Happy Monday, readers!  I'm back with another discussion topics for both readers and writers, NA or otherwise.


I’ve been doing quite a few websites and WordPress theme designs for clients lately, and visiting a lot of websites in the process (especially those of NA authors), so it’s had me thinking about a couple of things.  Aspiring Author 101 says we should have a website or at the very minimum a blog for our readers to look us up.  The question I’ve been getting lately from many authors is this:  What is it about a website that will keep readers coming back?  And to piggyback off of that, what about an author’s website will make you never return?

First though, let’s go over what almost anyone in the professional writing industry says should be on a site at the bare minimum:

1.   An about page.  If authors are coming to your page, it’s because they want to know more about you.  This is the place to talk about yourself.

2.  A way for the author to contact you and/or connect with you.  I’ve been to quite a few pages that have no way for authors to reach out to you.  If you’re trying to avoid the spammers by not putting your address on there, at least get a form.  Also, if you’re on social media – which you should be – where can they friend or follow you?

3.  A work/writings page.  If your published, you should have your book displayed clear and proud, with a blurb, maybe an excerpt, and links where to buy your book.  If you’re pre-published, put up a summary or sample of writing to whet the reader’s appetite for more.

4.  A blog or a link to a blog, which will give you the opportunity to post recent information and make announcements.

But is that enough?

We want people to visit our pages and be repeat visitors.  So how do we keep them coming back?  As readers of websites and blogs you’ve visited, what is it that makes you want to keep coming back?  Is it the amount of extras?  Blurbs for upcoming books?  Or maybe you’re interested in contests?  

And like I mentioned before, what’s going to make you click the back-button faster than a speeding bullet?  On my part, I get pretty annoyed by the flash websites where I have to wait thirty seconds before I can even access the website.

I readily welcome both reader and writer responses in the comments below.




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  1. I rarely check out an author's website. I don't have one either. I have a blog, but it's geared for writers not readers. And I'm not interested in starting another one just for readers (because of the time involved), so I'm kind of stuck.

    I wonder how many readers regularly check out an author's website. I prefer reading their books than their websites.

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    1. I think most of us would rather read their books, but I also think that websites can be a great tool for finding out more about a story, such as character interviews, author interviews or even deleted scenes, if they're available, which is always nice. Thanks for replying!

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  2. I actually check out almost every writer's website, but largely because I write book reviews so I want to find out more about those writing the books I'm reading. I also look to the author websites to find out about upcoming projects and release dates.

    As someone trying to find time to write as well, I do understand the battle for time though, and the more time spent on blogs/websites, the less actual book-writing time available. So I get that as well....

    Nevaeh

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    1. And I'm right there with you. It is hard to find balance and every minute online is one minute you're not spending writing. Too many of those and you'll find you're not writing at all. :( Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. You hit the main points! I really think that is the biggest things to have on an author website.

    Maybe I would add that under each book should be the buyer links for where to get the book.

    On my author website, I do extras like images of the world or characters, the playlist that I listened to while writing my books. However, all of that would fall under Extras, which you brought up.

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    1. I so agree about the buy links. I've gone to quite a few sites that don't have them available and it always makes me wonder why not!

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  4. I almost always hit author websites. Mostly because I need to know their reading list order. So, I love when they have MY BOOKS section and I can see all their books AND the order I need to read them in. :)

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    1. I agree that author's sites are great for finding reading order, because sometimes it's just hard to figure that out based on what comes up on Amazon or Goodreads.

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  5. Awesome tips, Jaycee! My favorite author websites are ones where you can find content you can't get anywhere else from the author's universe. Like character profiles, inspirations for writing the stories, etc. Makes it feel like a special place just for the author and fans. :)

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    1. Thanks! I love all of that, too, and it's one of the reasons I do visit author sites. It really does make it special and helps extend the stories we just don't want to let go of. :D

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  6. Great post.

    I don't mind some humor or the author's personality coming through, but I prefer fairly straightforward 'about me' information. Some authors get too silly, personal, or off-topic with it, IMO. And put it where I can see it or find it easily when I arrive.

    If a website or blog has so many fancy graphics that it takes too long to load, I won't stick around (or return). I have DSL (albeit set one speed level slower than the fastest they offer), and there are a few sites that take a long time even with that. :\

    For now, a blog geared to writers works for me. When I get closer to publication, I'll make a website for readers. :)

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    1. Thanks. I agree, I can't stand sites that take way too long to load. I don't have that kind of patience or time to waste. There's nothing wrong with blogs, and in a lot of cases, they can be just as effective as websites.

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  7. Great tips, Jaycee. I love checking out an author's site and blog. I do have a question though - is a blog enough for an aspiring author? I've been contemplating making a site too, but thought it seemed a little premature to do so until I'm actually published. Any thoughts or opinions?

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    1. I do think a blog can be enough, especially if you include the same kind of things you'd find on a normal website. I'm not really of the thought that a blog would be inferior. I did start a website when I revived my blog again last year, but it was just basic information and I can't say it did a lot for me either way.

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  8. I try to give a lot of exclusive material on my blog - excerpts, character interviews, etc.

    I also find it helps to talk about my favorite New Adult reads by other authors and why I love them so much.

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    1. Always good ideas and they are some of my favorite reasons to visit author sites. I've seen a lot of author sites that don't have any of these things, and I find the sites boring. Why bore a potential audience?

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  9. These are some awesome tips! I just have a blog, and I do have an "about me" page.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. And that's fine, because it's still a web presence being built.

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  10. Awesome topic, Jaycee! It's one I've been thinking about for a while concerning my blog. As a writer, I love reading posts about an author's ups and downs while writing or their process getting an agent/self-pubbing/publisher. As a reader, I love when they talk about what sparked their latest inspiration for a new story or show pictures of where a certain book is based at.

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    1. Thanks! I enjoy pictures, too, and love reading others' experiences in their journey to publication. I just haven't gotten really brave about doing one of my own yet.

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  11. My website is my hub--links, press pack, FAQs, updates, etc. Lately, I've had people checking for news on the sequel... :)

    Great post, Jaycee!

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    1. Thanks! And yes, you have an awesome website! It's great to hear that people are checking it out wanting more!

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    2. Love your theme on your site, Carrie!

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  12. I often visit the website of authors whose books I've enjoyed. I like to see if they have any extras on there for their fans, see what books they may have previously released that I don't know about, and see what they're working on next!

    Personally, I prefer a nice clean site. If it's too busy, or the text is hard to read over top of the background I generally leave quickly.

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    1. I agree about having a clean site and keeping the font easy to read. I've had to impress upon quite a few clients why they don't want to use a certain font or a font color because, as pretty as it may be, people aren't going to want to strain to read a post, and the whole purpose of the site is to make it easy for people to learn more about the author and the book. Not that they've all listened to me.

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  13. There is only one reason I will got to an author's website: To find their Facebook page or their Twitter account. And really, just a blog is enough to find that so I don't even need their website. If I want information about their books then I'll go on Goodreads. I will sometimes read an author's blog but only when their posts are fun and entertaining, or they do a lot of Giveaways. I don't follow blogs that are there for the sole purpose of letting me know they "PUBLISHED A BOOK!!!! YOU CAN BUY IT NOW.". I already know that, I'm on your blog! :D

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    1. Oh, that drives me nuts! I've been to a lot of blogs that have exactly one post: "My books is available and you can buy it here." Duh, why else would I be on your site? Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Thanks for this post, Jaycee. I always go to author website as well. Especially if I loved the book and want to know when the next one is coming out. I've kept my website, http://dawnaraver.com/ very clean. Sometimes I wonder if it's too clean, but I don't have plans to change it. Though it being a Wordpress.org site, I'm confined by what the template allows.

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    1. You're welcome! I agree, your site is very clean and that's what a lot of people want. I don't think you have to worry about changing it, although I have to ask, where is that beautiful book cover? I think it should be one of the first things we see! :D

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  15. I also cannot stand websites that take a long time to load. I prefer a cleaner look.

    If I ever get published, I'll have to transition my blog from being a writer's blog to a more reader-oriented blog -- less about rough drafts and writing hints to things that readers will find enjoyable.

    For a good example of a website, see Carrie Butler's, who posted above.

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    1. I agree - Carrie's website is fabulous. :D

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  16. I seldom read author's website, except for next exploring after getting certain interesting topics on it.

    But I provide identity on my blog as my responsible attitude for what I published there.

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