Hive Mind and a Giveaway

Jessie: In New Hampshire where the apples are ripe and the nights are chilly.

Recently I posed a question on social media asking what readers look for in author websites. Or if they looked at author websites at all. The response was surprisingly generous and specific. Commenters mentioned looking for lists of book series in order. They want to know about research. They are interested in upcoming releases. They mentioned behind the scenes looks at the writing process and the writing life. They said, in normal times, that they check aiuthor websites for events and appearances.

It was fascintating and a little intimidating. You see, I asked the question because I am in the process of working with a web designer to overhaul my own website and I wanted to know what it was that would be of benefit to those people who go looking for what I put out into the world wide web.

Armed with reader suggestions and a questionnaire from the web designer I began thinking about all the things to include as well as what to leave out. I am not at all sure I am anywhere near done. Between the content for each page, the links, reviews, book covers and art choices for the overall look there is a lot to consider. It is fun to plan but it is also a decently sized undertaking and I want to be sure to have it satisfy and last for some time to come. Because as much as I try to enjoy anything I set out to do, I really am eager to get back to my latest novel-in-progress!

So readers, do you visit author websites? If so, what are you hoping to encounter if you do? I have one ARC for the next Beryl and Edwina mystery, Murder Comes to Call, for a randomly chosen commenter.

54 Thoughts

  1. I like to go to an author’s page to get a peek into their real life, so I can see why they write the way they do. What influences their style of writing.
    I also go for particulars on specific books or series.

  2. I go there mostly to check out their new books. I’m also interested in the area they live in, seeing pictures. Like you live in NH, I lived there for over 20 years and my son and his family still call NH home. I try to get back there twice a year but due to covid was unable to go this year. I miss the color and drives by the lakes and mountains.

  3. Jessie,

    I do visit author websites on occasion. I’m looking for pretty much what you discovered when you posted about it on social media.

    So, lists of books in order (and by series if the author writes more than one), interviews, the appearances if that ever becomes possible again. Nothing fancy is necessary, just the facts basically.

  4. Yes I do enjoy visiting author’s pages. When an author includes a part of them in their page, pictures, recipes, their choice of books to read, it is like stepping into their homes and sitting down for a cup of coffee.

  5. I go to author websites for the list of the author’s books in case I have missed any, or if there is a new one coming out soon. I also like knowing, in normal times, if there is any chance that an author I like is going to be appearing in our area.

    1. The events page is something that is radically altered since the last time I set up a new website! I am including it but it will be a while before there are any live events to include, I’m afraid! Hopefully, in 2021!

  6. When I go to an author’s website, not only do I want to know about the new books that have either just came out or about to be released, but I also want to be able to find out about other books they have written in the past. Guess I’m a bit of a trivia nut because I love to know how or if they researched for their books or what led the book to be developed the way it was. Maybe a past experience or a little piece of knowledge they learned that led to a book idea the just took off from there. Also know that I can identify with an author when they seem more personal to me. What do they like? Do we enjoy similar activities? Where do they live (because I often travel through others eyes)? I think an author needs to remember that a visitor to their website might be a long time follower or a newbie that a new cover or a review caught their eye. So some how or other it needs to appeal to both ends of the scale and everything in between which I imagine is very hard to do.

    Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win a copy of “Murder Comes to Call”. I love the Beryl and Edwina stories and have this one on my TBR list. Shared and hoping to be the fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thanks for being so generous with your insights, Kay! I will keep them in mind as I create content for the website! Your point about new and longtime readers is one that is tricky! Hopefully,​ I will strike the right balance!

  7. I am usually looking for a list of books by the author, preferably in order of release, and info an any future release. I also look at the author’s bio.

  8. I strongly agree with wanting the books and series listed in order. It’s nice to be able to find all of these conveniently listed in one place. I also like when there are several fun facts listed about the author. It gives one a nice glance into the author’s personality. Thank you for the chance to win and good luck on the project!

  9. I’m typically looking for book information, but sometimes I will visit a website to check out upcoming events or to sign up for a newsletter. Good luck on your redesign! It sounds like quite a project.

  10. I look for a book list on author websites. I like for them to be in order, and to include ebooks/ novellas too. I like when there is a description of the book, what formats it is out in as well as release dates. Trivia facts about the characters is always fun, as is a map of their neighborhood or town. I also enjoy reading about the author and their hobbies and lives.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing the information you’ve gathered here! I’m planning to update mine and it seems intimidating. These hints help a lot.

  12. Most important to me is if it is a print or e-book! I only read print and am amazed how hard it is sometimes to find out the format without clicking on Amazon or Goodreads! I wish all author posts concerning a book would tell us. I also look for book lists. If you’re just chatting I don’t need a daily – or many daily updates! Have a club/group page for that. I enter many giveaways and have found new favorite authors that way and whose books I buy! An infrequent newsletter with latest news and link to your site is something I really enjoy.
    I think some authors tend to forget that we do have other things to do while on the computer…..

    Sorry, I tend to ramble. 🙂

  13. Appearances and book news are the two biggest reasons I visit an author website.

    The new book is great! Finished it Saturday morning and need to write my review in the next couple of days.

  14. I have a pet peeve about author websites that are out of date. I want to see the latest books and those that are coming and upcoming appearances. I hate to find 2017 tour schedules on author websites.

  15. I do visit author websites frequently. With FB it’s easy to follow what an author posts but I go for book lists, other series, hints to if the author writes under another name and sometimes there is just some funny, interesting or informative material or pictures there.

    1. Those seem to be the most popular reasons with the people who have responded to my question here and on social media. Your reasons are ones I go to author sites for myself!

  16. I just recently started going to authors websites. I mostly started out wanting series information. Book order, series name, that kind of thing. Then I started to discover all the other wonderful “stuff” available. I find I really enjoy blog type posts. Info about the writing process, research, cover art and how it all works. I, like many, alway thought it would be great to be an author. Wow, what an eye opener. I think I’ll stick to being a reader! Thank you for writing so I can be a reader.

  17. Yes, i do visit authors websites and I love to see when their new book is going to come out and I love it when they put their series books in order. Love it when they share a little bit about themselves like what inspired them to become authors .

  18. The number one reason I go to an author’s website is to see the series order of their books (if they have a series) or what else they have written (if they do not have a series). Number 2 is to see their social media handles (esp twitter–I follow lots of writers on twitter) Number 3 to see any events they are doing or upcoming releases.

  19. I do go to author websites. I look for any new releases and when they are being released. I also look for other books and series and books written under other names.

  20. Some authors have their own stores and contests. I like to know about new releases as well as other books that the author has written. I like to know the background of the author.

  21. I love reading about the process of writing and just day to day life. I also look for book information and future plan.

  22. I visit author websites to get a list of books in order, to find out about works in progress, to check out recipes if the author provides them (it’s not a deal-breaker if they don’t). I also like info about the writing process and, in normal times, appearance and other book events. My pet peeve is an out-of-date website…it makes me think the author doesn’t care…

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