Monday, August 25, 2008

Traditional or Enhanced?

Author websites have evolved. From the basic just the facts ma'am five page parking spot to a completely interactive experience that brings the author's work alive, who's to say what's most effective at snagging a potential reader's attention? Guessing here, but the closer the author gets to the saturated multi-media world, the more likely return visits translate into growing legions of fans.

Here are some I've stumbled across. Add your own and we'll take the tour together...

Random House's website for author Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and seven other novels, delivers the web browser a taste of his work. From what I can piece together, the site is most closely related to his book Rant, although it contains more information on the author than the book. Contrast that to Chuck Palahniuk's author site, which seems as over the top as the porn queen premise for his latest book, Snuff.

Lisa Jackson's Left to Die characters get their own webpage complete with a Darth Vader-ish metallic wheeze for ambiance. Is that Chris O'Donnell alongside an orange reptilian alien? Also available, a map of Grizzly Falls, Montana, the fictitious site of the novel.

Powerhouse Nora Roberts sticks to a more traditional web presence, the only bling a small inset commercial by Penguin Putnam touting her latest release, Tribute.

Cherry Adair, romantic thriller author, brings her T-Flac world to life. Ladies, check out her operatives.

I can't list websites without plugging Rae Monet's work, a designer who created the cover art for Love, Texas Style, and whose author sites are breathtaking. While different from her typical art, her design for Colleen Collin's romance/mystery/PI blend seems perfect.

What kind of author site is most appealing to you?

Next up: I've been tagged...six unspectacular quirks about me. Seriously? Only six?


Sandra Ferguson said...

Cherry Adair's site is the best I've seen. Are the reasons to return? Seems so in all the book excerpts and trivia tidbits loaded inside. It'd take weeks to go bored off the excitment. I really like her count-down clock; that's simply fascinating.

Todd Wheeler said...

My opinion is keep it simple. Palahniuk's web sites made me not want to read his books ever.

I'd immediately close any website that starts a video or music without me clicking on anything.

Perhaps some of this works for fans though.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I like an author's page that catches the feel of their work. I don't like too much self promotion though.

Melanie Atkins said...

I love Rae Monet's work, and of course you know that. She did my site. She does a great job and is so professional. She also does updates in a timely fashion. I highly recommend her.

Charles Gramlich said...

I know I'm in the minority but the less bling the better. I want to know about the author and the books, and flash will send me skipping to the next link as fast as I can. I particularly don't like automatic music on websites. It's almost always lame.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Seems like the consensus is to put control in the reader (or browser's) hands. If they want a more interactive experience, make it an offshoot of a basic professional page.

Great discussion. Thanks to everyone for the input :)