Author Sites

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Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:30 am

My pretty boy techie friend is building me an author's website. Whose sites do you like and why? What should I stay away from? As most of you know, I'm in the dark when it comes to computers. What say you, Totemites? Help a girl out.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Bizzy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:59 am

Though I'd recommend having a website, I don't have one, (I own the domain name, period) and I very rarely go to any writer's sites.

The last time I went to one was over at Joe Konrath's site, to pick up his freebies.

Best I can suggest is to make sure your designer stays away from dark backgrounds and sites built around flash. (Flash, the program, not the fiction.)

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Re: Author Sites

Post by catephoenix on Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:45 am

I'd stay away from google sites - my website is bland and not very adaptable. Or maybe I'm just crap at the technological stuff. I always think wordpress hosted sites look good.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by EffieCollins on Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:39 pm

I'd stay away from mp3 players on site and loads of media that bog things down. A lot of people won't visit a website if it loads slowly because they automatically think virus or spyware.

Other than that, I can't wait to see whatcha got Cedes.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Kmzone on Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:50 pm

Sorry Mercedes! I can offer no good help, I'm sorta computer shy myself and only have just started "studying" things. If I think of anything I'll be happy to toss it your way!

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:32 pm

Thanks, everybody! Keep 'em coming, if you have 'em. I appreciate you.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Laurah213 on Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:25 pm

Sorry hun... My use of the computer involves getting on line to find stuff and sending emails... I want to learn more, and I am even thinking of setting up a blog so I can start pushing my work, so if you have any ideas on that, let me know.

I did check out wordpress bc you are on it and so far I like it.... but still a bit gun shy about setting up a blog

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Re: Author Sites

Post by kurtnewton on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Laurah213 wrote:My use of the computer involves getting on line to find stuff

That about says it right there. When it comes to author sites I believe most are visited by people who either a) want to check out samples of the author's writing (or, at the very least, find links to where the author's writing can be found on the net) or b) want to know what the author has published and where they can find it (again, links to Amazon or other booksellers).

As for visuals, the site should set the general tone of what the author is all about. But keep it simple: a bio, a bibliography, a photo. Feature only the important stuff -- stuff that best represents what you're all about. I've seen some sites that show countless covers to magazines and anthologies. Not necessary. A simple list is fine.

Author sites are not for people who know you (fellow writers, friends, family), they're for someone new to your work -- or just discovering your work. These are would-be fans. If you owned a bakery and someone walked in off the street and said, "I've never been here before. I don't know what to try first. What can you recommend?" Naturally, you'd want to give them a sample of your best. They try it. Their blood-sugar rises. They become euphoric. They come back for more. They're hooked.

At least that's what I would do if I had a site.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:36 pm

Thanks, K. That's extremely appreciated. As is the baking reference, of course.

I'm doing Valentine's Day cupcakes tomorrow, btw.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Kenwood on Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:05 am

Keep it simple. Make the site for everyone! That means no flash, no high resolution (what the hell is wrong with 800x600 anyway?), and definitely no auto-loading music, video, or sounds of any kind. And you must buy your own domain name.

Definitely incorporate your blog into it. I think the best author websites are those that keep people coming back.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:29 am

Thanks, you guys. I have some ideas. And I'm all about the simplicity, no joke.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by rsmccoy on Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:03 pm

I will challenge any other writer for the title of Most Lame Ass Website. I tried to use Go Daddy's cut and paste your way to a web site and it looks like shit

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:26 pm

Do you have a link? I want to see your site now! Wink

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Re: Author Sites

Post by amrose on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:04 pm

http://www.blackholly.com/

I really dig Holly Black's site. Simple, but pretty. Easy to navigate. Quick load times.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:51 pm

Wow, I spent some time swirling her cup of coffee. Thanks for the link, amrose!

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Re: Author Sites

Post by rsmccoy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:27 pm

www.rscottmccoy.com

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Bizzy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:16 pm

It's not so bad...but you could do with resizing the images. It's a 2Mb pic on the home page, for example. You could get away with 200kb or less and not lose any definition, but it would pop onto the screen in next to no time. On my connection it took about 10 seconds to download. On dial-up, people'd be gone before they could appreciate the sheen on your fur.

:o}

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:24 pm

It popped right up for me, but we have the fastest Internet that I have ever seen. Scott, I don't think your site is bad at all! It's very simple and neat. That's what I like.

Bizzy, that's great advice about the image sizes. That's the sort of thing that I don't know.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Mercedes on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:27 pm

Also, Scott, I was thinking of using GoDaddy. That's why I wanted to look at your site, not because I was hoping to see a train wreck. I realize that my "Really? You don't like your site? I want to see it!" post could be taken offensively, and I certainly don't mean that.

Do you like GoDaddy? I hear they have great customer service.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Kenwood on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:01 pm

I have a few domain names through GoDaddy. Never had an issue with them. But their website is RIDICULOUSLY confusing. I mean, there's just way too much stuff there.

I would avoid using 1and1, which is who Shock Totem goes through. We haven't had a ton of problems, but our website randomly going down for two months was annoying, and all those e-mails never getting to authors is a drag, so I don't recommend them. Especially considering their tech support is complete crap.

I mean, I'd send an e-mail saying that the website was going down numerous times per day for minutes at a time, and if the site happened to be up when they read my e-mail, they'd say it's fine now. They couldn't grasp the concept "intermittently goes down."

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Re: Author Sites

Post by rsmccoy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:06 pm

I like GO Daddy, but this simplistic tool has limitations. I need to find someone that design a site for me. Hosting through GO Daddy has been fine, I have no complaints, but tools like this are practically useless.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Kenwood on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:23 pm

You just call me a tool?

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:32 pm

Strangely enough I was just starting to work on a site for my book The Chronicles Of Jack Primus last weekend. I might do more than one, I'm kinda weird that way. I tried out Weebly.com which has sights for free. They are pretty basic (they want to rope you in for paying for this and that add on etc), but you can get something basic for free. I still have a few kinks to ah kink out, but since it was my first try, it wasn't as big a disaster as say, letting my cats guard my prisoner. They let him go at the first hint of tuna fish.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Tall Tyrion on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:34 pm

Kenwood wrote:You just call me a tool?

He's vrey perceptive.

You site is kind of plain Scott, but not what I'd call bad at all. Bad is a bunch of animated gifs that drip blood and flashing lights.

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Re: Author Sites

Post by Laurah213 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:39 pm

Tall Tyrion wrote:



Bad is a bunch of animated gifs that drip blood and flashing lights.

But dripping blood is fun... but then again sometimes it is hard to load on a computer, but in a story dripping blood is so much fun!!!!

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Re: Author Sites

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