Monday, November 26, 2012

Jessa Slade Workshop Week: Recap

Many Thanks to all who participated in our Jessa Slade Workshop Week. And thanks to all who dropped in just to observe. We learned a ton and we hope you did too.

Bonus: Jessa Slade is still talking to us!

Now for some basic recap points to apply to your web presence and website:

  • First Glance applies to every page on your website. Treat every page as being a first glance experience for a total stranger.  Don't assume they know you're an author or that you have published books. 
  • Do not limit your online content to only what is available on a book page or cover flap. When you spend a lot of time on your world building, add those descriptions to your website, so readers know what they will see in the pages of the book.

Therese says: I've always wanted to see sketches of Jessa's monsters with a detail of their skills and how they can be killed. World building is hard work - recycle and reuse that work/content so readers can enjoy your vision. Even if you use descriptions directly from the text in the book.

  • If you write in multiple genres - look for overarching themes for your colors, graphics, and tone. For example: Jessa's stories are all Urban and Gothic but not all have paranormal elements. There are weapons and romance in every book.

Morgan says: I would like to see more of an urban flavor in her banner like a spooky nightime city scape.

  • The purple color was a big hit.
  • Several people commented that they wanted one banner on all pages.
  • Unfortunately it was difficult to find where to buy her books. Jessa Slade has now been reminded that one of the goals of her website and marketing is to SELL BOOKS. But this is a really easy fix.  Update all links to directly connect to your book point of purchase - at every outlet.
  • Everyone liked the log line: "Love Conquers All - Which Explains the Scars."  We'd like to see more of that irreverent tone on her website.
  • Quick Fix: Since she uses the free services on Wordpress, maybe she could pick a new template that includes a side bar for static point-of-purchase and social media links.  At the top of that side bar, she could also include her Publisher's Weekly and RT Book Reviews blurbs. A side bar would be a quick fix for almost every issue identified that blocks a sale.

Therese says: Quotes, blurbs, and reviews are HUGE, with regards to first glance endorsements.  YOU WRITE GOOD BOOKS!  You should be your biggest fan!

Morgan says: BUT - don't over do it....list one or two of the most recent quotes, blurbs, and reviews.   No body cares that you wrote a great book in 1972.  (Include that book on your re-issue list, though.)

Final thoughts for today:

Jessa has GREAT books and a VERY competent website.  Our goal was to enhance her webpages and help her feel more confident that it's working for her.  We'll keep you posted on  Jessa's future marketing endeavors.  Remember: Marketing is a marathon NOT a sprint (or an insurmountable hurdle.)

So....what did YOU think about our online workshop experiment?  Leave a comment and let us know.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Morgan and Therese, for the thorough review! I'm beating myself up a bit about not having the buy links more prominent. How many sales have I lost? Doh!

    As for the color purple, it was my favorite color as a kid, but for a few years, EVERYthing I got for Christmas, birthdays, etc. was colored purple! So I refused to do purple anymore. Anyway, I got over it :) I'm glad that part worked so well. Now to incorporate the other changes. Can't wait to muck about in Wordpress again :)