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Sunday, July 3, 2016

What Are You Looking For?

What are you looking for when you visit an author's website? Do you even remember the last time you visited an author's website, versus looking up their book on amazon or in a store?

This past year, I returned to college. Being a Type-A personality, I have a double major: Cyber Security (IT) and eCommerce (Marketing). Turns out, they go hand-in-hand. And during my last course, the focus was on the changing face of websites.

Amazon really defined how websites interact with their customers. By recording every keystroke you make, their software records which items you look for, how long you remained on each page, and whether you purchased. When you logon to amazon later, you'll see recommendations of other products based on those you've already looked at. Or you might receive emails with recommendations in all the various categories. I, for example, love amazon. I buy books, cosmetics, clothing, household items, vitamins, and even food from them. And I love the way their software customizes my experience so I see screens that are unique to me.

But some people find this intrusive - or even creepy. Do you?

Do you want an author's website to respond uniquely to your visit with the ability to logon for recommendations, or would you prefer to flip through the web pages in stealth mode?

Are you looking for videos, book excerpts, the author's blog, ways to connect with the author through social media, ways or places to purchase the books, or are you interested in the author personally - where they're from, how they got into writing, how their personal lives impact their themes (if at all)? Are you interested in behind-the-scenes information?

As a result of my college courses, I redesigned my author website. To be honest, it had been needing a redesign for quite some time - it was first designed in 2000 and was patterned after some of the biggest suspense authors at the time, with a black background and white letters. But times have changed, and my new website reflects more of who I am as an individual, with shades of blue (my favorite color because I love skies and water).

There are more videos on the home page, links to books depending on your interests, integrated blogs, and a new menu with subsets to social media and special links. If you haven't seen it in awhile, check it out (www.pmterrell.com) and let me know what you think.

If you're an author, please leave a comment below with your website and why you designed it the way it is.

If you're a reader but you like a particular author's website, please leave the link below with why you like it. Or if you want to see something specific about your favorite authors, tell me what you'd like to see and what would make the experience more enjoyable for you.

p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in several genres. Visit www.pmterrell.com for more information.


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