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As part of my research for the next installment in The Fine Art of Self-Promotion, I'd appreciate your input/opinions about what you would expect to find on a writer's website.
 

Poll #1506752 Writers' websites

From an interested reader's point of view, which of the following would you expect to find on a writer's website?

'About the author' page (including a press kit)
0(0.0%)
'About the books' page (with link to relevant amazon-type page and/or 'buy it here' option)
0(0.0%)
'Contact the author' option
0(0.0%)
Publisher/Publicist/Agent info
0(0.0%)
Links to the writer's online publications (short stories, sample chapters, interviews etc.)
1(2.1%)
General links page
0(0.0%)
Articles (and/or links to articles) about writing
0(0.0%)
Podcasts
0(0.0%)
Book Trailers
0(0.0%)
'Latest News' section
0(0.0%)

From an interested reader's point of view, which of the following would you expect to find on a writer's website?

Twitter updates (together with RSS feeds etc)
0(0.0%)
Blog (or mirror of one)
21(65.6%)
Google site translator
0(0.0%)
Something not mentioned here (please elaborate in a comment)
0(0.0%)

If you're a writer, do you have a website?

Yes
28(63.6%)
No
16(36.4%)


Thanks in advance for taking part.


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Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
jimhines
Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
I'd say About the Author, Books, and Contact Info at a bare minimum. There are other things I'd like to see, but those three pretty much have to be there.
jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the input, Jim :)

I have a feeling that many writers (myself included) don't utilize their website to its full potential.
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
Interesting. The tidbits sounds like a great idea, a sort of dvd-extras kind of thing, for people who've actually read the book.

thanks for sharing, Aliette :)
bodgei
Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
I feel a little bad about not haveing a website - but since I've only published a few short stories, I guess I don't feel like I'm 'there' yet.
jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
I started mine up as a declaration of intent :)
bodgei
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
that's a good idea actuly. I should work on that this year - since my blog isn't much realy.
jdawson001
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
I'd vote for 'About the author' page (W/O a press kit) and 'About the books' page (W/O links). I prefer simplicity...
jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
Interesting, but what if you're doing an article on the author, or you find the blurb/trailer interesting enough to want to buy the book? Isn't it better to make things as easy as possible for your visitors?
jdawson001
Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
All that's great, but you asked what we'd EXPECT to find. All that other stuff is extra.

As an interested reader, I'm looking for a bio, a bibliography, and maybe a picture. That's it. I don't even expect contact information because I respect their right to privacy. Thus not voting for all the other extras.

That doesn't mean I'm not happy to find more, but without a bio and a biblio, what's the point of a website?
jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Lol, fair enough :)
asakiyume
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
As a reader, I very much appreciate the contact option, because usually if I go looking for more information about authors, it's because I want to tell them I enjoy their books, and why.

I answered the writer part even though I'm a pretty poorly published writer. I don't think someone at my level needs a website... I don't know how successful I'd have to be to feel inclined to create a website.
jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
As I said to bodgei above, I started mine up as a declaration of intent - same goes for this journal actually :)
asakiyume
Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
I can see that it would be a big motivator! I'm glad you have the blog. It's lots of fun :-)
jongibbs
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
the_faery_queen
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
i like bios/about authors, mostly so i can compare how well they're doing compared to me (im happy iof they're a lot older than me :))
i also like stuff about the books, more info and so on, but not many writers do that. not stuff you can find in the books, but extra stuff, and most wrtiers don't bother to do anything more than a blurb and a cover for their info. i have pictures of characters, blurb, reviews, and i also put up a, things you don't know, type section. where i write down removed plot ideas and changes and things, like you'd get on a dvd, the cut out scenes, i guess :) and random facts about it, things that happened when i was writing, where points of inspiration came from and so on.
i also have short stories up there, and blurbs about others and where they are published. an faq. and, under my bio, i have about books that i've enjoyed reading. i guess things that make you more personal to people who may be interested in your stuff.

jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
I liked Aliette's comments on those book extras. It's not something I would have thought of, but it's a great idea.

Personally, when it comes to presentation, I prefer to be more on the fun side than the formal one (though you have to be professional), but I guess that's down to the individual.
smeddley
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
And for the love of Bob, if you have a series of books PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a list of them in order. I'd like to make it a law that all series must have a book # on them, honestly, but at the very least the author's web site should tell me what order to read them in!

OH! And I thought of another thing (actually went to a web site that had it) that you should NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER... did I mention NEVER? do. Please, don't even make it so I can't back out of your web page. That's just rude. If I was Googling and it wasn't what I wanted, you can be damn sure you'll be on my List if I can't get back to my search page.

Edited at 2010-01-03 09:41 pm (UTC)
debikm
Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly about the being trapped on a webpage. That pushes some buttons with me, big-time. I sends me a message that this person is a) rude and b) self-important enough to think that everyone wants to be stuck on their webpage. Bleh...
jongibbs
Jan. 3rd, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the book ordering problem comes because the writer has paid someone else to design his/her site.

As for making it impossible to back out of a site, I didn't even know that was possible, but I'll be sure to remember :)

Thanks for sharing :)
asakiyume
Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
Same here about not realizing that that was possible; yikes!
mtlawson
Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
What, podcasts get no love? If you're on a podcast somewhere you'd think that there'd be a link to that somewhere.

jongibbs
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
I was more thinking of podcasts on the actual website, but sure, links to them elsewhere too. I quite like listening to podcasts.

Thanks for sharing :)
mtlawson
Jan. 4th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
A personal podcast seems a bit much, true.

I guess podcasts you interviewed on would end up in the links section, however.
karen_w_newton
Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
How about a mention on what's coming up? Maybe that should be in News, but that's something avid fans always want to know.
jongibbs
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
Good point. A 'Coming soon/Forthcoming events' section could be made more eye-grabbing than just a list of events.
sandy_williams
Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Wow, nearly 70% of writers have a website? I don't. Well, not unless you count my sporadically updated blog. I used to have a website, but took it down b/c I sort of lost an agent over it (long story). I figure it just didn't look professional enough so I decided not to build a new one until I at least have an offer of rep.

I wonder if most ppl answering this poll are published or unpublished. Maybe I should go ahead and build a new site...
jongibbs
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
I probably should have been more specific, sorry. My idea of a writer is anyone who writes stories with a view to getting them published.

That would include everyone from Stephen King to the newest, as yet unpublished, member of a writing group. Both are writers - of course, Mr/ King gets to insert the word 'Successful' too ;)
mguibord
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
This poll has been interesting and helpful- I'm just working on building a website. Love all these ideas!
jongibbs
Jan. 4th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you found it helpful, though I can't claim any credit for thinking of them. Everything listed is stuff I've seen on various writers' websites :)
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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