Post new topic    
Liquid Metal King Slime
Send private message
Web site design feedback wanted 
 PostMon Oct 12, 2020 3:35 pm
Send private message Reply with quote
I am working on a new revision to the website for my book. I am adding a characters section

https://james.hamsterrepublic.com/writing/newindex.html

Would anybody be willing to give me some feedback on the design and the color scheme?

Would also appreciate testing that the menu accordion on the left actually works on other people's browsers too
Liquid Metal King Slime
Send private message
 
 PostMon Oct 12, 2020 6:30 pm
Send private message Reply with quote
My first impression is that it looks a little off.
I think you can lose the side panel.
You could use a top banner.

For an example a website I think you're sort of going for, Itch.io has some great examples set up.
here's the one for Noita: https://nollagames.itch.io/noita


Hope that all helps.
Liquid Metal Slime
Send private message
 
 PostMon Oct 12, 2020 7:26 pm
Send private message Reply with quote
I recorded a video of my impressions. I think this gives better feedback than just text.

That said, I recorded my impression several times (at variable audio qualities) and forgot to make a crucial point in this video that I had in my earlier attempts:

Boldface the names of your characters (or stylize them or brand them in some way). They'll stand out better.

Anyway, here's my feedback:



Hope this helps.
Place Obligatory Signature Here
Liquid Metal Slime
Send private message
 
 PostMon Oct 12, 2020 8:35 pm
Send private message Reply with quote
The webpage feels like it's lacking a title/heading. I would put the book title at the top, above "Catt Zago used to be a thief– " My first instinct was to try to scroll up; I thought I'd loaded into the middle of a page for some reason.

The book cover overlaps with the gray div for the Characters section. Small detail, but it makes it look a bit messy. I'd increase the font size of 'Characters' so it stands out as a heading more.

Overall I like the look of the page. Very clean.
Ps. I love my wife
Liquid Metal King Slime
Send private message
 
 PostTue Oct 13, 2020 12:48 am
Send private message Reply with quote
Thank you for all the suggestions. I'll try and make some of those improvements

I also have a small gallery of other pictures of characters that I want to post, but I am not sure if I should stick it in the page, or put it elsewhere and link to it.

The e-mail list is an idea. My wife is always doing that for her marketing projects. I think I really need to take the practice seriously.

20 years of working adjacent to spam filtering has given me a sour view of e-mail lists, but I realize I am harming myself by lumping all mailing together with spam.

Technically I know how to do it-- but I think the main thing I don't have clear is what I actually SEND to the mailing list

The universal book link is a good idea too. The buy buttons are already crowded, and will get worse if I add more. Also they wrap horribly on mobile.

The side-bar does auto-convert to a top menu on mobile or if the browser window gets too narrow.

Character descriptions also wrap badly around the images in mobile. I need to figure that out too.
Liquid Metal Slime
Send private message
 
 PostTue Oct 13, 2020 1:56 am
Send private message Reply with quote
Quote:
The e-mail list is an idea. My wife is always doing that for her marketing projects. I think I really need to take the practice seriously.

20 years of working adjacent to spam filtering has given me a sour view of e-mail lists, but I realize I am harming myself by lumping all mailing together with spam.

Technically I know how to do it-- but I think the main thing I don't have clear is what I actually SEND to the mailing list


I haven't sprung on this yet, either, largely because I don't have much flexibility when it comes to incurring new costs. But it's a Catch-22 because it's part of the marketing process, and it's supposed to cost something if I expect it to work. So I will be taking my own plunge into the wonderful world of mailing lists soon-ish.

That said, there are common suggestions about what to mail and when, many of which are contradictory in nature. One camp will tell you to email once a week about your life. Another will tell you to do it once a month. Most will tell you to remain consistent with the agreement you make with the reader (where the introductory email would alert the reader to the expected frequency of contact). Personally, I think of it in terms of "What would I want to receive if I were on this list?" I wouldn't send anything out that I wouldn't want to read myself, for example.

Most experts in the indie space suggest offering a "reader magnet," which is an incentive for getting people to sign up. They sign up for your email, and you send them an exclusive bonus that they can't get anywhere else that you're sure they'll want (ideally something digital and related to your book(s)). After that, it's about engaging the readers. Posting updates about the next book once every month or two is probably the easiest and most relevant way to handle it. Using a reputable list provider can minimize spam. There are things to consider like GDPR, unsubscribes, and so on, but the idea is that the mailing list is your surest and most central source of communication that belongs to you, whereas Facebook, Twitter, etc. belong to Facebook, Twitter, etc., and their terms for outreach can change at anytime. The mailing list remains yours, and the people who stay subscribed can get your information as you send it.

I'll be setting mine up soon, I think. Once I'm confident I've got products people want.

A good way to find out what works and what doesn't is to sign up for a few newsletters from authors you like and see how they handle it. I can tell you that, as a reader, I'm not a fan of the letters that tell me about the author's dog and nothing else. I didn't subscribe to hear about the dog. I subscribed because I want to know when the next book in the series is coming out. (I make exceptions for authors who make me laugh. The funny ones can write about their dogs, and I'll still read about it. Same for those who can get me to think or teach me something that I didn't know before.) There are mixed recommendations here. Some people insist on "building a relationship" with your readers by talking about your dog, while pitching the next book once every five or ten emails. I'm of the opinion that you should find the happy medium--keep it about the book, but don't try to sell it until you're reaching a production milestone. Instead, talk about who the characters are, how far into the writing process you are, an idea you have that you're not sure if you should pursue, why you think Bob the Hamster is ruining your life, etc.

Basically, learn from the people who make it work, and do so in the genre you write in. The guy I subscribe to who writes like Nick Hornby can get away with writing about his bad dates because his books are reflective of that. I wouldn't want my favorite thriller writer, for example, to do the same, unless that bad date has a nefarious ending involving a CSI unit. It's all about giving readers what they want, even when you're not giving them a book.

And look into Story Origin if you want to try the marketing thing. It's currently in Beta, so it's completely free to use (for now).
Place Obligatory Signature Here
Liquid Metal King Slime
Send private message
 
 PostSun Oct 18, 2020 9:13 pm
Send private message Reply with quote
I implemented many of the suggestions here https://james.hamsterrepublic.com/writing/

The only big one I haven't done yet is to add the mailing list sign up. I'm still working on that.

Thank you all very much :)
Display posts from previous: