As I slowly begin to turn my ahead away from my manuscript and look out towards the horizon of my pub date (April 2015, which alternately seems ages from now and too soon for me to ever prepare for), one of the first things that clearly needs attending to as I freshen up my public face is...my author website. Please don't look at it right now. If you look at it right now, I will feel not so much like you have seen me naked, but like we were meeting in person for the first time and I had to show up at a trendy bar in Williamsburg wearing the outfit I wore to my eighth grade dance, and also wearing my eighth grade hair.
Actually my eighth grade dance outfit might be less embarrassing than my out of date website, so let me distract you from looking up kamywicoff.com with this party pic:
(Can you find me?) If you went to my website anyway, I forgive you. I certainly wouldn't have been able to resist. And I realize it's not that bad--I absolutely loved my site and its designer in 2005--it's just nearly a decade out of date, and it shows. (For one thing it appears very shrunken and teeny in my browser. What's up with that?)
I am a big believer in author websites, and that belief was further reinforced by some reading I did today, beginning with the excellent blogpost "Why Don't Publishers Believe In Author Websites?" by publishing expert Jane Friedman. Jane makes a convincing case that publishers, or at least authors, should not underestimate their importance. Darcy Pattison's follow-on post "Why Authors Should Believe in Their Websites" contained some convincing statistics regarding readers' strong preference for them. I wasn't surprised as I am one of those readers: I find it frustrating when an author I'm interested in doesn't have an author website and I am left trying to put the pieces together myself through Facebook, Twitter or a shoddy wikipedia entry, when what I really want to do is read a bio, buy books, and join an email list.
But where to start? By looking at other author's websites, of course. But while I am perfectly capable of spending another three hours browsing author sites all by myself, without the bringing the collective wisdom of this community to bear, that seems stupid for two reasons: 1) I will fail to bring the collective wisdom of this community to bear; and 2) nobody else in the community will benefit from what I find, either. And the whole point of She Writes is to share what we know.
So let's make a list! Please add to the thread your FAVORITE author website, with a few words as to why. Please don't make it your own. (Sorry, the bias might trip us up here.) List two or three if you like, but do try to keep it short. I want this thread to be a valuable resource for all SheWriters, and easy to skim at any time.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal's site because it is simple, easy to use, beautifully designed, and heartfelt without being cloying.
Susan Conley's site for its elegance and how effortlessly it invites a visitor to immediately do the important things: buy the book, link up on Facebook and Twitter, and see video of Susan's talks.
Tiphanie Yanique's site for the crisp, convincing way it showcases her book--a great example for writers who only have one under their belts so far. (As a debut fiction author I kind of feel I am in that boat. Sites for prolific authors like Jennifer Weiner also function like mini-libraries.)
So? What's yours? I'm waiting!