Hello wonderful ladies of Shewrites,
I am in the process of setting up a Wordpress site before I start querying agents for my book. I've peeked around on the web a bit and have some ideas of what to add, but wondered if anyone had some good suggestions for an unpublished author's site?
I'm planning the blog feed itself, an "About" section, and of course the regular FB and twitter connections as well as a contact section. Would it also be a good idea to have a page on the book I'm currently marketing? Perhaps a "book jacket" style blurb? (If so, would it be scandalous to have similar wording to what is in a query letter?) Finally, is a book teaser/excerpt for an unpublished book a bad plan? Does it destroy certain publication options?
Suggestions welcome! Thank you!
"...Does your site represent who you are? I want to find their body of work. I want a link to their blog. I want a way to engage with them. I want to know where they are appearing. I want to know what they read. And it needs to be what I expect..."
Thanks for that, Lynne. That's very valuable insight. I've recently learned that what you say is true for me, too, as a reader, so I would definitely want to apply that kind of stuff to own my websites.
I want to echo what you say here, Lynne, about catering to the writers' circle. My suggestion would be to think about who your readers are--who you want to sell your books to. They're your audience. Write your blog/website with them in mind.
Very well put, ladies.
@Petrea...By the way, I'm subscribed to a couple of blogs that are over there on Wordpress. Although everyone tells you that their sites are "easy" and "user friendly" and such, I'm always a little hesitant to change, start over, etc., so I'm still slowly learning the ropes over there. And even though I know I have that whole "creature of habit" thing going on, I'm thinking of maybe checking it out a little more and possibly updating my blogs and sites to the Wordpress way of doing things. When you speak with Paula, could you let her know that someone else might be reaching out to her? I may be asking you for her contact info very soon! Seeing what you ladies are doing inspires me. Wish me luck!
Regina, Wordpress can be learned but it's not as easy as Blogger, that's for sure! From what I understand, there are two levels to Wordpress and one is easier than the other, but that's all I know.
I do recommend Paula's work: PaulaJohnson.com
...and yet I suggest you first try to find someone talented who's local to you. I've done this both ways (local and non-local), and although most of your conversations will be via email, I found it easier to do the back and forth necessary with Paula because I could occasionally call her, or drop by her house and show her visuals that weren't otherwise viewable on a computer screen. And sometimes it's just so much easier to hash things out over a cup of coffee than the incessant back and forth on the web or a long-distance phone call.
With that said, both websites I've had have been successful. (The first one, created by Chicago actor, musician, and apparently no longer web designer Dave Belden, is now offline).
I'd like to echo this point, too--when I was first thinking of starting a blog or web site, I heard the advice to make it my own--to not cater just to writers because it wouldn't be just writers I'd want reading my books. So, I started a blog with that in mind (True STORIES). It's also WAY more fun than worrying about reaching the right audiences--I think if you make it uniquely you, then the people you want to attract will naturally come. My site has a general theme of "stories" but some are about me (and are more bloggy-type writing); some are about others, and more creative writing.
As for my book, it's still in draft stage so it's not on the site but I plan on somehow making it a part of the site, so I too am interested in reading the responses. I'll go check out your site, Eva!
I love your blog!
Aw, thanks so much. I appreciate you taking the time to read!
It's my pleasure. If I could have a job of just reading blogs and books all day, I'd think I was in heaven. I can't help but believe that reading other people's blogs and stories and books helps us to become better writers. We're somehow more prolific, more compelling, and more engaging as communicators. If writing is the talking part, then reading is the listening. And who couldn't stand to be a better listener?
If writing is the talking part, then reading is the listening.
Yes! What a great way to put it--I'm going to steal that, if you don't mind.
Hahaha! Of course, I don't mind. Your blog inspired it. :)
Jessica! Your blog is fantastic! I've only read a couple entries but your voice is very compelling and I'm enjoying it. Thank you for sharing! Also the layout draws me in somehow, I'm not sure how, but it's easy on the eyes. I'm looking forward to reading more. -Eva
Thanks so much for the feedback, Eva, and for reading. I like that layout, too. It's a premium option at Wordpress, so it wasn't free, but I kept going back to it.