Obviously, we´re in the technology age these days. Everyone and their brother has a website. So do many romance authors. Which ones do you like the best? Which ones do you like the least? Why? I do lots of web-surfing, looking for new sites for you here, or for reference and research for me. Some sites are more attractive than others. In my travels on the web, I´ve come across the good, the bad and the ugly, and got to thinking about which ones readers would like better.
Some sites are stark, basic--just the facts, ma´am. Some of those have very good information. But do they get your attention? I´ve found some very good writing tips on some of these very basic author sites. If I´m searching for something in particular, I will sometimes dig through the plain, old, boring stuff to find it. Other times not.
Other sites are chock-full of information, sometimes too much information to find what I´m looking for. Especially if I´m in a hurry. Or with busy, animated backgrounds and buttons, flashing and moving. For me, that´s sometimes a bit much. How about you?
How do you feel about excerpts? Personally, if it´s good, I can appreciate them. They make you want to rush right out and buy the book. That´s the idea. But do you want to wade through excerpts of all that author´s books from the last four years? Which brings me to another point--fresh info. Some authors update their sites on a regular basis. There are some author websites out there that don´t look as though they?ve been updated for a very, very long time--like a couple of years. That can´t be good for getting return visits from readers, can it?
What about music? I´ve heard some really good midi music on some of these sites, though some fit the romance theme better than others. Some have contests where you can win a book, or collection of books. How do you feel about those? And pictures--author pictures, conference pictures, family pictures. How much information do you want about your favorite authors? Unless I´ve met an author at a conference, I don?t feel like I have a right to some of the more personal information about them and even then, unless we´d discovered we were lost twins in another life, I still wouldn´t feel right. After all, I wouldn´t hand out my family pictures to a stranger.
The whole idea behind these sites is to draw readers. Some of the more useful items I´ve seen are appearance schedules, upcoming books (with publishing dates), writing tips. There are some very nice, professionally-put-together author sites out there. I´ve got some listed below for you. And next week, with my new article, I´ll be updating all of the author website links. I´d wanted to do that this week, but the flu caught us here.
In the meantime, email me or post on the bulletin board and let me know which author sites are your favorites and why.