Thursday, June 17, 2010

What a tangled Web we weave...

This is a good-news, bad-news post today.

The good news is that my next book for Harlequin American Romance, Family Matters, arrives in October, just a few short months away.

And though I’m eagerly anticipating that happy occasion, the bad news is, I’m planning to update my Web site to coincide with announcing the book’s arrival.

It should be fun, right? Helping a designer pick out photos and fonts. Setting up a background that suits both my style and that of my books. Giving readers a good look at my “home” on the Web and hoping it’s a place they’ll like to come back to visit often.

Well, trying to decide on all these elements of my virtual home is becoming about as complicated as choosing a real house!

After looking at approximately eighteen gazillion Web sites out there--one more beautiful than the next--I’m afraid my mind’s on overload.

So I’m asking for your opinions and advice.

What do you like to see on a Web site? What don’t you like to see? What are the elements that stick with you after you’ve surfed through those Internet homes? And what brings you back to some of them again and again?

Looking forward to your input on this!

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille


Edie Ramer said...

Barbara, I'm building a new website right now, too. Romance University has great advice on today's blog by Jeannie Ruesch of will Design for Chocolate. I plan to use a lot of what she's saying. But the two most important things, IMO, are that the design is eye catching and shows what you write and it's easy to navigate.

Good luck!

Barbara White Daille said...


Perfect timing! I will definitely pop over there.

Great advice, too. Thanks so much.


Amy Atwell said...

Good luck on revamping your website, Barbara. I agree, it will be a daunting process. There are *millions* of websites out there.

What do I like best? Simplicity. Please don't have a soundtrack, a bunch of dancing graphics, or some sort of flashing font that takes forever for my browser to load. Easy to read dark text on a light background (white on a dark background is harder on my eyes, I swear!).

I like to learn about authors, about how they develop their stories (the creative process, not the actual writing craft--at least as a reader that's what I want). I enjoy seeing what authors have on their own reading list. Where I can find your backlist.

Toss my opinions on the pile. I'm sure you'll get lots of feedback on this. And woo hoo for the next book!

Laura Morrigan said...

Peeve: when I have to click something to enter.
I like pictures of people. And a list of their books and a super easy way to purchase.
so there you go!

Donnell said...

Barbara, first. I have to tell you I can't wait for October. Now that all the pleasantries are out of the way... I'm with Amy. I like simplicity.

I also like to know about the author, articles, links, research material. If pictures are included I'm a sucker to go learn more about him or her. I don't want just to learn about the author's book. I can do that in the book story by reading the back cover blurb.

When I visit an author's website, that's exactly what it is...a visit. A chance to learn more about them, what drove them to write the story, and in that way when I read her book, I have a real connection. I also think it grounds me more into the book?

Does this make sense or does this make me a stalker? :)

Barbara White Daille said...

Amy - I am right there with you about not having all those bells and whistles. I spend enough of my day staring at the computer screen. The less to tire my eyes, the better.

Thanks for all the great feedback--and the woo hoo for the book. I'm pretty darned excited about it, too. ;-)


Barbara White Daille said...

Laura - great points!

I don't like the extra clicking, either.

I DO like the book lists, also. Makes it so easy to have everything at your fingertips.

Thanks for chiming in.


Barbara White Daille said...


First of all, you can take all the time you want with pleasantries like that one. ;-) I hope you enjoy FAMILY MATTERS.

And, no, I don't think you're a stalker. LOL

It's great to find out about authors by surfing their Web sites.

Thanks for all the helpful input. I'm making a list!


Carol said...

Congratulations on Family Matters, I can't wait to read! October will be here before we know it.

On your website, I think everyone has about said it all. I also like eye-ease pages, easy navigation, no moving graphics and simplicity. The only thing I didn't see was cover art, when available, for upcoming releases. Also on tha book list page, a sneak-a-peak at an excerpt is a wonderful treat. Good luck on your choice.

Barbara White Daille said...

Carol - good additions!

Cover art really draws a reader to the page, I think.

And I love excerpts, too. They whet your appetite for the full book. IMHO.

Thanks for the kind comment about FAMILY MATTERS. Hope you enjoy. ;-)


June said...

Barbara, congratulations on Family Matters!
Your blog couldn't have come at a better time. I jumped into getting a website with both feet instead of weighing pros and cons. Now, I need to revamp and am searching for answers just like you. The comments so far have been extremely helpful! Wish I could've offered some excellent advice, but maybe it will help knowing someone else is in that boat with you helping you row.

ArkansasCyndi said...

I look forward to Family Matters. Is this the one I read the first couple of chapters?

websites - you've gotten some excellent advice. I can add nothing. :)

Barbara White Daille said...

June - I'm glad the timing's good for you, too. Lots of great feedback here.

Thanks for the congrats on the book!


Barbara White Daille said...

Cyndi - yes, this is the one.

I hope you like the rest of the book, too. ;-)


Lois said...

My biggest pain is any type of site with music or video that starts on its own without my permission. Don't think you'd have the video, but please, no music! LOL :) Oh, yeah, and easy to read/on the eyes. :)

But when it comes to author sites specifically, sure, I look at all pages, but what keeps me coming back every month is the book page. So just something that helps show me what's coming, what's out, what I can try to get that was out, maybe how a couple of books are connected to each other if any. . . stuff like that. It's that book page (or pages is stuff is separated) that is the most important! :)


Karin* said...

Good luck with the new site, Barbara! I love atmospheric sites. I do not like frames or music or cluttered sites. I like them clean and purdy.

Barbara White Daille said...


Agreed on the music and videos.

I appreciate the comments about the book page(s), too.

When FAMILY MATTERS comes out in October, I'll then have three books to show on my site, plus an upcoming book for 2011. I'm excited about that! LOL

Will post a message here at the blog when my new site is live so people can take a peek.

Thanks for posting!


Barbara White Daille said...

Karin -

I'm not sure I'd do atmospheric.

But it's funny you should mention "not cluttered" and "clean." Those are the words that have been running through my head for a while.

Hopefully, they'll be reflected in my Web site.

Thanks for the input and the good wishes!


Megan Kelly said...

Hey, Barbara, good luck with the website. You remind me I need to add stuff to mine. The one thing I said to my designers was I wanted it "clean." As one of the last dialup users, I know how those bells and whistles take up time.
Eager for the peek at your site. Let us know when it's ready.

Lynn said...

LOL on Donnell and the stalker question. Some times I feel that way too, especially when I talk about making a special trip to Maine, just in case I could see the God of Horror, Mr. King.

But yeah, I like the little stories. And lists of books. I read so much that sometimes I lose an author. So it's nice to see a cover and say, Hey - I loved that book before I jump into the next one.

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Megan,

Yes, as I said to Karin, "clean" is a good thing. ;-)

Thanks for requesting a peek at the new site. It may take a while, but once I've got it up and running, I'll definitely share the news here.

Thanks for popping in!


Barbara White Daille said...

Lynn - very good point about the covers helping readers to remember authors.

What is it they say about memory, we have to see or hear something twenty times before it sticks?

As for getting to see Mr. King... Road trip! LOL And I'm sure you'd have a lot of company going with you.

Thanks for commenting.