Titilating Tuesday!

It’s that day again over at my messageboard. I’ve put up a few excerpts this morning.

It’s a pretty day, rain squalls early and now the sun is out and it’s windy. It’s release day at Samhain. There’s a little bit of all kinds over there today with some really excellent authors.

I’m going to be over at Novelspotters today at 1 pm pacific/4 eastern so come by and say hello. I’ll be posting an excerpt or two from Taking Chase, which releases in less than a month now!

AAR is having a poll right now for favorite mainstream sexy titles, erotic romance and ebooks. Apparently she’s not getting enough of the ebook answers so hey – go vote if you’re so inclined. There are a lot of really great ebooks out there to vote for.

Danielle Steel apparently has her own perfume coming out. Sigh. Smart Bitches has a post about it. Go read.

There are several interesting entries all over the blogsphere about author websites.

Here’s what I like – If I can find what I’m looking for! It’s simple but overlooked a lot. I like a website that isn’t cluttered but has a sense of the author’s voice. Jenny Crusie , Alison Kent , Sasha White does this even though she has the dreaded white text on black but her site is not blinding but readable, sexy and sassy much like she is.

Another thing these sites have in common? You can find things! I can find backlists, coming soon titles and other little bits of interest. I love that. They’re also updated regularly.

Don’t make me click around for fifteen minutes trying to find your available titles, please. Don’t make me wander around looking for contact info. Just spend the 8 dollars to get your own domain and another 15 to get a simple website rather than the free sites that have urls that are 48 characters long and don’t contain your name until after three backslashes. If I can’t find you easily, chances are I won’t bother. Make it easy for me to find you. Your website doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to be effective and pop up ads in the middle of your page make me cranky (along with blog ads, but that’s another entry). There are some amazing web designers out there (Croco Designs is my personal favorite but there are others) who won’t charge an arm and a leg for a really pretty and well designed site.

I’m picky about websites. Don’t play music unless you’re a band or unless I can turn it on instead of having to turn it off. Don’t offer sparkles and other annoying cursor effects, it’s too hard to navigate (and I know of one big name author who does this with a fairy that spews sparkles for a cursor and it drives me nuts). Please if you’re going to have that blinding black with white text, make the text big enough to read in a font that’s easily read (see Sasha White’s website for a perfect example of how to do it right). Some intricate gothic font in 8 point text with a blinding white on a black background makes me squint and then makes me find another site to read.

The point is to help the reader find your books and buy them. If they’re unfamiliar with you, give them a sense of who you are. I know a lot of folks are busy and think they don’t need to bother with a website or even to update the darned thing at least once every month or so. But frankly, readers are savvy, they want to know what’s going on.

What are your favorite websites?

5 comments to “Titilating Tuesday!”

  1. maura
    October 24th, 2006 at 2:55 pm · Link

    LOL – I just managed to get a spot with Crocodesigns te redo my website. And it’s YOUR FAULT!

    I admired your site for a while because I’m pretty picky too and decided on my road to publication, a really NICE website that I can maintain, that looks good and people can find things on was a must.

    I might have offered bribery – but actually got lucky because of a delay and am next on the list!

    Likes: readable, uncluttered, non-cutesy, speaks to the purpose or person it’s representing

    hates: audio, the weird SitePal talking heads, unreadable fonts, chaotic disorganizanion, frames…

    not that I have opinions, mind you!

  2. Amelia
    October 24th, 2006 at 4:39 pm · Link

    like: ease of use with the appropriate information in the right place.

    dislike: fing flash, automatic music, too much clutter, too wordy, not wordy enough, difficult to navigate, out of date, horrible colors or fonts that you can’t read…the list goes on

    I’m very very picky about websites. Which is why I made my webslave husband design mine 😉

  3. Lauren
    October 24th, 2006 at 4:47 pm · Link

    Maura, you won’t be sorry! Frauke is a dream to work with. I can’t wait to see what she does for you!

    Amelia – LOL! Your site is very nice. Easy on the eyes, navigable, everything in its place. I like that.

  4. lili
    October 24th, 2006 at 5:42 pm · Link

    I’m sorry, but the Sasha White page blinded me. I hate that. You can’t read if you’re blinking back tears. Tiny font is bad enough, but black backgrounds and any size white fonts should be avoided if you want readers to hang around. I popped into her page and then right back out again. Now I’m scared to look at the other ones. 🙁

    As a general rule, black backgrounds should be avoided for -reading- sites. Blogs or otherwise.

  5. Kelly
    October 24th, 2006 at 9:58 pm · Link

    Oh so many dislikes. Many of them already mentioned. Give me a site that’s sleek, but simple. I have a master’s degree in library and information science, so I know how to find things. If even my degree isn’t helping me to find a listing of your books and you’re an author, you’re in deep shit. All the frou-frou stuff turns me off for two reasons: 1. it’s not aiding you in selling your books (which means I hold book trailers in a different class of frou-frou) and 2. it takes that much longer to load on a low-speed connection and they’re not going to wait for your music to cue up before the page even begins loading. Just because I have a high speed connection with lots of RAM for my processor to play with does not mean everyone in the world does. Okay, /rant.