Which Came First? The New Reader or the Web Site?

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

My web site needs to be updated. The design is old school and it has too much stuff on it. Seems I am purging stuff in all areas of my life these days, getting down to fighting weight. In my quest for a new design I unscientifically compared my favorite author’s web sites for romance fiction.

An Audrey Hepburn inspired web design; class and bling.

There is a wide variety of styles. It’s always easiest to compare something you can see than start from scratch. Just like writing. When all the design the possibilities overwhelmed me, I checked out Romance Writers of America’s statistics on what reader’s look for when buying a book. These were 2010 stats, but still good to know.

How do readers decide whether to buy an author’s book? The number four item for online purchase decisions was the author’s web site. Fabulous report, RWA always knows the fiction business. Read here http://www.rwa.org/cs/readership_stats  One needs to be a member to get the latest stats.

Since RWA does the survey every year, I can’t wait for the next results. With things moving so fast in the publishing biz these days, six months is eons. But it reinforces the importance of not only having, but liking your author website.

My web site went online in 1997. I’ve changed it over the years from writing code to now having a wordpress.com blog I want to incorporate into my site. I need easy and quick. In order to incorporate my blog, I had to switch to a Unix platform; that is about as much as I know about it or even want to discuss computer tech.

So this past weekend I copied all my code and content in preparation for this next project. I’ve got my new web site themes narrowed down to a few, so all I have to figure out is what is going back on the site and what is cut. Somehow it always comes back to editing. There will be some glitches along the way too, I’m sure.

Since I have both non-fiction writing books and fiction romantic suspense books in development, a single web site gets complicated. Nora Roberts uses two names and two web sites, but I don’t quite have her income, so one web site for me.

In the end I want an easy, fun, entertaining and classy site. Like Audrey Hepburn. Figure this will only take about 10 years to accomplish.  Stay tuned…..

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