#navbar-iframe { display: none !important;} The Naked Page: Pimp My Website

The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary

2.01.2006

Pimp My Website

My website desperately needs a new look. I wish someone would just come along and volunteer to trick it out for me, add hydrolic suspension, paint some flames on the sides, install a minibar...oh wait, that's for my car, not my website.

Okay, okay, so what I want to ask is, when you visit authors' websites, what information do you really find useful? Which parts of the site do you use, and which parts do you think are a waste?

Go to http://www.jamiesobrato.com and tell me what you find useful about it, if you're feeling all helpful and stuff today. Do you think that welcome page is really necessary? I mean, the main one when you get to the website. I'm thinking of making a blog the main page of the site, so in other words, the main page would be something like this page you are on now, only a little more polished looking. Check out http://www.alisonkent.com to see what I mean. Her main page is a blog.

Do you visit FAQ pages? Contest pages? Bio pages? How much information about my books do you really care to see?

Are you embarrassed at all to visit bright red and pink websites? LOL. I'm thinking this is probably more of an issue for people who web-surf at work. I have thought about making the background black, and the the red/orange/pink/whatever secondary colors would be in the details. The text would probably be on a light field, because I don't like light text on dark fields.

26 Comments:

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

Personally, I think your colors are fine. They're a good match for your personality and the Blaze line. I also think a welcome page is nice because it lets the site visitor know right away if you update the site regularly and if anything exciting is going on (new release, RITA award, etc).

My favorite parts of an author website are the bio, books, blog, and tips/articles for writers. I don't pay too much attention to FAQs and contests. As far as info on the books, it's great to see a cover, a blurb, and a short excerpt. Ooh, ooh--photos are always cool, too. I like the ones from RWA conferences since I won't make it to one of those until next year.

You don't need too much pimping, unless you want to use the site to start selling panties and vibrators and the like, since those are so popular here at The Naked Page. Maybe you could print a small image of your book covers on the panties, and the vibrators could recite passages from various love scenes.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

LOL, um, thanks for the marketing ideas Melissa. I know that whole "pimp my website" thing sounds like i'm talking about it in the "selling" sense. But really i was just referring to that MTV Show Pimp My Ride, as in, pimp it out, make it look better, etc.

And thank you for the comments on what you find useful. it's interesting to hear someone else's perspective. I personally only check out author's blogs now that blogging has taken hold on teh internet. If they have book info on their blog, then I'll check out their books, but if they don't, I probably won't check out their book pages.

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

I was KIDDING. :-) I know, hubby and I like that Pimp My Ride show. We have a car we wouldn't mind getting on there, lol. I did get him a stereo system for Christmas that's probably worth more than the car itself, so I guess it could be considered pimped...

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

I think your website is particularly good for an author site Jamie. I go to other sites to see when the next book is coming out, and more often than not they haven't been updated for months on end. And an actual blog? Forgetaboutit.

 
At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Jamie,

Alison asked similar questions on her blog for redevelopment of her own site, believe it or not. The consensus was that surfers prefer a homepage, not the blog as home page, because blogs can contain rants or conversation perhaps not as "classy" as a typical home page, and some surfers find it a little off-putting when they first come across the site. A blog can always be bookmarked separately from the home page.

I must admit, I agree.

Also, you're smart not to go with white text on a dark background - that was another consensus from Alison's questions. And, not to make the font too small so that people need to change their settings to view comfortably.

As you know, I love your site, but I also understand the need for a change. I'm not much for contest pages, but I like all your other pages, especially the ones that feature me, me, MEEEEEEEEEE.

Cindy

 
At 7:33 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

okay, you guys are making me feel all lazy like I just won't change anything about my website (other than update it with next month's book info!). Or maybe i'll buy a custom skin for my blog...hmm, that could just be the only change i make for now...not sure. Will have to give it more thought.

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Sherry said...

I have enjoyed the web sites for romance writers. I found other sites to be similar in format to yours and I like being able to read about the writer, see the pictures that they post and see the books due out. I really like the chat with Cindy part of your web site and frequently check back to see what has been updated. As for the blog/diary, it is great but I think it should stand alone with just a link on your web site.

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

Just think, Jamie--do you *really* want some of this blog content to be the first thing people see when they come to your site? LOL

You have to welcome them first, then bring them slowly to the dark side...

 
At 8:35 AM, Blogger Alison Kent said...

I just gave another author friend this same bit of advice this morning. My long time career partner is the owner of one of the largest ad agencies in Texas, so large they even have national clients and have done Superbowl commercials. She told me that we as creative types get tired of our look and want a change, but readers are familiar with our look and are comfortable and feel at home with it.

I am working on a redesign after all these years but that's because the tone of my books has changed from the urban contemp style I was writing for Blaze to action adventure with a dash of suspense - and I don't think pink goes with that!

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Hey Alison! I love love love your website. I think it's one of the best author sites out there, in terms of design and creativity of format.

After looking at all my options, I probably will keep my site as is for now. I just wish I could figure out how to get rid of that stupid white space at the top of this page by my header. Or I might just get a new skin for this blog page and leave the rest of my site as is.

It is funny, about creative types always wanting a new look. I go through this angst about every 6 months thinking i need to redesign my site and then I finally deside I like and will keep it as is, LOL.

I can't wait to see your new site! I'm sure it will look great. Are you writing for Blaze any more?

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Good point Melissa! I can't have the first word people see when they arrive at my website for the first time be "dildo" or "vibrator" or "cock."

Whew. You really helped me dodge a bullet there. Why didn't I think of that? It's settled. Welcome page will not be marred by Naked Page talk.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Gawd now I'm repeating myself. I just noticed two posts up I said the same thing I said on my last post before that. Ignore me. I took Nyquil last night. My brain is all sluggish today.

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Oh no! Not the Nyquil.

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Theresa, you and Nyquil and uncontrollable giggling fits will forever be linked in my mind.

 
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