What I'm reading: Winterkill, by C.J. Box
Don't forget: leave a comment on Tuesday's post for a chance to win a copy of NO MORE BULL.
First - the big news. SAVING SCOTT is now live at Barnes & Noble!
I'm on my way to Los Angeles for a family visit and to cheer my daughter on in the LA Marathon. I've been busy trying to migrate my website, although it's still very much a work in progress and following links will take you to my old site for some things, my new site for some others.
What's important to me in a web site?
First, it needs to be a place where people go for information, not entertainment. So, no animated graphics, no bouncing text, and no music. (I'll say that again. NO Music.) People browsing the web might be doing so late at night with others asleep, or they might be listening to their own music. If, for some reason, you do want music on a website, at least have it default to off and let the reader decide to turn it on.
Readability. For me, that means a dark text on a light background, and uncluttered pages. I simply can't read those white-on-black sites, and unless it's of vital importance that I do so, I simply navigate away.
Ease of navigation. If someone is looking for something, it should be clear where they have to look.
Links that work with as few clicks as possible.
For me, the challenge has been (aside from learning enough Wordpress to be considered dangerous) how to organize the site. I've learned how to create "parent/child" pages, so if you hover your cursor over a header on the Nav Bar, if there are sub-pages, you can find them. But do people actually do this? I hope so.
And what goes where? I've called one of my tabs "Books", but it's got more than my novels in there. And I've grouped my novels by series. This adds clicks, but I thought it would help readers zero in on what they're looking for. I know I went round and round trying to decide where to put "First Chapter Reads." They're included as links on each book's page, but if people are interested in reading them, they might like to see the choices all on one page.
I still haven't decided about reviews. Do I create a page for Reviews, and then sub pages (which is how my "old" site is organized), or do I create a link to a review page specific to each book and put it on the book's page? Or do people even care about reviews?
Eventually, I hope to migrate my blog to Wordpress as well, so everything is in one place. Although, I wonder how many readers actually pay attention to where they end up when they click a link.
Most of this technical stuff will wait until I get back. But for now, I'd love it if you'd visit the new site and give it a test run. Do the links work? Did you get lost? Is there something I've forgotten to include?
I'll be unplugged most of the time, although I'll try to check in at least once or twice a day while I'm gone. And cross your fingers that the forecast for rain for the marathon doesn't come true. Running in the rain might not be so bad, but standing around waiting and watching…well, I'd rather be dry.
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