Kay: Google This

keyboard1Just recently a friend, a web designer who doesn’t read romance, decided to google me and found my web site.

“Hey,” he said. “I’ll give you a special rate on a web site redesign.”

Gulp. There’s a lot to do if you’re a self-published author, and if your main interest in publishing is doing the actual writing, not all the associated business tasks, then those associated tasks tend to languish. But a web site for writers—even pre-published writers—is important.

It’s not that hard to create one—I did mine myself on WordPress, and I’m certainly no tech expert. Of course, as my friend the web designer would attest, it’s not that good a web site, either. I know it needs improvement. It’s just a matter of time.

However, I shouldn’t let it languish for long. A recent article by Chris Mandeville on the Kobo Writing Life site says that your official author website is a tool, like a business card, for providing readers with information about you. Your website gives a sense of who you are and what your books are about, which helps you engage with readers. And it “legitimizes” you as an author in the eye of the public.

Mandeville suggests ways you can present your best front to readers and meet their expectations about content. For a lot of good advice, go here.

How about you? Do you have a web site yet? And is it ready for prime time?


5 thoughts on “Kay: Google This

  1. Good reminder, Kay. I created a website back during the McDaniel days, but I never did anything with it after that. I always meant to, but writing has taken precedence. I should definitely add “website” to my 2017 list if things to do.

    • It’s hard to justify the expense to pay a professional for a redesign if you’re not earning anything, and doing it yourself takes a lot of time and the results may not be optimal. That’s my dilemma. One day I’ll probably get some professional help. Maybe next year you and I can get a group discount somewhere!

    • Hi, Brenda. Our teacher was also very talented in design, and she really was very honest about our ideas for websites and blog formations.

      One thing we did in class was compile a bunch of writer websites that did something for us — love or hate. Then we could pick out common threads of what we’d like to see on our own websites. On my own list: do not ever put in a teal background and then choose hot pink as the text color. Do not put dead animal trophies on my website (although, I think those dead animal trophies were really truth in advertising for the author who did put them on his website). On the like side, I like a pleasant author photo as a thumbnail, and a pretty font. I want to see books right away. I like a good use of colors.

      Amy Tan’s website is pretty darn cute, I think. I think I would change the fonts to something a little softer. But she says right on the “landing page” that a web designer hates it. Well . . . . Okay. Of course, if you are Amy Tan (or Stephen King), all you really need to get people to take a look is AMY TAN or STEPHEN KING in a fairly nice font. I love the way she plays with her own book in the author photos, though. Very cute. And it really captures what she does. Is it her? Is it fiction? Where is the line?

      Margaret Atwood’s site . . . is strangely compelling. (Go to her twitter, then click on her website.) There is just something so weird about her black border with gray stripe, and all the strange fonts that don’t quite go together right (the weights aren’t right). But once the books start scrolling past, it’s fascinating. The cover art is great, and when it flies into different combinations . . . wow. And of course, Margaret Atwood doesn’t need to promote herself so very much in these static/visual ways. She’s got thousands of people who are mentioning her in all sorts of venues. I really love the blog that she’s got underneath her book covers.

  2. I remember that design class. Oh, boy, did I learn a lot! Through painful critique . . . . But not nearly enough to have a good website. I’ve been getting a lot of emails from Weebly lately and I feel like I should be doing something, but I also feel I should have a good package ready to submit to publishers first. The day I mail/email off my submission, I’m going to take a good hard look at my old website. I think my basic images may still be usable, but I’ve got to get rid of Perz and Hadiz (they are at least five writing projects in the past), and I know my tag line (lots of hype about a million words) has got to go. I don’t think I’ve gotten a million words in; maybe 300,000 or so. At any rate, it’s embarrassing to have that same slogan up for . . . how many years? Too many years, that’s for sure.

    I just went back and took a look at it, and it’s got to be updated. Maybe during NaNo month . . . .

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