Monday, February 13, 2012

The 411 On Author Websites

(If you haven't checked out Will Write For chocolate by Inkygirl, you should! Love her comics!)
      Last week we discussed whether or not you should have a website. This week we are going to look at what your website should and what your website should have on it. 
I've had a wordpress website, but I've found that blogger really does have everything I need. 

You have your end goal in mind; you’re a professional writer and you’re presenting yourself to the writing community at large.
Now let’s take a closer look at the most important elements of a website:

·         Creating a brand.
·         Simplicity. A website must be easy to navigate. Make it crystal clear what type of book you’re promoting. 
·         Fresh Content
·         The front page of your website creates a first impression. Does it tell readers what you are about and what they can expect from your books? Are the colors, tone, language, graphics, and overall visuals in line with your style of writing?  They should be.
·         Your website should reflect the tone of your intentions. It should have the same voice. Your book, your website, your brand, and your tagline are all parts of the same puzzle. They must complement each other.

Take a few minutes to look at these other author sites: Laura Weisberger (www.laurenweisberger.com), Lisa Kleypas (www.lisakleypas.com), and Allison Brennan (www.allisonbrennan.com).
They are all miles apart from each other with branding, tone, color, and style, but they all have one thing in common. They have structural simplicity with ease of navigation. They are not cluttered. They do not overwhelm. They flow, neatly direct visitors to wherever they want to go, and they are easy on the eye.
If you want your website to be a destination, be creative with your content and think of ways to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Depending upon your personality profile and your strengths, the commitment of creating fresh website content may not work for you.
The purpose of a website is to keep your name in your audience’s mind.
Great go-to sites on website advice:

Wednesday we are going to be discussing platform.

Do you have a website? What do you have on yours to make yours unique?


30 comments:

  1. Greetings..just getting mine up elaineracochase.com keep adjusting it...but I think it looks pretty good.

    Would love comments. Thanks Tonya for the insites.

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  2. Hi Tonya,
    I've had my writer's website up for about four months now and one of the things that I get comments on is that it is personal and unique as well as being informative. I agree that simplicity is best. My own pet hate is a website that immediately goes to video. I click a link and someone starts talking to me, usually trying to sell me something. Ugh! I don't object to video itself, I just want to chose to play one rather than having them sprung on me. I'm at www.freelancewriter.co.nz and I would also appreciate any comments.

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  3. Excellent post Tonya, I loved Lauren Wesiberger's site, very cool concept!

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  4. Hi, Elaine! I just popped over to your site. First impression is that you write erotic or hot romance. Is that right? I hope so:) I love black and your colors really do pop. Do you know the purpose of having your website? What is your target audience? To me it looks like readers and to learn about you. Is that right?

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  5. Hi,Paul! I just popped over to get a first impression and ask you a few questions that I'd like answered before I dive into the site. You are promoting/marketing a business? For people to find you as a freelance writer? I love the basic concept. This is very professional. Something I would suggest, no one can sell you better than the people who have raved about you! You need those in bold, different colors at the top of you site. They loved your work and you need to catch your potential client's eye from the beginning and make them want to read on about you.
    I also saw you have a goggle plus option, do you have a facebook or twitter? Those need to be displayed too. I hope you connecting with potential clients on there. Are you?

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  6. Eoghan, isn't Laura's so fun, cute, and exactly what she's trying to convey?! Very high concept:) Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Well, lol, this was timely. I just had my website updated Monday, finished yesterday and would love your opinion. www.liviaquinn.com but I'm thinking of just using my blog marcellaroseauthor.blogspot.com for my sensual romance. It's NOT updated and I need to get on it this week. Your blog is such a great example of how one can be used.

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  8. Great post, Tonya! Easy navigation is so important! An author's website doesn't need to look like a government website;).

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  9. Some great tips here, Tonya.
    When I get my own website up and running -- prob. later this year -- I'd love to ask for your assessment.

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  10. Hi Tonya,
    I didn't know Blogger had websites. I have a blog with Google's Blogger, and it's very easy. I have a website at Microsoft Office Live for small businesses but they are changing, so I'm thinking of moving. How much does it cost for Google's website?

    Thank you for this post. It came at a good time for me.

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  11. Great tips Tonya! My websites been up for about a month now and seems to be doing well. I've gotten quite q few compliments, so hopefully that's good. I write paranormal, and I think the design reflects that well.

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  12. Livia, I love your website. It is definitely for readers to discover and fall in love with you! It's easy to read, the tabs are clear and direct the reader exactly where they need to go. I hoped over to your blog and I do like the idea of a different site if you have pen name. The one thing I did notice is that you are promoting Marcella on the Livia blog, which can be confusing to the reader. I would definitely vamp up the Marcella blog and since it's coming out in a few months, I'd make tabs maybe to introduce your character or town, and even begin promoting it on the blog. Does this make sense?

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  13. Thanks, Tiffany! So glad you stopped by!

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  14. Oh good, Traci! What is your website addy? I clicked on your name and couldn't find it. I'd love to check it out! Paranormal sites can be so much fun!

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    Replies
    1. It's www.tracidouglass.net. Let me know what you think. :)

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  15. HI, Sandy. Blogger hasn't offered a website like Wordpress, but they are great with competing now with the several tabs, different designs to choose from or you can upload your own design. It's much easier to navigate than Wordpress, which I still have a Wordpress account and not sure why...anyways, I'm not sure how much any add-ons would be. I'm happy with what I have and it fits my needs.

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  16. Maria, I LOVE that. I have gone to so many sites where I've gotten lost and just clicked home to start over only to get frustrated.

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  17. I love sites where it's easy to add a comment. Thanks for your enthusiasm and advice for us newbies.

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  18. Hi, Tonya: I haven't created a website; I have a blogsite. I have found it does everything I want and if I need the change, easily done thru their templates.

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  19. I agree that simplicity is key. I get overwhelmed when I visit a site where too much is happening. I strive to keep my site simple and original, as I write posts that combine my background in both counseling and writing. Thank you for the examples.

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  20. HI Tonya,
    I have had such a tough time with my website. It has been through a few different iterations, and I am still not thrilled with it, but on the plus side, I finally found a blog template I like. As a horror and Scifi writer, I wanted to capture a sense of darkness, danger, and mystery with a bit of hope thrown in. One day I'll get it:)
    Website www.gramico.com
    blog: www.gramico.com/blog

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  21. Hello! :-) I discovered your blog yesterday, and am enjoying reading through your articles.

    In a comment above, you said Blogger hasn't offered websites like Wordpress. That's actually incorrect. They've had that option available for at least a couple years. My blog site - a .com - is Blogger hosted. You can choose (for $10.00; a steal) to purchase a .com and have it hosted on Blogger. It will look the same and act the same as the .blogspot blog, but will be personalized with your .com of choice.

    Have a great day! ~Ellen

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    1. P.S. You can upgrade from your Blogger dashboard. :-)

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  22. I went the route of a full-blown, code behind, commercial look for my web site where I can showcase exerpts from my books. I use my web site to link to various sites like Amazon and Smashwords where a visitor can purchase my stories if I have intrigued them enough.

    I also have a great ability to create link exchanges with other writer's site although I am limiting it to authors who write in my chosen genre which is Erotica.

    Come by and visit http://www.LateNightPublishing.biz

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