Thursday, September 17, 2009

Change of Address

HESE are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.

-Emily Dickinson

I have moved this blog, all of its posts and pictures and comments, to a new and improved and not at all secret WordPress location. I've enjoyed using Blogger these past three years, but it was time for a change. WordPress has so many more options and allows me to do things I've been wanting to do with my online presence.

I hope you'll come visit me at the new place!

It's here:  Katherine James

Monday, September 07, 2009

Time to do blog crafts!

Okay, I need advice. Now that life has calmed down somewhat, I need to do something about this blog. I'm going to be creating a WordPress blog with multiple pages, one that will look more like a serious writer-person website and will also, I hope, appeal to readers.

But I suspect the reasons I visit certain websites are different from the reasons non-writers enjoy (or dislike) particular sites. And since those of you who read this blog are avid readers as well as some of the smartest people I know, I thought I'd ask you:

  • What do you like/dislike about author websites? What features do you enjoy and which just irritate the heck out of you? 
  • What keeps you coming back? What makes you visit the site of a writer you've never heard of?
  • Any suggestions for things you think might help me attract new readers (without being annoying)? For instance, I'm thinking about featuring a quarterly email newsletter (with news, duh, but also maybe short stories or an on-going series, perhaps even pictures?) and urging subscribers to share it with friends -- do you subscribe to author newsletters and, if so, what do you enjoy/dislike about that? 
  • Is it useful if an author provides sidebar links, do you ever click on them and which ones? 
  • Do you find it entertaining when authors have guest bloggers and why/why not?
  • What am I not considering that I should?

I realize what you probably want most is to know when the book is coming out, and I'm working on that. But I also need to do this and I want to do a good job of it.

Feel free to post links to author sites you particularly love and I'll go look at them (if you don't give me a link, I might not be able to find it).

I recently read this blog post by author Ann Aguirre addressing the topic and she covers quite a few of the basics, with more feedback provided in the comments.

And that's very helpful. But I want to know what you all think. I can promise there won't be music or things that flash. Or pink. Beyond that, I'm open to suggestions.

Enjoy the word verifications while they last . . .