Cool author websites
Wednesday evening Rebecca Skloot posted about Sloane Crosley’s website for her new book on the NBCC blog Critical Mass. This morning, the Ad Man wrote up Toby Barlow’s site for his new book on M. J. Rose’s blog Buzz, Balls & Hype. They couldn’t look more different (Barlow’s is heavy on flash, Crosley’s has a more basic vibe) yet both are equally cool and creative. Both also include information vital for author sites — author bio, events, reviews, buy links — and I’m sure will attract a lot of attention from readers.
One now-standard website feature both are missing, though, are permalinks — unique URLs for each page/section of a site. For example, if someone wanted to link to Barlow’s or Crosley’s events (or reviews or bio), they would only be able to link to the site as a whole, not to the events (or reviews or bios) sections on their respective sites. Not the end of the world, but in this day and age where people expect sites to load instantaneously and kids think email is inconvenient, it’s worthwhile trying to save readers a few seconds.
I was interested to see one that resource Crosley utilizes — which most of us are personally familiar with but I haven’t seen it used on author websites (or, at least, not on my author websites) — is Flickr. It doesn’t look as sophisticated as housing pictures on the author site itself, but it works — the first series of Crosley’s Flickr photos has more than 1200 views. (I don’t know exactly how much it costs to construct different types of websites, but I’m guessing that “outsourcing” pictures to an online photo archive like Flickr can save a dime, so Web savvy authors on a budget might consider this.)