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Vicki M. Taylor
June 6th, 2008, 09:30 AM
Here is a list of items to put on your website. By no means is this conclusive

a.Book covers
b.Book excerpts
c.Book reviews
d.Book Purchase links
e.Information about you, the author
f.Interviews
g.Writing Tips
h.Short stories
i.Contests
j.Newsletter
k.Trailers/Videos
l.Blog
m.Message Board/Forum
n.Guest book
o.Pictures of your signings
p.Your appearance schedule
q.Links to articles you've written
r.Jokes / Humor
s.Games
t.Recipes


As J.A. Konrath said, “Your website – and everything you do on the net – isn't about what you have to sell. It's about what you have to offer.” You're promoting yourself and your books.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 6th, 2008, 09:36 AM
Some of you had questions about book trailers/videos. I did some research, and came up with these links.

I hope they are helpful.

1.http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977019853

Where to post? post them on websites, myspace, facebook, etc and if you can afford it Romantic Times online website offers opportunity to post videos plus http://www.watchthebook.com/

How to make a book trailer
http://brendacoulter.blogspot.com/2007/06/promoting-your-novel-how-to-make-book.html

http://www.squidoo.com/booktrailers

Good background info on book trailers
http://www.findmeanauthor.com/book_trailer_videos.htm

Vicki M. Taylor
June 6th, 2008, 02:26 PM
Imagine redesigning your website, work on adding as much sticky content as possible that will keep bringing visitors back to your site. What kind of items will you use?

denisepatrick
June 6th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Hmmm. I've never thought about content that might bring visitors back again and again. Is that what you mean by "sticky"? My blog content changes regularly, but I never thought about changing my website content - except to update it with new releases and appearances.

I've got a lot of what you listed on mine and plan to add some free reads soon. But for now, it's just the basics.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 6th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Hmmm. I've never thought about content that might bring visitors back again and again. Is that what you mean by "sticky"? My blog content changes regularly, but I never thought about changing my website content - except to update it with new releases and appearances.

I've got a lot of what you listed on mine and plan to add some free reads soon. But for now, it's just the basics.

Sticky is important. You want to keep your visitors coming back. Return visits are very important. Keep them coming back. Give them a reason to keep visiting your site. New photos, stories, games, contests, etc.

denisepatrick
June 6th, 2008, 09:31 PM
So what, exactly, is a sticky? I'm not sure I understand what you're even talking about.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 7th, 2008, 08:39 AM
So what, exactly, is a sticky? I'm not sure I understand what you're even talking about.

Denise, a "sticky"... is just a term we use to mean a page that keeps people coming back to your site. a page that has short stories on it. A page that has photos on it. A page that has contests on it. A page that has new books on it. A page that keeps changing content so that the visitor has something new to read every time they come back to visit.

Does that make sense?

hollie
June 8th, 2008, 05:41 AM
i could help with this because i'm about as computer savy as the wall if i can find my way round your site anyone can (beleive me i still get lost here)

Vicki M. Taylor
June 8th, 2008, 08:29 AM
i could help with this because i'm about as computer savy as the wall if i can find my way round your site anyone can (beleive me i still get lost here)

Thanks, Hollie, that'd be great, all the extra help is welcome!

rgraham666
June 8th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Imagine redesigning your website, work on adding as much sticky content as possible that will keep bringing visitors back to your site. What kind of items will you use?
Since my target audience is readers I'd say give them something to read.

From the stats I've seen for my website that means keeping my blog updated and changing my free read often.

torrentwaters
June 8th, 2008, 09:04 AM
Vicky-
I get what you mean about "sticky content" but could you give some more examples of it and where to find it or should we just post stuff we find interesting? And how often should you change the content?

hollie
June 8th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Since my target audience is readers I'd say give them something to read.

From the stats I've seen for my website that means keeping my blog updated and changing my free read often.

Yes i love reading bits and peices of books and also if you are disscussing something different on your blog tell people about here or other forums (with links) i'm lazy and links make life easy for me, if i have to look for a site i tend to get think "i'll do it later when i'm not as busy". also if you invite another author to blog with you or you blog with them it doubles your audience and remember links. bhowdysmilie.gif

Debora Dennis
June 8th, 2008, 01:38 PM
I do find that when I blog more frequently my readership not only increases on the blog, but also I get more hits on the actual website.

And since I probably have website ADD (I change the look of my site and my blog very frequently!) I've even had people comment they pop in every once in a while just seem what's changed. (I wouldn't recommend that route to anyone - it's just my way of procastinating and working through my writing blocks :dizzy: )

Shelley Munro
June 8th, 2008, 04:11 PM
Hi Vicki,

I post on my blog five days a week and have a weekly guest blogger. I also have "behind-the-scene" stories about many of my books. I might have an article I've written on the setting or something in the story or how I thought up the idea for the story. Many of my stories are set in New Zealand and I've done photo essays for two of them, which include mini excerpts from the story and an actual photo to go with it.

I also have a photo album where I have many of my travel photos posted.

Shelley

Vicki M. Taylor
June 8th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Vicky-
I get what you mean about "sticky content" but could you give some more examples of it and where to find it or should we just post stuff we find interesting? And how often should you change the content?

Well, if you wanted to provide jokes or some type of humor, you could find that anywhere, online or off, and add it to your site.

Photos, you can take those yourself, or find copyright free images you can use. Personally, I'd recommend taking photos of your area and posting them to give your readers a feel for how and where you live, or take photos of places that are similar to places in your book to make your work come alive for your readers.

Short stories. Write these yourself. Alternate the stories on your site.

Writers tips. Link to tips, or include tips that you've learned on your own.

Blog. Blog at least once a week to keep your content fresh and your visitors coming back. Trade blogs with other authors. Co blog with authors.

The possiblities are endless. These are just off the top of my head as I'm heading off to bed. We'll chat about more tomorrow.

hollie
June 9th, 2008, 04:21 AM
Hi Vicki,

I post on my blog five days a week and have a weekly guest blogger. I also have "behind-the-scene" stories about many of my books. I might have an article I've written on the setting or something in the story or how I thought up the idea for the story. Many of my stories are set in New Zealand and I've done photo essays for two of them, which include mini excerpts from the story and an actual photo to go with it.

I also have a photo album where I have many of my travel photos posted.

Shelley

That works really well Shelley i know Kelley Armstrong had loads of short storys onher site that gave background or just added to her books i spent weeks reading them all when i first found her books but it kept me on her site.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 9th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Hi Vicki,

I post on my blog five days a week and have a weekly guest blogger. I also have "behind-the-scene" stories about many of my books. I might have an article I've written on the setting or something in the story or how I thought up the idea for the story. Many of my stories are set in New Zealand and I've done photo essays for two of them, which include mini excerpts from the story and an actual photo to go with it.

I also have a photo album where I have many of my travel photos posted.

Shelley

Excellent!

Vicki M. Taylor
June 9th, 2008, 10:43 AM
Since my target audience is readers I'd say give them something to read.

From the stats I've seen for my website that means keeping my blog updated and changing my free read often.

watching your stats is important. It keeps you up to date on what works and what doesn't. Good job!

Alex_Draven
June 9th, 2008, 12:12 PM
Website - eep. I've got 'write content and site plan' on my to-do list. I've bought my domain, but haven't actually put my own site together yet. At the moment my online presence is mostly my livejournal.

Related question - I know first hand from my day job that content 'freshness' and regularity help build visitor numbers, but - as a reader - I don't want to have to go clicking around to see if my favourite authors have updated, I want to subscribe to their RSS or similar, and get an alert to remind me to come back. Or better still, their new content converted into an email that lands right on my desktop.

Does that match up with your experience?

Any advice for how to bend technology to your will to help with that?

For that day-job site I use blogger (www.blogger.com) with feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home) for the blog, and twitter for 'quick news (http://twitter.com/) but I'm not sure that's the most elegant or efficient solution.

Cheers

Alex

Vicki M. Taylor
June 9th, 2008, 01:26 PM
Website - eep. I've got 'write content and site plan' on my to-do list. I've bought my domain, but haven't actually put my own site together yet. At the moment my online presence is mostly my livejournal.

Related question - I know first hand from my day job that content 'freshness' and regularity help build visitor numbers, but - as a reader - I don't want to have to go clicking around to see if my favourite authors have updated, I want to subscribe to their RSS or similar, and get an alert to remind me to come back. Or better still, their new content converted into an email that lands right on my desktop.

Does that match up with your experience?

Any advice for how to bend technology to your will to help with that?

For that day-job site I use blogger (www.blogger (http://www.%3Cb%3Eblogger%3C/b%3E).com) with feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home) for the blog, and twitter for 'quick news (http://twitter.com/) but I'm not sure that's the most elegant or efficient solution.

Cheers

Alex

As far as I know, the only way you can get their sites to notify you like that if their sites are set up that way. You can't manipulate it for them. Unless you're an uber programmer and can create a script that will do it for you.

Alex_Draven
June 9th, 2008, 08:11 PM
As far as I know, the only way you can get their sites to notify you like that if their sites are set up that way. You can't manipulate it for them. Unless you're an uber programmer and can create a script that will do it for you.
Sorry, I wasn't being real clear there, was I? What I meant to be asking was : any advice on offering that kind of functionality to readers when setting up or revamping an author website?

(I can't be the only person in the world who wants the information to come to me, can I?)


Sorry!

Alex

Vicki M. Taylor
June 10th, 2008, 11:22 AM
Sure there are, unfortunately, I'm not a web designer and don't know how to add RSS feeds or track back kind of stuff to my website. Maybe google it?

Alex_Draven
June 10th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Sure there are, unfortunately, I'm not a web designer and don't know how to add RSS feeds or track back kind of stuff to my website. Maybe google it?
the blogger (www.blogger (http://www.%3cb%3eblogger%3c/b%3E).com) / feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home) combo, and twitter for little bits (http://twitter.com/) works pretty effectively, without getting into hard-core coding.

Feedburner works well with all sorts of interfaces, in fact.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 11th, 2008, 10:25 AM
the blogger (www.blogger (http://www.%3cb%3eblogger%3c/b%3E).com) / feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home) combo, and twitter for little bits (http://twitter.com/) works pretty effectively, without getting into hard-core coding.

Feedburner works well with all sorts of interfaces, in fact.

Thanks, Alex... that's what this workshop is all about.. sharing information!

denisepatrick
June 14th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Thanks for your comments, Vicki. I've finally managed to get my website almost the way I want it, but I need some help as to what to add.

I have a timeline for my Victorian series that I plan to put up as soon as I contract the third book, and here on Coffee Time I've been doing a "serial background" thread about the series that I plan to transfer to my website one of these days. Since I add to that on an irregular basis, that might work well as a sticky.

I currently have the following on my website:
Home page w/announcements & summer schedule on it
Books page w/links to blurb, reviews, and first chapter of each book
About me w/my bio
Photo page w/pictures of the one signing I've done so far
Guest book
Contact me

Do I need anything else? And, if you get a chance to get out and look around, I'd like to know if it works.

www.freewebs.com/denisepatrick

Thanks

Vicki M. Taylor
June 14th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Thanks for your comments, Vicki. I've finally managed to get my website almost the way I want it, but I need some help as to what to add.

I have a timeline for my Victorian series that I plan to put up as soon as I contract the third book, and here on Coffee Time I've been doing a "serial background" thread about the series that I plan to transfer to my website one of these days. Since I add to that on an irregular basis, that might work well as a sticky.

I currently have the following on my website:
Home page w/announcements & summer schedule on it
Books page w/links to blurb, reviews, and first chapter of each book
About me w/my bio
Photo page w/pictures of the one signing I've done so far
Guest book
Contact me

Do I need anything else? And, if you get a chance to get out and look around, I'd like to know if it works.

www.freewebs.com/denisepatrick (http://www.freewebs.com/denisepatrick)

Thanks

Denise, I checked out your site. It's a good start. You've organized it well. The menu is a bit small. It gets lost over on the left side.

Your blog is full of stuff. Keep that up. Continue to update it.

Get that serial background transferred to your website as soon as you can. That kind of stuff will keep readers coming back to your site.

I saw the reviews. And the awards. Great job putting them on there, along with an excerpt from the book.

Maybe you could add links back to your publishers so the reader can order directly from the publiser? Is that something you prefer they do?

I'd say you have a good start. Just add items as you see fit and that fit your specific needs.

Oh, and I vote for www.denisepatrick.com

denisepatrick
June 14th, 2008, 08:14 PM
Thanks, Vicki, for checking out my site. My next thing will be to make the menu larger on the side and add that serial background. Then, I will put up a page on what I'm working on.

As for my blog - I'm not a natural born blogger, so I have to come up with topics and things to blog about. I don't do much about my family since I write under a pen name, so finding stuff to talk about is not that easy for me. But, I try to post at least twice a week (although I didn't last week - life got in the way).

Thanks again. Oh, and www.denisepatrick.com is taken and probably will be for many years to come. I think I've decided on denisepatrickauthor.com.

Deborah Blake
June 14th, 2008, 09:30 PM
I had a savvy friend help me with my website--you might try adding "Appearances and Book Signings" if you do any (with pics from previous appearances). Also, we have a shopping cart set up so folks can buy my books right from the site, with an option (no charge) to get a signed copy. This is apparently fairly easy to set up using paypal, and it will calculate the shipping costs for you. I know that I would love to have autographed books from the authors I chat with, but very few of them have a way to do that. And you don't say whether or not you have pictures of your book covers--if not, I would definitely add those.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 15th, 2008, 02:47 PM
Deborah, those are some good ideas.. thanks for adding them.

HywelaLyn
June 24th, 2008, 10:23 AM
I have a website and Blog, and mainly use it for promoting my books and the anthology I'm involved in. Although none of my books (apart from another anthology for charity) are available yet, I have set up a 'Buy' page for when they are, although those pages are hidden at the moment. I have one for the charity book though, and it was very easy to set up using PayPal.

Id be very grateful if you cold have a look at my website and tell me what you think. I've had some good comments on it but wonder if I've got too much there,sometimes.

the url is www.hywelalyn.co.uk (http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk)

Vicki M. Taylor
June 26th, 2008, 07:55 AM
I have a website and Blog, and mainly use it for promoting my books and the anthology I'm involved in. Although none of my books (apart from another anthology for charity) are available yet, I have set up a 'Buy' page for when they are, although those pages are hidden at the moment. I have one for the charity book though, and it was very easy to set up using PayPal.

Id be very grateful if you cold have a look at my website and tell me what you think. I've had some good comments on it but wonder if I've got too much there,sometimes.

the url is www.hywelalyn.co.uk (http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk)

I don't see much wrong with the site, it looks good... on the front page, toward the bottom, there is a blue rose, when I pass my mouse over it, it's clickable, but there's nothing that identifies where it goes. Why should I click it?

You have a book trailer, excerpts, all good...

a free story, good

a blog that you keep up very well.

A well rounded links page, a contest page, you're doing very well.

And a link to your myspace page. You can't get better than that.

Oh wait. Yes you can. You can get a better URL address. That would be my only real complaint about your site.

HywelaLyn
June 30th, 2008, 01:09 PM
I don't see much wrong with the site, it looks good... on the front page, toward the bottom, there is a blue rose, when I pass my mouse over it, it's clickable, but there's nothing that identifies where it goes. Why should I click it?

You have a book trailer, excerpts, all good...

a free story, good

a blog that you keep up very well.

A well rounded links page, a contest page, you're doing very well.

And a link to your myspace page. You can't get better than that.

Oh wait. Yes you can. You can get a better URL address. That would be my only real complaint about your site.
Hi Vicki

Many apologies for leaving it until the last minute - I've had real problems with my pc as well as having galleys to check, etc. I really appreciate you checking out my site, and thanks so much for pointing out about the rose looking as if it had a hyper-link. I've fixed that now.

I'm a little unsure how I could improve the url though.

www.hywelalyn.co.uk (http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk) is my penname and I thought it was a good idea to use my UK domain as then people know I'm a Brit - but I could use my other one which is www.hywelalyn.com (http://www.hywelalyn.com)

Thanks so much for all your help.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 30th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Hi Vicki

Many apologies for leaving it until the last minute - I've had real problems with my pc as well as having galleys to check, etc. I really appreciate you checking out my site, and thanks so much for pointing out about the rose looking as if it had a hyper-link. I've fixed that now.

I'm a little unsure how I could improve the url though.

www.hywelalyn.co.uk (http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk) is my penname and I thought it was a good idea to use my UK domain as then people know I'm a Brit - but I could use my other one which is www.hywelalyn.com (http://www.hywelalyn.com)

Thanks so much for all your help.

Lyn, I was talking about the part of the address that appears in the URL address that says "freewebs" that part has to change eventually. When you can afford to, you'll want to move to a host server that you can use the domains you've identified above that will show without the "freewebs" portion.

HywelaLyn
June 30th, 2008, 06:26 PM
Oh I see what you mean, Vicki

I actually do pay for my website, and know a lot of other authors who use a paid 'Freewebs' site as distinct from the 'free' one. I have to admit I didn't realise the 'Freewebs' part of the domain would show up.

MelanieR
June 30th, 2008, 08:17 PM
I never thought about adding a link with short stories. That's a great idea, I even have a couple. I can polish up.

I have the back cover blurb on my main page and I've posted the first chapter, as well as a bio and news. I have some links too, but that's about it.

I worry about putting on pictures of my family because there are wackos out there that can manipulate them into something dirty.

Perhaps I'll put a tab up for contests that I'm having and past winners.

I don't blog, I just don't have enough to say to keep a blog going and to be honest, if I go to a page that has a lot of stuff on it, I'll read what I went to read and I might click on a few links and then I'll leave.

What about posting different exerpts of books your working on? Would that be ok?

I'm learning a lot from all of you. I really want this book to do well and with any luck I can get a following and do better with the next one.

HywelaLyn
July 1st, 2008, 02:58 AM
I think I've sussed out what the problem is - I'm using the 'co.uk' domain. If I use www.hywelalyn.com (http://www.hywelalyn.com) my name and tagline come up - which I agree looks far more professional. Looks like I'm going to have to change my stationery and email signatures to use .com instead of .co.uk. Pity, since as I said, I like to reflect my UK nationality. But then i'm paying for a website so don't want it to look like a 'freebie'. Thanks so much for pointing this out, Vicki.

hollie
July 1st, 2008, 05:04 AM
that looks a lot better Lyn, but it is a shame about the .co.uk that was the one i looked at because it is uk so that part of your idea definatly works - that doesn't help does it ??

HywelaLyn
July 1st, 2008, 06:01 AM
Thanks Holie - and thanks for checking it out. Well at least now I know to always use .com in future. I never thought about it before, Freewebs doesn't seem to recognise .co.uk addresses for some reason, but I already had .com so I don't have to pay any extra, so that;s something to be thankful for. :)

Vicki M. Taylor
July 1st, 2008, 10:17 AM
Lyn, glad you got it figured out and it's not going to cost anything extra.