ones. The smallest percentage of people will want to actually know about the author or delve deeper.
    It's a tough pill to swallow, but that's the essence of knowing who visits your website and why.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    This is an excellent one, and there is lots under the hood. His blog is always well worth reading and he interacts with his followers really well.

    https://joeabercrombie.com/
     
  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    Thanks @jannert for this link. Really an excellent site, less on-the-nose marketing than Jami but the reader can immediately find what's important—his books!
     
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  5. JOHN DWYER

    JOHN DWYER New Member

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    I really like David Gaughran's site https://davidgaughran.com/ - it does what any author website should do 1. Feature your books clearly 2. Tell people about you and any future writing 3. Collect emails for your email list.
    David's blog is a brilliant resource for honest to God truth about book marketing with no scammy marketing tactics. This guy is the real deal.
     
  6. Viridian

    Viridian Member Supporter

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    I believe a website is super important for an author. I know I'm constantly surprised when people DON'T have a website these days if they're selling a product or service. I would say set it up and get the basics on there, let it be a work in progress. It can be difficult to come up with content to put on your website, but honestly, for now, most people will only go there to check out your book/s. I have a website that I'm building gradually. I've done one blog post, almost ready to post the next, and do monthly book reviews. I'll also put up free short stories at some point in the near future, but interesting thing is, even though I get plenty of traffic to the website (mainly via advertising) the stats tell me that 95% of people are ONLY looking at my book info and most ignore the other stuff, so ... there's that.

    Again ... work in progress. I personally DO look through people's websites if I'm interested in them and/or their product.
     
  7. Viridian

    Viridian Member Supporter

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    If you want to take a look at mine, it's here
     
  8. SapereAude

    SapereAude Member

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    Oh, dear God! One of my pet peeves.

    Generally, a good site. EXCEPT ...

    On the home page, at the end of the first section giving his background, we find the following:

    The problem is that the twitter link is in a rather pure RED color, against a black background. Like a significant percentage of males, I have defective color vision -- red-green weakness. For people such as me, that link is completely invisible. I scrolled all over that page, trying to figure out where he hid his link to the Twitter name, before coming back to the top and noticing a white dot after what -- to me -- looks like just a very long space. That clued me in that the dot might be a period (or "full stop," for the Brits among us). To reveal the hidden text, I had to drag the mouse over it to highlight it.

    Unfortunately, a LOT of web designers don't seem to be at all aware of red-green weakness so they happily go along, designing web pages with links that are invisible to 8 percent of the target audience. (And I recently read that color vision deficiency gets worse with age, which means that 8 percent should be expected to be higher if the target age is "mature" adults.)
     
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  9. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Here’s an example of one that pulls the audience in.

    https://lindatharpink.com/


    I’ve read the tale about the Hat Man on your blog and I thought I had one of those roaming about my world too.
    Then he showed up on that. It was creepy.


    I read the Shattered Sea Series and he’s very good. I’m not sure about the First Law trilogy though. Still haven’t braved that one enough to read it. Sounds too dark :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
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  10. Viridian

    Viridian Member Supporter

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    The Hat Man is super creepy, but equally fascinating. Hope to never see him again though.

    Interesting about the red on black though. I’ll bear that in mind.
     

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