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Author Topic: feedback, please  (Read 1532 times)
NextChapter
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« on: June 16, 2018, 08:21:37 AM »

I have created a free website to promote my writing. Please take a look and tell me what you think.
https://emmajaneallen.weebly.com

Thanks!
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mafiaking1936
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2018, 01:13:30 PM »

I'll do yours if you do mine.  Smiley

Not a bad start at all. It keeps the novel front and center and easy to find. Your works in progress show that you've got other stuff in the pipeline. Very uncluttered layout. I'd only change a few cosmetic things: I'd recommend sticking with one font, or one font family, since mixing serif and sans can create a slapdash look. The blue text (or blue-green? I've got sun in my eyes at the moment) seems out of place at the top, but for some reason I think it's fine in the small text. Personal preference but white backgrounds always look harsh to me, hard on the eyes in  low light. Maybe a light gray? Though I really like that blue header image on your child pages- is it possible to put that on the home page too?  "More middle grade novels in development . . ." is the only text that's not centered, and it really sticks out. Finally your page title just says "Home." Is there a way to make it something more specific?

All minor stuff and matters of opinion. Nice job!
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Munley
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Mr. Fluff -- from the SPCA


« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2018, 03:06:56 PM »

I think Mafiaking's observations and suggestions are good ones.

The quilt you posted in stunning!

My one content suggestion is to introduce yourself as yourself before describing yourself in terms of who you're connected with, even though those connections and family ties are meaningful and important in people's lives. That is, I suggest starting with "writer, quilter, marathon runner . . ."

What came to mind were the words of Tennessee Williams in his essay "On a Streetcar Named Success"  -- "the solitary and unseen you that existed from your first breath."

But, of course, that introduction is a personal choice, and it's up to you to present it as you see fit.

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NextChapter
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 03:21:14 PM »

I appreciate all these suggestions. I am using a free website space, so the tools are very limited. Large text is in the serif font and smaller text is sans serif. There appears to be no way around that.

I was able to adjust the line spacing on one block of text that was perversely cramped. I have made the text all black on the home page and am working on the others.

I miss my website software, but I really don't won't to pay for web space!

Mafiaking, send me your URL and I'll be happy to take a look.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 03:59:51 PM by NextChapter » Logged
mafiaking1936
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 03:48:32 PM »

Hmm. Maybe I was wrong, cause now I'd say it looks a little plain. The blocks of text could be another color, blue or even gray. If you want more options, I purchased my domain, curated Wordpress hosting and SSL certificate for about $25 total from namecheap.com (though the price doubles after the first year and they've got their hooks into you)

« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 06:06:05 PM by mafiaking1936 » Logged
jcwrites
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2018, 03:50:07 PM »

@NextChapter: "There appears to be no way around that"

Have you tried inserting your own html code in your text?... I do that on emails, which is not the same thing, but it might be worth a try. (And you can always take it out it if looks worse.)

Luck.
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NextChapter
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2018, 05:36:57 PM »

@NextChapter: "There appears to be no way around that"

Have you tried inserting your own html code in your text?... I do that on emails, which is not the same thing, but it might be worth a try. (And you can always take it out it if looks worse.)

Luck.

I looked at the html code for the page, and I'm no stranger to these things, but I could not find the code that specifically controls fonts. I'll look around some more tomorrow, and also try my own html. As you said, I can always delete. Thanks for the suggestion!

Update: I have spent several hours playing around with html code. Now the home page is all the same pretty font. I don't know why the other pages default to serif fonts, but that makes things easier. Thanks for all the input. No point in having a website if it isn't going to make me look good.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 10:16:28 AM by NextChapter » Logged
mgmystery
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 08:35:29 AM »

It works for me. Many author websites keep a very clean look to avoid too much clutter. I use Weebly too, and some of the fonts are changeable if you highlight the text then a toolbox comes up. The thing with title fonts not changing MIGHT be based on your chosen header. (I can't remember. Once I became satisfied with mine, I haven't attempted to touch it! I don't even try scary stuff like html. codes.  no)

It might be a fun touch to add a made up picture to your story pages. Pixabay has tons of royalty free images you can alter with photo apps  Smiley.
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mafiaking1936
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 06:07:28 PM »

Sorry to threadjack, but I'd love any criticisms of mine also!

https://ericlewis.ink/

I know I don't have a bio, but I'm really uninteresting.
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NextChapter
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 07:24:55 AM »

Sorry to threadjack, but I'd love any criticisms of mine also!

https://ericlewis.ink/

I know I don't have a bio, but I'm really uninteresting.

I really like the dark look of your website as a reflection of your writing style. Personally, I would break up the home page into three pages (even though you have links to the various sections at the top of the page). I'm not a fan of scrolling.

I like all the illustrations.

Instead of "More rejections than I care to count", I would say "Assorted rejections", but you might argue that your choice reflects the dark nature of your writing, which is cool.
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mgmystery
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 07:54:17 AM »

I really like the appearance too! I agree with NextChapter about separating your pages. Every page shows exactly the same thing when clicked on the tabs. I think it would be fine to leave up your WIP on your home page but on the other tabs only have short stories in the short story section & the same for your novel page.

I noticed you don't have a picture of yourself. I've been told it's best to include a photo so people can identify you as an actual person. If you've used a photo in your published stories, it's a great idea to use the same one.

Also, I don't know if you're aware of this magazine, but it might be a good outlet for some of your short fiction: http://thedarkmagazine.com/submission-guidelines/
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mafiaking1936
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 08:35:18 AM »

Thanks to both of you! Yeah, I was on the fence about whether to make multiple pages or just keep it all on one. I'm continually tinkering with the layout. No photo. Too ugly, too paranoid. I'm painfully aware of The Dark, including their rejection times measured in hours 8-) I actually just got a five month rejection from Grimdark magazine, so maybe I'll see if I can send it there. Maybe too long though. Thanks again!
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NextChapter
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2018, 11:02:17 AM »

mgmystery said: "I noticed you don't have a picture of yourself. I've been told it's best to include a photo so people can identify you as an actual person. If you've used a photo in your published stories, it's a great idea to use the same one."

You could post a silhouette, or even a picture of yourself from behind your shoulder, all hunched over your laptop. It doesn't have to look like the one on your driver's license.
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mafiaking1936
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 03:24:27 PM »

I'd thought briefly about putting on a bunch of costume armor getup to look like one of the baddies from my novel  Evil

Added separate pages for each category (even though they overlap) but still kept the same on the home page. Course that means if I change one I have to change them all...
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 05:48:06 PM by mafiaking1936 » Logged
mgmystery
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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2018, 08:02:36 AM »

I would definitely add some type of photo. You could play with b&w settings and shadow to find something you like (or just add a small photo. We all have to eventually realize they're not as bad as we think). Do you know if any novels have authors with costumes or masks on their book jackets? If it's something that's allowed go ahead & try it!

BTW, I really like the section with authors you admire. Agents are interested in that info.
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