I'm working on an author website. This is a daunting task. Mostly because I feel like I belong in this conversation:
Besides being a Luddite, I am discovering that there are so many options out there.
Authors seem to do all sorts of things with their websites. Some post long personal bios, whereas others keep a standoffish updates-about-the-book-and-that's-it-approach. There are sites focused solely on the book's content and those that highlight the author herself. A lot of Middle Grade websites have games or quizzes or trivia. All that to say: I'm a wee bit overwhelmed.
As a reader, I've checked out an author site or two, but mostly only for information: When is the next book coming out, that sort of thing. I suppose there was also that time that I got sucked into Meg Cabot's blog archive. And it could be that a few minutes checking out Erin Hunter's site turned into ... a little more than that. Okay, okay, I'm a member of Shadowclan, and my Warrior Name is Scarclaw. (How cool is that? How much more could I accomplish if I prefaced everything by: Scarclaw says you must..." While I'm confessing, I should say that I'm still mad I haven't figured out how to unlock that stupid door at J.K. Rowling's site.
If I'm honest, those games and quizzes and quirky blog posts are what drew me to the author's site. From a writer's point of view, I've found it interesting to read about another author's journey to publication. But, as a reader, the authors that hooked me were doing more than just saying something about themselves. They were offering me something as well, and now I'm trying to figure out how to apply that to my own fledgling website.
Here's where I need your help!
Readers: Why do you go visit an author's website? What things keep you there? What are some of your favorites?
Writers: How did you decide on the essentials of your site? Any other thoughts?
C'mon, don't be shy. Scarclaw commands that you share your wisdom. Or else.