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Posts tagged ‘website’

What the heck’s on my website?

Chaos, usually. I tinker with the place until it becomes a mess and then I clean it up and start fresh again:

My home page tells people the kinds of books I write and has space, as needed, for the announcement of new books, book sales, and other promotions.

About: This is the obligatory about me schock that tells you who I am. It’s all fantastic lies, of course, but I try to make it sound humble.

Excerpts: Do I really need to tell you what’s on this page?

Books: This is a listing of my books and indicates how many editions (e-book, hardcover, paperback, audiobook) each one has. The links are generally to the books’ Amazon pages, yet I’m happy when people get them from Indie Bound or from their neighborhood bookstores.

Spotlight: Currently, this page talks about my latest release, Special Investigative Reporter.

Etc.: This page presents weird stuff I’ve done or subjects related to one of my books. Right now, there’s an article there about belladonna, something one’s favorite conjure woman doesn’t need on her shelf since it’s rather dangerous. It’s hard to believe women used to enhance their beauty with this member of the nightshade family.

I used to have my website on Homestead which has one of the best editors I’ve found for absolutely controlling the page. I switched over to GoDaddy which isn’t as costly but is missing some of the functionality I got used to having on Homestead.

GoDaddy has e-mail as an added feature, but since I’m not really in the market for doing speeches, appearing on panels, or teaching in MFA programs, I’m not using the feature. However, if you really need to contact me, you can send me an e-mail at grinnellglacier@yahoo.com. People who know me well, know that I’m hard of hearing, so that’s why I don’t do events.

The rumor that my conjure research allows me to put a hex on everyone who stops by the website without buying a book probably isn’t true. I’m really not sure.

Malcolm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tinkering with the blog and the website

One never knows for sure what works.

So, this weekend, I got rid of two of the pages on this blog and updated the “About Me” page. One new page will rotate through a series of excerpts from my novels. The other will have related pictures of all kinds. Right now, it’s showing examples of the page proofs for the dust jackets when we came out with the hardcover editions.

When I first came out with Conjure Woman’s Cat, my website included a page about conjure. I decided that after adding two more conjure novels to the series, I really didn’t need a “conjure page” per se. Initially, I thought such a page would attract people interested in conjure who would then discover the novels. I don’t think that happened.

That page is now a page for excerpts. There are three there now. I hope to remain organized enough to change them from time to time so that there’s always something new on the website.

My publisher tells me that Thomas-Jacob Publishing’s hardcover books are selling. That’s certainly good news. My colleagues at T-J and I thank you.

My website is always in a state of flux. Frankly, that’s because I never know what information there attracts readers and what doesn’t. I also debate (with myself) how long something should stay there. I want more people to see items, but I don’t want them to come out to the site a few weeks later and find the same stuff. I’m winging it on this but usually, try to include something new every week.

My blog posts and tweets have feeds on the website. I have no clue whether that’s bad or good. At the very least, those feeds represent “new material.”

Most days, I think that bookselling is more of a gamble than either an art or a science.

Malcolm

Is the blog on your website empty or out of date?

If the answer is “yes,” then why is “blog” a menu selection? I see out of date blogs a lot on writers’ sites, social service organization sites, and environmental group sites every week. Sure, they’re a lot of work even if they’re only updated once a month. Perhaps they were started when writers were less famous and had more time or when volunteer groups happened to have somebody on hand to write a blog who has since left the organization.

When I visit a social service or environmental group and see that the latest post is two or three years old, my first thought is, “Have you people done nothing since that post worth talking about?”

I realize that social service and environmental groups have to be more careful than other bloggers because they don’t have to luxury of posting rants or even reasonable debates because such things are construed as the voice of the organization rather than how the blogger happened to be feeling one day. So, most likely, blog posts have to be approved by upper management–or by the publicity department–and that can be time-consuming. However, I think an out-of-date blog creates about as much damage as any inadvertent post that headquarters may not like.

Much better to remove the “blog” menu selection than to leave it there and have people think you’re lazy and/or have nothing to say.

Writers get busy, especially those who are on the faculty of a college, on the board of one or more writers’ groups, or are charged with organizing writing workshops and conventions. The amusing thing is, many writers proclaim on their web sites that they write daily. That said, how long could it possibly take to add a hundred words to a blog? When a writer’s blog is empty, I feel cheated, especially if they haven’t come out with a new book in a while or been interviewed in a writer’s magazine. “What are you thinking about these days?” I want to ask. An out of date blog makes me think the answer to that question is “nothing.”

It may seem like a little thing, but that empty or abandoned blog on the writer’s or organization’s website is causing a lot more damage than most people realize.

–Malcolm