Web site Design

When you are designing a Web site, what should you include?

Answer is it depends on what you want to highlight, such as your work or your biography, etc., but one thing is certain your site needs to be simple. You heard the old adage:  “Keep it simple, stupid.” Well, this applies to your Web site.

At a workshop on Web sites, the presenter told attendees people only stay on a page for a flicker of a second. If you cannot attract that person in that timeframe, they will leave. People are busy and one item which will move a visitor to another site is overload.

Easy navigability is important. Does your Web site contain too many pages? You do not need many. My new Web site includes five – Home, Meet the Author (with contact author form), Janet’s Itinerary, Other Books and News & Praise roll.

Home page displays my inspiring-historical romance’s book cover, Lockets and Lanterns; a best-selling author endorsement (which I never could fully express my gratitude for); and book links to purchase the book and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and my blogs.

Meet the Author page shows this beautiful person wearing a hat. Of course, I am kidding there, but it does have picture of me with a hat. It also includes a two-paragraph biography of myself and a contact Janet form. Again, keep it simple. HOWEVER, WHATEVER YOU DO NOT PUT YOUR PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS ON YOUR SITE UNLESS YOU WANT NUMEROUS EMAILS.

Janet’s Itinerary is the next tab. This allows visitors to see where I will sign books. Keep this current. I viewed several author pages where the itinerary was not updated in a year. What does this show? An author not active in the marketplace. How are you going to sell books when you do not care about your site?

My next button is Other Books. Here I tell about my work in progress and other books, such as my award-winning story, “The Silver Lining,” available for free on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. Here are the links to download them:  Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/42833;  Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-silver-lining-janet-nitsick/1030476803?ean=2940011212130&itm=2&usri=the+silver+lining+by+janet+syas+nitsick

Last tab is the News and Praise Roll. On this page, I left a couple of spaces to highlight the subject matter of my most recent blogs. Also, there are awesome book trailers for my new romance, Lockets and Lanterns, and my previous book, Seasons of the Soul.

Besides keeping the navigation simple, have an attractive Web site. Do not let it get too busy, though. I visited sites where the page took forever to load due to the photo or graphic being too intricate. In addition, remember to not use red background and white lettering. Why? Because when you want to print a page for further reference, nothing will show up. Think of those details when designing or redoing a site.

Another asset is to tell visitors what your books are like. My slogan is “Homespun romantic tales of joys and hardships endured through faith and love.” This lets readers know what type of books you write and if they are not interested they can go elsewhere. You need to gear to your target audience. Is a science-fiction reader going to be interested in romance? Perhaps but odds are against it. There are occasional crossovers; however, this is an exception but not the rule.

Right now, I am finishing a great science-fiction book, Return of the Aliens, written by our own best-selling romance author Ruth Ann Nordin. It is a deviation from her usual, though, I am loving the suspense and the research involved relating to the Bible book of Revelation. As a journalist who dealt with facts, I like this.

One more thing remember to not overdo content. If people see a litany of words and paragraphs, what are they going to do? Go someplace else. That is not what you want. Keep them there by paraphrasing, short sentences and delete unnecessary text. Once more, keep it simple.

Well, I probably should wind this down. If you want to check out my site, it is www.JanetSyasNitsick.com. It is not perfect but, I believe, it has a few good points. Now, think of your Web site and make whatever changes you feel improves it and as always God bless.

5 thoughts on “Web site Design

  1. Reynold Akison April 5, 2012 / 4:16 pm

    Great post. Thanks for the excellent hands-on information. I’m in the process of redoing my own website and starting a separate site for my crime novels – one epublished and more to come. I’ll use your guidelines as a reference as I work out the details. Here’s a couple of questions, I guess they’re marketing questions: How often do you add an entry to your author site blog? And what kinds of subjects do you address in your blog messages? Thanks, Reynold

  2. janetsyasnitsick April 5, 2012 / 4:58 pm

    This is a new site so I just am starting the process. However, my blogs are monthly so I will highlight that on my Web site. My blogs give writing tips, including marketing or whatever else aids us in the writing arena. As far as new entries, these mainly will consist of updating my itinerary, dates of new releases, any recent awards and highlighting blog subject matter.

  3. Mark Vanveenendaal (@internetmailbox) April 6, 2012 / 2:38 am

    Heres a book I found that explores the craft of writing in the 21st Century. Between the Sheets is the story of two writers journey to publish their art and navigate the emerging world of digital self-publishing. The authors share insightful wisdom and humor in relating their successes in the new age of the book.

  4. Barb April 9, 2012 / 6:41 am

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate you sharing what works and what doesn’t. You’re a gift.

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