Friday, June 22, 2012

Cyber Safari Comments

In this week's Workshop Wednesday, we sent you on a "Cyber Safari" and asked you to examine six different websites with the questions below in mind.

  • Charlaine Harris
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Kady Cross
  • Jane Porter
  • Elizabeth Boyle
  • Trish and Rob MacGregor

  • Questions:
    • What do these sites have in common?
    • What are some ways each author is connecting with their readers?
    • What types of things are included in each site's content?
    • How are they allowing the reader to further experience the world created in their books?
    So, what did you find?  Here's what we found:

    What do these sites have in common?
    Morgan says:  Did you notice that all of the sites had the author's latest works prominently placed on their home page.  Plus, their content is designed to attract and engage their target audience.  Each site is a reflection of the author's PERSONA with a focus on their books and (for some) world building.  Kady Cross also writes as Kate Locke.  Both of her sites have a Steampunk edge, but are targeted at different audiences.

    Therese says: Jane and Charlaine both have professional photos on their first page for that persona connection beside the latest book covers. Kady and Elizabeth focus on the world flavor of their books and finding an author portrait takes a little searching. J.K. and the MacGregors present interactive experiences of their current projects.

    What are some of the ways each author is connecting with their readers?
    Morgan says:  Each site included a means for the reader to contact the author either via email, Twitter, or Facebook.  Some included a way to register for online newsletters and other notices.

    Therese says: Active blogs that allow comments from the reader. Elizabeth and Jane average two or more posts per week, with personal topics that are of interest to their audience which is mainly adult women. Kady presents world themed images every month or more that can accept comments and her primary audience is YA (young adult). Charlaine and J.K. have strict requirements for an interactive audience. The MacGregors are daily bloggers of primarily metaphysical topics and alternative news which aligns with all their nonfiction books, as it's their primary platform in addition to award winning novels.

    What types of things are included in each site's content?
    Morgan says: Charlaine Harris often includes a free read on a chapter from her next Sookie Stackhouse book.  She also includes frequently asked questions (which is how I learned about RWA), a blog, and interviews.  Kady Cross has a song playlist for her book The Girl in the Clockwork Collar on her 'Extras' page.

    Therese says: All these authors have schedules, news, reviews, and excerpts available to read. All have a variety of links for the reader to buy a book in the format of choice.

    How are they allowng the reader to further experience the world created in their books?
    Morgan says:  Ok - J. K. Rowling takes this question to a whole new level with the introduction of her PotterMore site! Notice that she has put "recycle, reuse" to work for her.  Via PotterMore she is putting all of her world building to work. She has added previously unreleased background information on everything from wizarding world clothing to secondary (and tertiary) character background stories.  Remember, you can do the same thing....even without all the games and quizzes, your readers will still have fun with the additional world information.

    Therese says: J.K. and the MacGregors sites are more an interactive experience for avid fans which makes them unique. Jane, Elizabeth, Kady, and Charlaine all have clear and easy to navigate pages with lots of engaging colors and text to keep a reader exploring. Once you step into the pages, there's always something pulling you to another...

    In summary, you can include a wide variety of content on your website.  Consider how much time you want to spend on keeping your web content fresh and current, then GO FOR IT!

    Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to specific questions.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment