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 . . .