I just finished a totally awesome book called THE HEIRESS IN HIS BED by Tamara Lejeune. She’s written some hilarious, off-kilter historical romances. I’d call them farce because of the mad-cap adventures and nonsensical plots, but they’re also sweet and sexy. I’ve read everything this author has ever written. I’m looking forward to her next book. If there is one. See, I have no idea what’s coming down the pike from her because SHE HAS NO WEBSITE.
Unless you’re a total rockstar of an author like Linda Howard, you need a website. You do. Seriously. People need a place where they can find out when your books are coming out, at the very least. And because I’m in that sort of a mood, I will establish my list of demands for said site.
- Don’t do it on a black background. It may look all cool and moody but it’s hard as hell to read. Dark background, pale print gives me a headache.
If you have auto-play music, I will click away before I read anything.
If your site is flash-heavy and I can’t skip your intro that cost you a gazillion dollars, but just annoys people who want one piece of info, I will click away before I read anything.
If your menu is incomprehensible because you’ve come up with super-cute names for all your sections and I can’t figure out what I’m looking at… well, I think you know.
If your website is all style and no function…
Here’s what I want in an author website:
- To be able to find information quickly
Not to spend five minutes loading it
A bio page that tells me something about you. Some authors think it’s cute to make up a bunch of shit like: Sarah J Author was a CIA spy, and a supermodel, and a rockstar who toured all over the world before inventing the flu vaccine. Then she climbed Mt Everest and wrote a rock opera that she starred in. She’s currently incognito living in Paris. You know what? That shit pisses me off. I went to your page because I loved your book enough to want to know a little more about the person who wrote something so awesome, and sadly, now I know you’re a dipwad who likes wasting my time.
Not to be forced to watch slides of you posing with a motorcycle or a sports car or a half-naked dude and your dog or cat or monkey. If you want to have a photo gallery, by all means, but please, please do not make this your intro page with no way for anyone to escape but the back button.
Finally, if you can’t afford a big design, I’d much rather you take a simple WordPress template and customize it than to cobble together some hoopty HTML that looks like your webpage escaped from Geocities 1994, and is now fleeing its rightful time period. Likewise, too many blingy sparkly gizmos will scare me off. Give me a clean, simple, elegant template with good information, solidly organized, and I will visit often.
And I’m spent. What are your peeves?