Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Interwebs

Tell us about your website…how does it work for you as a business tool? How did you decide upon its content, design and tone?

From Jim

Here’s a link to my website.

I look at it this way: you don’t necessarily score any points for building a great website, but you definitely lose points for hosting a bad one. Or if you don’t have one at all. I don’t believe websites sell books, but they’re necessary to provide essential information for your readers.

I think any writer’s site should include the following:

A. All your books, in order, with links to buy them

B. Contact information, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, if you have them. And you should. Now, do as I say, not as I do. I confess that I do not have a public Instagram account. I’ve been meaning to do that, but...

C. High-quality photos and graphics. Lots of them. Pictures are great. But they have to be high quality. You don’t want your site to like it’s 1999 again.

D. A few options for someone who wants to browse. On my site, I’ve got a page for my blog posts and profiles I’ve done for the International Thriller Writers. In the past, I had links to my short fiction and various posts on language. Also, I post photos of me with many author friends. Ignore the pictures of me and enjoy my talented friends.

E. Clear, simple navigation. I hate sites where you have to figure out how to find the hidden links.

F. A neat look, but with its own personality.

A word about Facebook. We’re all on Facebook, even if people like to complain about it. My advice on FB posts is similar to my advice for your website. Don’t post blurry, old, low-res photos. Try to post regularly, but don’t overload your followers with multiple posts per day. And ALWAYS post promotions about other authors. Mix them in with your own posts. No one want to be badgered by “BUY ME” posts. Go ahead and brag from time to time about your accomplishments. Your friends and readers love that. But like everything else, everything in good measure.


Lyda McPherson said...

Ii has been a real education this week and I'm delighted by the information that's been shared. Did you use the services of a web designer? Create this masterpiece yourself? Or, in the case of Terry Shames, have an extremely talented family member help you with the design?

RJ Harlick said...

Agree with all your words of advice, Jim, particularly the ones about Facebook. Terrific post.

Cathy Ace said...

Great post, as always, Jim :-)

Susan C Shea said...

Yup. That's the checklist. Now, to sneak off and see how I do on my site...

James W. Ziskin said...

Lyda, I maintain my own site. Nothing fancy, but it’s clean. And sharp photos only. ;-)