Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Websites, pet hates and a chance to win my newest book

Hooray … after a number of weeks stuck with my wheels spinning uselessly, I am finally back on track and slowly (slowly being the operative word) gathering momentum again.

Who knows what made the difference?  It could have been setting myself such tiny, achievable targets that I could hardly fail to make them every day, or it might have been the good ticking off I had from my best friend, who told me in no uncertain terms that I had to ‘get on with it’.  Or maybe I was just bored and ready to start thinking again.  Whatever the reason, I’m now back to juggling various projects and feeling much more myself.

One of the projects I’m ready to get to grips with is a new website for my “time slips”. Time’s Echo is to be published next October, and as that will be published under my real name, I’ll need a completely new identity.  I’ve been looking around at website designers and am trying to draw up a detailed specification of exactly what I want. 

Do you have any pet hates when it comes to websites?  What will make you stay and look around a site, rather than click away?  If you’ve got any thoughts on what makes for an appealing website, do let me know, and as a thank you, I’ll put anyone who’s commented below into a draw for a copy of my next book, We’ll Always Have Paris.

Still on the internet, I’ve been trying to set up an author page on Facebook.  Can’t for the life of me work out how to set up a ‘Like’ box, so have given up on that, but if you’re on Facebook and would care to pop over and ‘like’ me anyway, that would be fab.  You can find me here until I can find someone to sort out an icon for me!

Oh, and don't forget there's a chance to win a book and get some great recipe ideas every day at the moment at Harlequin Romance Authors' website.


  1. I love decadent colours and I seem to hang around websites more if they have pretty colours - that's very shallow of me, I guess, but hey! I can embrace my shallowness ;)

    I love knowing bits of information about the author personally. And, of course, the ups and downs of a book.

    Maybe even tips on writing or what the author is reading?

    Good luck with the new website and new books :)

  2. Such good news about the timeslip; I can't wait to read it. I like a website which is fresh and new, which looks like the owner keeps updated with lots of links and newsy items, something that feels personal.

  3. I like to read about the author's inspiration, what they are working on. Perhaps tidbits from upcoming new novels, and of course gorgeous covers. Good Luck Jessica

  4. From a technical level, simple and clear navigation. I don't like having too much 'stuff' on any one page - I get a bit turned off if people have too many colours, font sizes, pictures, links to different sections, etc all on their home page. Make it easy for me to find what I'm looking for.

    From a reader point of view, I love to read tips on writing. I also love to be able to see a complete list of backlisted titles in order - sounds obvious, but not all author web sites make it easy for you to find what they've written before and when they wrote it.

    Good luck!

  5. Hi Jessica,

    All the best with what you decide. It's all try it and change it for a time. Or keep changing colors, content to keep generating interest. I always visit websites and look around a lot at content.

  6. This is all really helpful - thank you! Jo, I am with you on simple and clear. I don't like fussy websites where you don't know where to look first. It's interesting to hear that others of you like the personal stuff from authors, what they're working on etc. I tried to put that kind of thing on my existing Jessica Hart website, but wonder if anyone ever read it. I spent ages writing about the inspiration for various books, adding photos of locations etc, but as far as I know no on ever looked at it!

  7. No music! Especially not if it autoplays. That will have me clicking the back button instantly.

    There were some great discussions about author websites at Dear Author recently. Making your backlist visible and up to date is a high priority - which for you I guess would mean a clear link over to your Jessica Hart website.

  8. That was such a helpful link to the discussion at Dear Author, Ros - thank you so much for that. I read all the way through the 90 odd comments - clearly websites are things people have strong feelings about! And there will definitely not be any music - that message has come through loud and clear!

  9. Thanks for all these comments, all of which I've taken on board!

    Eeey meeny miny ...Kooks! If you'd like a copy of We'll Always Have Paris, Kooks, email your address to me at and I'll put a copy in the post before Christmas.

    Everyone else, there'll be another chance to win a copy next week when I'll be blogging about We'll Always Have Paris, so do come back then. Have a fabulous weekend!