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17 January 2006

Mind Your Own

Once again, I am highly amused by the people that post on the self publishing forum. C.T. posted his website link and wanted everyone to take a look at it, see what needed to be improved and what-not. This same person had responded to one of my posts--probably something about marketing--and this person decided to comment on my website:

"You should remove the Flash intro and just stick with the main page. It takes a long time to load for dial up users and you're losing money," C.T. says. Oh, reallly. (*Stewie drawl inserted here...y'know from The Family Guy?) Maybe you should get with the 21st century and just get DSL, BUDDY. You think I'm losing money? Well, let's see what someone else had to say after checking out your website, shall we?

Typo on first page: "how to <weblink removed>boats are made with milk cartons,

"Your sentence:"It's not what things appear to be, it's what they can become. "What "it's"? "It's" (that is, your use of <-- that pronoun) unrelated to anything I can figure out without much thought and guessing.As you already have the second-level headline "You CAN do more..." consider staying in that direct address mode. Talk directly to your reader. Not: "people often take for granted..." but "You may take for granted...."

I'd suggest making your examples in the paragraph into a list -- it's easier on the eye and allows skimming -- which is what the reader is going to be doing anyway!

Make the book store names in your text into links to the bookstores. HELP your customer buy.

And your stuff is just kinda slapped onto the page any-old-where.... (which leaves that large white space on the right of the second book cover...) Some kind of organization?

Do the links to media news and the CBS video relate to each other? What's the "sneak preview"? Do I have to click on it to figure that out? (Is it flash, jpg, Active-X, WMV, or what? How long/how big to download?) What's the movie about? (That is, why would I want to see it?)

You have two sets of menu links -- one the "normal" (conventional -- which is good! -- don't reinvent the wheel, it just annoys people) left-hand side nav bar, but then the same links with pictures in the body. (Are they the same links? I'm assuming so.) Do the graphics serve any purpose? (Pictures of (oddly shaped) faces... blah blah blah... Doesn't tell me or sell me on anything, you know?) (Is the award picture a wristwatch?)

You have text links above the first cover:
Media news is a dead link.
Author events is a dead link.
FREE projects is a dead link.

Is the left-bar "Free projects" the same as the free article? How can I tell except by clicking the links and being disappointed if it's the same but with a different 'name' on the link?

When I click on the cover of the first book for "The Book and Reviews" -- I get a Word document? I don't download Word documents -- too much chance for a malign template/ infection. And, some people don't have/use Word. Even if I did -- I'm surfing in my browser, I don't particularly want to open my word processor to read about your book and reviews: always make it easy for your reader to see your stuff, don't make them work to see your stuff! (Same with the free article -- make it a PDF and I' might download it. You can make up to 5 free pdfs a day at Adobe's website.)

The second cover is not a link? And yet the Amazon link in the text IS a link? Why is the one cover a link but not the other? Where is the description of the second book? (I'm assuming there's a description of the first book in that Word doc.?)

Do the (body) links to improvisers, awards, and links all belong to just the first book? Are you likely to get those for the second book also?

Your sneaky improvisers has really interest stuff-- but it's disorganized -- it's just a long long long page of unrelated stuff. Can you organize it in some way? And put an index at the top of the page to all the stuff (with or without anchors and page links) -- catch my eye, lead me to WANT to wade down through page after page of stuff. I did because I'm looking at your site layout-- if were surfing for fun, I'd skip it.

I'd suggest putting the two book covers side-by-side (and near the top). THEY are the big news on the page, yes? (And your covers are eye-catching.) Then rearrange and put in some order all the rest of your links... (Put the free article link immediately above the two book covers -- whets people's appetites!) (Oh, and the holidays are gone? Is the free article gone?) I see that the background image is the top left graphic -- but does it add anything except a slight difficulty making out the text?

On your links page -- you have a zillion links -- but only the top four are working links? And your graphics are badly places, requiring a left-and-right scrolling -- to no real purpose! On your "Awards and Extras" page -- what awards? Don't see any. See cool bookmarks - how does one order them? Are you selling them? Make it easy for me to buy. (Or tell me I get one free with the book if I order from you -- can I order from you?) (Notice too -- how the "entry to that page shows you immediately the two book covers -- very eye-catching!)

The title on that page expands to be Awards, Events, and Free Projects -- so which is it? "Awards and Extras" or "Awards, Events, and Free Projects" -- don't see any awards in any case. Don't see any events. Do see extras -don't know how to get them! And I CAN draw the connection between Extras and Free Projects -- but why make me work? Anyway, that's a barm-storm through your site.

Hmm. Well. *awkward silence* Guess who's losing money now, C.T.? Run along now and go fix your crappy website.
posted by GeminiWisdom @ 3:38 PM |


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