Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wicked Wednesday - What PNR author websites need


I've been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing these past few weeks. Online and offline. One of my projects this year will be to design a new website. A big deal since I have no web design experience, and I can't afford to have anyone else do it for me.

My current website is okay. I do like the template. (It was free!) But does it represent me as an author and my books? No.

My website wishlist: easy to navigate, easy to update, wicked, dark, and sexy.

So I've been doing some research and visiting a lot of paranormal romance author sites. Here's what I've found a PNR author needs on the home page of her site.

1) The color red. Dangerous and passionate. Most sites have a lot of red. The unofficial color of PNR authors? (E.g. Kresley Cole and Jennifer Lyon.)

2) A kick-butt heroine featured in the heading or background. (One of my favorite sites based on appearance and ease of use: Keri Arthur.)  OR a hot guy (human or not) in the heading or background. (E.g. Larissa Ione.) 

3) A quirky, sexy, or magical welcome to the site. Something a little different than the standard news scroll or "Buy my books!" (E.g. Alyssa Day.)

4) Book covers. Some covers are gorgeous, and I can see why authors make them the feature attraction. (E.g. Rachel Vincent and Sherrilyn Kenyon.)

5) A background to set the right atmosphere. Dark and mysterious. (E.g. Jennifer Estep.)

Do you have a website? If you do, did you have it designed to fit your genre?

17 comments:

  1. That's a great idea to look at other author websites to see what you thinks works. No, I don't have a website now, but plan to do research like you have before I design one.

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  2. My blog is my website and hopefully it does represent me and my books well. The header Jeremy designed just rocks. (And you could always ask him for assistance.)

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  3. The research part is important. I've looked at hiring people, but I definitely can't afford those prices. If I can design something, my husband can program it.

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  4. I keep tweaking my blog and websites when I can to try to make them easy to navigate and understandable. That's a good idea to see what other people are doing in your genre. I'll have to do that when I do my next blog/website look change (before REBORN comes out).

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  5. I have a website, but I rarely go there. It was good a couple of years ago, but it needs a change. I'll be doing something with it this year, but I'm unsure what just yet.

    A friend does mine. I tried on my own at the beginning - massive fail.

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  6. I've noticed that some authors give up on their blogs, referring their readers to the new website, which does not seem as interesting. The books are there with wondrous colours/backgrounds etc. but they tend to lack the spirit.
    I think you should have your books displayed on the top left of the screen like Alex.
    Here's me giving advice and I haven't a clue!
    All the best, Christine, whatever you decide to do.

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  7. I used to have a website for my NA/YA series and the background color changed with every new book to match the cover. My current website is for my services, so it's got blue in it since that is a professional color.

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  8. I do have a website that I still love. You've reminded me that I should do a bit of housekeeping before the year grows a beard.

    Like your system.

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  9. My website is so sad. It's on my never ending to-do list. Good luck with yours!

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  10. I do or did have a website. But the domain and renewal went up and I decided just to keep my blog. I still don't know what I'm going to do.

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  11. I did my website myself. Not having a specific genre worked against me slightly, because I didn't have any comparisons. It's great you've looked around - you know what works and what doesn't.

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  12. Currently I don't have a website, just my blogs. Sounds like an exciting project and I wish you the best of luck. Can't wait to see how it comes together.

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  13. Hi Christine .. sounds like a very interesting project for 2014 - and you're very lucky to have a hubby who can actually put the website up for you ..

    Cheers and I look forward to seeing the "new site" in due course .. Hilary

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  14. You are inspiring me to get organized. I really need to turn a new leaf this year and get my stuff together.

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  15. Sounds like you know what you want in a website! I got mine from webs.com. Free template, like yours. It works because it's for my music and books. But I can certainly understand your desire to have a template that reflects your book style. Good luck!

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  16. Thanks for the examples & good luck on your quest!

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  17. Just the blog for me...for now. But I did enjoy this round-up of author websites. Some great examples of who's doing it well!

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