Monday, February 07, 2011

Author Web Site Tips

Web sites are an author's public face. When media gets a pitch for you and your book, they'll visit your web site. If it's dull, boring or dated, don't count on getting an interview.

Here are three of my clients whose web sites -- while very different -- have all been successful. Sam McLeod, Masha Hamilton, Alexander Rose.

1. Hire a designer. Just because you got an A in 8th grade art does not mean you can design a web site. One great place to get ideas to pass along to your designer is the Romance Writers of America site. They link to literally hundreds of author sites -- a treasure trove of both design inspiration and what-not-to-dos.

2. Make it lively. That means updating text and pictures.

3. Include video and audio. Media as well as folks looking for speakers want to see and hear you.

4. Offer something ..... a chapter from your upcoming book, a newsletter, giveaways.

5. Too much information can be a bad thing. When I check out an author's site before doing an interview, it makes me crazy nuts to be drowned in pages of "stuff." Information offered in tiny type also puts me in a foul mood. So edit, edit, edit.


Colleen Thompson said...

Terrific tips! I need to update my website, and I'll be bookmarking these. Thanks, Lucinda!

Vicky said...

Great info. An interesting thing happened during an interview I did on blog talk radio. Two of the bloggers who asked me questions mentioned how much they liked the extras on my website and the "invitation" design on my website (it's a different way to welcome readers). I thought it was interesting that they first look for the book information, but they definitely are interested in fun and interesting facts about the book and the author.

Kathryn Paterson said...

Yes, I will definitely be overhauling my website when I finish the book. Right now mine is more for my students, because I use it (successfully) for them. But I need to make it evolve. I was just looking at Cheryl Strayed's website and thinking how nice and simple it was. I like simple and intuitive sites better than busy ones.

Ad Vicky, I'm definitely checking out your website. :)


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