Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Charlotte's Getting A Makeover!

Well, not me per se, although that's something I've always wanted! But my website, Charlotte Featherstone.net.It's time to get a new a look, not that there is anything wrong with the current look! It's just that I'm moving into a few new historical areas with my writing, and the site was going to need an overhaul anyway. So, I decided to take the plunge and go for it. My web mistress (Rae Monet) is fantastic, and she's got a lot of ideas for graphics. But what I'm stumped with is my part of the project--content. I've been pondering this all weekend. What do readers like, and expect when they go to an author's site? What keeps people coming back to check on what I'm up to? What brings new readers and visitors to a site, and what makes their visit memorable and enjoyable?

So, I was wondering if I might pick the highly intelligent brains of our LIT followers. What are your pet peeves at author sites, what do you like, what do you think Charlotte must have at her new site?

Thanks in advance for all your help!!!
Oh, and the site unveiling is going to coincide with the release of Sinful! Yeah, I'm so excited! A new site and Lord Wallingford revealed together!!! ;)


Barbara said...

*rubs hands together* Well now...let me see...first and foremost, a site that doesn't appeal to the eye is a huge turn off--IMO. Next, readers like to be kept in the loop.

Frequent updates and "Coming Soon's" are a big deal. Also, contests...gotta have a giveaway here and there.

What else....I did like all the informational links you had on your site. I've visited them all, btw, lol. Also, link to other places author like to visit. Blogs, review sites, other author sites, etc. I always look at an author's link list when I visit their website.

You should also have a "What's on my nightstand" section featuring the book you are currently reading. That's fun, plus you are selflessly promoting your fellow writers when you do that.

Okay, I'm rambling....

Mainly, keep a site has to be appealing to the eye, easy to navigate and constantly updated with new and upcoming stuff.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Awesome! I particularly like the 'what's on my nightstand' feature.... may I gloam that? lol!

And, very interesting that you should say about linking to other authors etc....we've chatted about that here behind the scenes.

Thanks for your imput!

ranearia said...

I agree totally with Barbara said, one thing I do notice is have a website eye appealing, but not overdone where it's slow loading or hard to read. Nice and Neat is the best with good graphics.

I really love giveaways, but I enjoy reading sneekpeeks into the author's upcoming books, their thoughts on it and expects but of course!
Looking forward to Matt's story!

Booklover1335 said...

Yep, yep yep.

It has to be beautiful like Barbara and Ranearia said. I like the look and feel of the website to reflect the authors writing. I like the home page to be relatively simple, with clear navigation to make it easy to find what I am looking for.

When I go to an authors site, I like to find out book info, read excerpts, outtakes to the book that didn't end up making the cut but the author still loves. I also think playlists are fun if you do that sort of thing, or I guess authors thoughts of inspiration for the book. I guess anything that gives insight to the book that makes it a multidimensional experience. Sight, sound, emotions.

I also like to have the authors blog as a link on the website. Sort of one stop shopping. A good contact page is essential, but also lists where else on the web readers can connect with you...(yahoo groups, facebook, twitter...)

I like to have short, snippets of reviews so that if I am unsure about a book, and I read a review by someone other than Harriet Klausner (ie someone I can trust) than that can also lead to me deciding to pick up the book.

If it's connected series I enjoy family trees, or glossaries if it's a paranormal world where this can only add to it's appeal.

Basically I like to have as much info, tidbits and goodies at my finger tips as possible. Reminds me, goodie pages are fun too. Ones where you can download computer backgrounds or screensavers with your characters or book covers on them, or even downloadable bookmarks.

I'll stop now :)

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hey, ALL good suggestions, and I'm writing them down. Hmmmm, Matthew and Bran as screen savers....yum!!!!

Raneraia, I love how you call Wallingford Matt!!!!

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

All such great suggestions--I have nothing to add, LOL!

But I will say that the #1 thing that bugs me is when I have to dig through several pages to find pertinent info. I'd rather an author's web site be lean and clean and streamlined than cluttered with stuff.

Can't wait to see the new "look"! Which reminds me...I really need to get going on the new website for my YA 'persona.' Ack!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Makeovers are always fun! I am constantly fascinated by the creativity I see on various websites and blogs and agreed, Charlotte Rae Monet is one of the best web designers around on my opinion.

I do like the wallpaper freebie idea! A friend of mine did me a wallpaper of my coverflat for Master & the Muses and I would gladly try to find a way to share that cover!;)

At Deb Macombers website,she offeres downloadable bookmarks also. very nice idea!

I'm certain that with Rae at the helm your new diggs will be wonderful , Charlotte!


Genella deGrey said...

How fun, Charlotte!
All great suggestions.
Let us know when you're done!

VampFanGirl said...

Excerpt! Excerpts! Excerpts!!!

All who know me, know that I love me some excerpts. 9 times out of 10 it's the excerpt that becomes the deciding factor on whether or not I purchase the book. To get a feel of the author's voice is very important to me.

I love author bios too and of course a beautiful site is always a big plus.

Ooo and you know what else I love, the backstory to the story. It's always fun to read what was going on and how the author developed the story from beginning to end. Generalized of course. :)

And then ditto on what everyone else has said.

Oooo I can't wait to see your upcoming new look, Charlotte!!!!

(((HUGS))) VFG

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Thanks everyone for your awesome imput!!!!

I'll be taking all this stuff to Rae!

The new site is planned for the end of April.

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