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Old 08-21-2011, 11:49 AM   #16
jasonkchapman
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I would much rather have a tastefully Flash-ed website than one that is so basic HTML, it looks like it was designed by e high-school student.
That's strange. I'm completely the opposite. An over-dependence on scripted components (especially ones that don't degrade cleanly) turns me off to a site. Something in my mind whispers that if the content were any good, it wouldn't need the gadgets.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:27 PM   #17
6charlong
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I think it was TS Eliot while wearing his hat as a critic who pointed out the need for readers to separate the man that suffers from the mind that creates. I take author sites as a reflection of the author. Some are very businesslike. They give me the impression that they were professionally hired out and have little or nothing to do with the actual author. They're about books written by so-and-so and have the character of something created by the publisher.

The other kind are an expression of the author’s personality and life. They may discuss anything that enthuses the author, even political and religions views. These sites have a wholly different character. They are not so much an expression of the author’s work as a hand out from the actual person who created the stuff that I enjoy. Obviously I like these sites better.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:54 PM   #18
apbschmitz
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I want to second what 6charlong says above. I'll happily tolerate some technical/aesthetic craziness if the trade-off is a glimpse inside an engaging creative mind.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #19
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:48 AM   #20
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When an author's website is blocked by my anti-spyware. Is it really necessary to put a tracking cookie on my computer?
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
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When an author's website is blocked by my anti-spyware. Is it really necessary to put a tracking cookie on my computer?
A lot of them do not know they are doing it, especially the ones that are hosted by free website providers, or by major publishers. Many of those do not even have a choice about it. Also many times that comes from advertisements on the page, and not the author.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:58 AM   #22
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6charlong View Post
The other kind are an expression of the author’s personality and life. They may discuss anything that enthuses the author, even political and religions views. These sites have a wholly different character. They are not so much an expression of the author’s work as a hand out from the actual person who created the stuff that I enjoy.
That has always been my aim in creating my web sites, and it's interesting to hear one person say they like personal interest sites, even when they may be about controversial subjects... and others saying they hate them because of the controversial subjects.

Most of the subjects I touch upon are related to technology, social issues and the environment... progress, in general. Yet, even these seemingly innocuous subjects often raise the ire of others almost as badly as discussions of religion and politics.

OTOH, I can't see the point to having a page or blog that makes a big deal out of my day... no one wants to hear about that... not even me! I've avoided sites and blogs like that, as they are wholly uninteresting to me. (So, you tried a raspberry cheese bagel today? Fascinating...)

So I go to sites that discuss things the author is interested in, even when they are not necessarily connected to the books they write.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 08-22-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:48 PM   #23
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Cool Dana Stabenow

check out this author web site. drm free ebooks sold directly (and a few freebies).

Dana Stabenow is an American author who has produced works in the science fiction, mystery, and suspense/thriller genres.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:11 PM   #24
afa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkchapman View Post
That's strange. I'm completely the opposite. An over-dependence on scripted components (especially ones that don't degrade cleanly) turns me off to a site. Something in my mind whispers that if the content were any good, it wouldn't need the gadgets.
Well, I wouldn't like over-dependence on Flash, either. That's why I said "tastefully". A site that has a little Flash here and there doesn't take anything away from the table, and in fact can provide a more interactive experience.

By the way, when I say basic HTML, I meant the very, very basic and ugly websites that don't even have decent backgrounds, color schemes, links, fonts, or anything else that might be deemed visually appealing.

There are some author websites, like Joe Abercrombie's, that are fairly simple and clean but well-done.

And then there's GRRM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:28 PM   #25
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Have you tries Google Scholar, sometimes it's really useful
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:16 AM   #26
Nancy Fulda
I write stories.
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Have you tries Google Scholar, sometimes it's really useful
I've never tried it, but I've heard of it several times now. Wish it had existed back when I was in grad school...
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:26 PM   #27
Frida Fantastic
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As long as it's easy to see what the author's books are and where to purchase them, then the website serves its primary purpose. Books are best shown on a widget on the side, or on a separate page with a tab or link that is very visible... authors should make it easy for first-time visitors to see this link to their books.

For author sites that I tend to visit though, I don't mind the personal and controversial stuff if they're topics I'm interested in, but it probably repels other readers. It's up to their author and what target audience they're trying to attract. Stuff that I think would detract from an author blog are:

-music
-awful text and background colour combinations
-flash
-hateful rants about trad publishing/trad published authors. I'm a big indie supporter, and I've been reading mostly indies these days. But if an author says "trad pub only has crap books and aren't open to any new ideas" I go *headdesk* and wonder how well-read this person is and whether they've read anything in the past 5 years. Is trad pub the best business model? That's up to debate and I'm happy to read well-argued points from all angles. But dismissing books based on business model? That's just crass.
-hateful rants about indie epublishing/indie authors. Same goes for trad authors calling all indies crap. Again, dismissing books based on business models is crass. There's bad books and good books on both sides of the fence, and that fence is very permeable. I don't care about business models, I care about quality books I can enjoy.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:54 PM   #28
DreamWriter
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When I created my husband's author website, I tried to keep it simple. There are multiple pages (book description, author bio, free sample download, and a purchase page with direct links), but I think they tie together nicely and there is a prominent "menu" on each page.

I've been to some authors' websites where I couldn't figure out where to find what I was looking for, including where to purchase their book. That's irritating. And I don't like flash.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:52 PM   #29
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
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And then there's GRRM.
That's what looking at GRRM's site does to me.

Here's a personal peeve: White text on black backgrounds. To me, that is so annoying that I usually just close the site immediately.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:43 PM   #30
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A lot of them do not know they are doing it, especially the ones that are hosted by free website providers, or by major publishers. Many of those do not even have a choice about it. Also many times that comes from advertisements on the page, and not the author.
Advertisements? What's that?

Thank you Adbock Plus.
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