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Author Chat! > Author websites

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message 1: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments I haven't seen a thread where we can share our websites, to get feedback on them and also to subcribe and get subscribers.

Here's mine:

I'd welcome and feedback (and subscribers..) and am glad to check other websites out.


message 2: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 1245 comments Mod
Welcome to ours!!

message 3: by Carole (last edited May 14, 2018 03:58AM) (new)

Carole P. Roman | 1245 comments Mod
Striking- like a coming attraction to a movie. I would include the book cover though. Also, most people include an "about the author" with a picture- People like to see whose book they are buying.

message 4: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments Thanks Carole!

Will definitely have a think about how to incorporate the book cover.

No author photos for me, I'm afraid. Don't like 'em.

message 5: by C. (last edited May 14, 2018 11:36AM) (new)

C. Gold | 62 comments Definitely sleek and minimalist. Nothing that jumps out at me saying flee now, so good job there. (I have seen some really bad looking websites before.) It might be a bit too minimalist. I was expecting a few items on a menu at the top instead of having to scroll all the way down to the bottom to get a link to the blog and then social media stuff.

I'm not a fan of the delayed text coming up after I've scanned the page for stuff. It's a cool thing to figure out, but you might want to speed it up a bit.

I feel like Literature is too large because I sat there for a while wondering where the rest of the page was like menu options, etc. I only scrolled down after nothing appeared. You might display a down arrow image below the editorials after a second or two to indicate more is down there.

Finally, this doesn't scale to window size so it's not going to look good on mobile devices which is how a lot of readers are reading web pages these days. Just shrink the width of your browser window to see the issue. You might also take mobile into consideration and reduce the amount of lines people have to scroll down to get to your blog and other links at the bottom.

I don't like author photos either, but I still have an about the author on my home page. I have menu options at the top to browse my books and short stories and other fun stuff. In addition, I had to get a progress meter for my book's status since I always liked those on other authors' pages.

My main Books page is also a landing page that I can use anywhere I want to have a landing page, like for newsletters.

I monetized my site with the Amazon's Associates program, mostly so I can use their embedded book links which let the reader browse the Preview or click Buy and go straight to the book's buy page. You can see what that looks like here:

It's all using a WordPress plugin that provides a professional looking UI that scales to mobile devices so I don't have to work out how to do all that. :P Let's me theoretically concentrate on writing. Theoretically!

Anyway, hope all that helps.
(Edited to remove so many 'also's, sheesh!)

message 6: by C. (new)

C. Gold | 62 comments While on the topic of websites, I learned of a really cool tool that compresses your images while keeping the quality the same so your web page pops up really fast even if it is heavy on images. Go to the tiny jpg web site (link below) and drag and drop your images onto it to get them compressed. I saw a significant decrease in loading time doing this.

message 7: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments That's great feedback - thanks for taking the time!

message 8: by Wolf (last edited May 14, 2018 07:20PM) (new)

Wolf DeVoon | 12 comments I had an author website for a couple years, then lost the domain to domestic animosity, haven't built a new one. I blather at Wolf DeVoon's Notebook which the public ignore. I congratulate smarter authors with nicer books.

message 9: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments ...a little rejigging, in response to feedback. Probably more to be done...

message 10: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 246 comments It fits on my phone! I’m a novice so I can’t offer any real advice.

message 11: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments Thanks D.J.

It's a WIX sit and they let you configure the mobile site separately, so I hope I've set it up OK for mobiles.

Doesn't have all the features of the desktop version though, if you get a second take a look on your desktop - hopefully its a more satisfying experience that way :)

message 12: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 246 comments Will do.

message 13: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 246 comments I've just looked. It looks fine either way.

message 14: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 1245 comments Mod

message 15: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments Thanks DJ and Carole :)

message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine (christineroney) | 34 comments Guillermo, I checked out your website on my laptop and phone and it looks good!

I agree with Carole, you should have an About the Author page.

message 17: by Ellis (new)

Ellis Knox (sknox) | 27 comments Guillermo, I agree that the minimalism goes perhaps too far. All I see in my laptop is "Literature". That's it. No idea this is SF, or noir, or indeed even an author site. Scrolling down gets me an excerpt, but then that's all. An "About" is needed. I also suggest a place where you can say what your *next* book will be. I'd push the excerpt onto a subsidiary page, leaving just the first sentence or two on the home page, with a "more..." link.

message 18: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments Thanks Ellis,

On that, if anyone find's a place where it says what my next book will be, please do get in touch as soon as you can. That seems like the kind of thing I should know...

message 19: by Ellis (new)

Ellis Knox (sknox) | 27 comments C. Gold, I like your site. I know instantly you're a fantasy author, I know what you've written, how to buy it, and what you're working on. The short stories give me a taste of your writing style. And the archives let me know that you've been around a while and are genuinely committed.

Taken all together, the website tells me not only about the writer and her writing, but about the person. That's exactly why you make an author page: engagement.

Good job.

message 20: by Ellis (new)

Ellis Knox (sknox) | 27 comments I'll add my own site -- thanks, Guillermo, for starting this.

I, too, welcome comments and questions.

message 21: by C. (new)

C. Gold | 62 comments Ellis wrote: "C. Gold, I like your site. I know instantly you're a fantasy author, I know what you've written, how to buy it, and what you're working on. The short stories give me a taste of your writing style. ..."
Awesome feedback, thanks (and not just because it's positive!)

I like your website and love your header. it's very immediately historical fantasy at a quick glance. The H in the title reminds me of the History channel and the bit about the Roman empire never falling confirms my initial guess. I like colorful (but not garish) websites with pretty images and this one delivers. The gallery of pictures related to the book is a nice touch. I saw that when I clicked the book. This site is a good example of showcasing your books while adding additional content, like timelines and photos of the locations, that would be of value to readers of historical fantasy.

I think the Guillermo site is improving. I like the image of the car with the blurb appearing at the side. It doesn't size to scale for computer web browsers, but at least the mobile version sounds like it's doing fine. Other people added good points about it needing a genre identity. I have no clue what Literature is at a glance. Just a trademarked word that makes me think it's about non-fiction literary awards. (Definitely need to fix that!) :)

Keep going! It's fun watching a WIP as it becomes cool.

message 22: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments I'm not sure about the genre thing. I hope it's coming across that I'm genuinely listening to people's feedback here, and have made changes based on it.

It says right under Literature that the book is "A Guillermo Stitch noir". There's your genre.

The blurb makes it obvious that the story is speculative, so there we have it - a speculative noir.

That's as much as I say about genre because that's as much as I want to say. For artistic reasons. I understand that there are commercial reasons for doing it differently but I do have artistic, as well as commercial, criteria, and where they clash, artistic wins.

message 23: by C. (new)

C. Gold | 62 comments Guillermo wrote: "I'm not sure about the genre thing. ..."

No sweat. If the artist says it must be so, then it must be so.

The only other thing I thought of is it might be illegal to use the registered trademark symbol on the word if it's not registered. You can use (TM) but not (R).

message 24: by Guillermo (new)

Guillermo Stitch | 13 comments Yeah I wondered about that myself. My excuse, once again, would be "yeah but it's ART, man..."

I'm going to go ahead and assume nobody would seriously initiate legal proceedings because they thought I was trying to trademark the word...

message 25: by C. (last edited May 18, 2018 06:48AM) (new)

C. Gold | 62 comments After the whole romance drama, I wouldn't risk it. I'd change it to a TM. It's a sore subject right now among authors because other authors seemingly think they can trademark a single word and push other authors' books out of the store.

They wouldn't initiate proceedings if you used TM because that's a claim. They would because the (R) means it IS registered so you are lying about it. Actually, all they probably have to do is file a complaint with the store and get the book taken down and frozen.

message 26: by Ellis (new)

Ellis Knox (sknox) | 27 comments I agree about the TM vs R. I'll point to an example.

Daniel Suarez wrote a (great) book called Daemon. The sequel to that is Freedom [TM] (the actual cover uses typography for the trademark symbol). I'm about 99% certain his publisher nixed any thoughts of using [R]. Art, I'm afraid, like ignorance, is not a viable defense.

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