This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published

David Henry Sterry, of The Book Doctors, is currently touring the country promoting their latest book, “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published.” Here’s the first in a series of observations they made after researching many authors and their websites.

Figure out what you want your site to be before you start laying out cash. The more precedents you assemble, and the more concrete examples of details you like, the cheaper and easier it will be for you to design a successful site. And the more chance it will have of showing you off in your Sunday best all over the e-universe.

As you surf around, it’s easy to be charmed or even blown away by the bells and whistles you see along the way. But don’t be fooled. Sites don’t have to be fancy to do their jobs. In fact, very often the fancy ones are confusing and overdone, unless they’re constructed by a top-notch designer. Sometimes people let the visuals take over the site architecture, making it hard to navigate and get around. And as Lori Culwell, author of Million Dollar Website, says, “What makes a good website is the million-dollar question and it has a relatively simple answer. It all boils down to a concept called the ‘user experience,’ which is basically Internet jargon for ‘How easy is the website to use?’”

The good thing about a simple site is you can pay a professional as little as $250 for one. Of course you can spend $1 million on a site as well. But no matter how much you spend or don’t spend, heed this advice from Fauzia Burke: “The most important aspect of an author website is the quality of its design and content. Authors need to understand that a website is their resumé to their readers. An immature site reflects poorly on the author’s style and the quality of his or her work.”

Series NavigationSqueaky Clean