Why An Author Needs a GOOD website

I recently finished two books by the same author, in different genres, and they were both fantastic. ohmygosh!!! I felt the fangirlishness descend upon me. How could I find out more? Will she let me on her newsletter so I’ll know when I need to rush out to buy her books? Seriously. I am not kidding. I sat down at my iMac to summon the power of Google to me. Google did its work.

Answer to both those questions: Good Luck and Not Hardly.

I guess I should have known there was trouble when her website didn’t come up anywhere near the top ten Google results of a search on her name. In fact, I got to her website by copying and pasting a link from another search result. Authors, when you Google your name, if your website isn’t the Number One result you have a problem. If your website isn’t even on the first page of results, your website sucks.

I was determined, so I did make it to her website. This author has a marginally attractive site; I’ve seen worse, believe me. But her website had exactly three pages. The Home Page. A page about her books (incomplete and completely different in look and feel from the home page) and a News page which was sort of a blog, maybe. That’s it. No newsletter. There were no links to buy her books. The "links" on the home page which were her book covers went to larger images of the covers. Oh My Good god Of Author Website Badness!!! I was ready to buy all her books. All of them.

But I’m crying with frustration that she doesn’t have a newsletter. I wanted to be on her newsletter list! Whah!!!

So tell me, if your author website sucked that bad, would you be offended by a polite letter explaining why you should have a better one? Because I’m seriously thinking of emailing her about it.

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4 Responses to “Why An Author Needs a GOOD website”

  1. Myretta says:

    I think I’d like to be told, in the nicest possible way, why my web site should reflect the high quality of my writing. 🙂 On the other hand, no one has ever told me that, so I’m not truly sure how I’d respond. There. Wasn’t that helpful? I do think if you’re going to write that letter, you ought to be prepared to offer some options about where she could go to get what her site needs. She probably has no idea.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Thanks, Myretta. Yes, I think I’ll do that. Thanks!

    Carolyn

  3. Sue Brage says:

    Hey Carolyn! This is too funny because I am doing research for an upcoming workshop for writers called What Does Your Website Say About You. While searching “author websites that suck” I found this post. Not only do I plan on using this example, I am highlighting your site (if you don’t mind!)

    You have everything that’s important for an author…in my opinion…and you have done it very well.

    Thanks! Sue

  4. Thanks, Sue! And good luck with the workshop. The Dear Author site recently did a post about author websites. You’ll want to check that out, too, if you haven’t come across it already.