Fan page or a Book page, which should my websites have? I read an interesting article (thanks to the Story Reading Ape who reblogged it) entitled:
How to Create a High-Performing Book Sales Page for Your Launch.  It gave me plenty of food for thought.

Design for a Landing Page

fan-page-jemima This Book Marketing post said all the information your potential reader needs should be on the landing page.  For most of us that’s the Home page.  When you click on a blog’s title, it usually takes you to the Home page.  Clicking a straightforward link with nothing after it, i.e. http://jemimapett.com, gets you to whatever I’ve set to the Home page; if you click http://jemimapett.com/blog, you get to the list of blog posts.

Note the ‘whatever I’ve set to the Home page’.  You have a choice in most blogging environments like WordPress, Weebly etc.  You either have a static home page, like a standard page, or a list of your blog posts.  If your site is for books, why is your home page a set of blog posts?  If you’re a blogger, your need your posts as your home page.  If you use Blogger, you don’t have a choice, as far as I can see.

I seem to be falling into the gap with this website. I treat it as my blog, but with this new theme, I’ve used all its clever design to highlight my books and then ask you to come to the blog with my ‘call to action’.

On the other hand, with both the Princelings and the Viridian series websites, you land on the blog page, aka ‘Latest News’.  There’s not a lot of latest news, so maybe it would be better if they had a design that featured the books then sent you to the news pages. But visitors probably already know at least a little about the books.  I want them to land on a Fan page.

New design for White Water Landings

Your book page, suggests the Book Marketing post above, should have your book cover foremost.  When I tried to use this theme (It’s called Spacious) with my other book page, White Water Landings, I had difficulty getting it to look good without comprising the advice.  I’ve done the best I can with my available tools, and it currently looks like this:

fan-page-wwl

I couldn’t get the footer widget area in, but you get the idea.

I’m not satisfied with it, for two reasons. There isn’t enough information under the main picture of the book before you have to click to the ‘Book’ page. Also the heading for the Amazon preview, the smaller cover, aligns centre, yet all the rest align left.  But I’m getting somewhere with it, and it does something else that the marketers suggest: makes my sites look like they are part of one brand – the Jemima Pett brand.  Oh, but I didn’t write this book as Jemima.  Shucks! Well, they’re still published by the same people.

Fan page for fiction series

I suspect that this approach is the one I should use for a Fan page for the Princelings and Viridian sites.  The books up front, but lots of extra things for fans to look at.  Maybe if it’s a Book page, it really does have to feature just the book foremost, like the Marketing post advises.

They also suggest looking for themes for your blogging software that focus on books.  Why?  Because book themes design for book shapes, i.e. portrait, where most of the others use landscape for pictures and photos.  That is why I featured the White Water Landings book in a half page rather than centre it or put more text alongside it in a big box across the top.

When I was looking for new themes for this blog late last year, I did find one or two book themes.  They were okay, but I preferred this. I expect, if I learned more about webpages, I could make what they call a ‘child theme’ for this blog, which would do the pictures the way the book blogs need.  But I’m not doing a Book site.  I’m doing Fan sites.  So I think my landing page needs to be for Fans, and not all about the Book.

What do you think?

PS  If you see a layout you like on another blog, look for its title in the small print at the bottom.

Fan page or Book page – what should your readers see first?
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6 thoughts on “Fan page or Book page – what should your readers see first?

  • 6 March, 2017 at 2:18 pm
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    Thanks for the reality check, Jemima. It made me realise that I had my home page set to blog posts, rather than my books. All changed now, thanks to you.

    Reply
    • 6 March, 2017 at 2:33 pm
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      Well, I’ve delayed doing up my Princelings and Viridian sites until I got some feedback today 🙂 Mind you, I’ve just got *Willoughby* back from my lovely editor, so any tidying will get pushed aside for a while, I expect.

      Reply
  • 6 March, 2017 at 3:55 pm
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    I am impressed with the work you do in this area–I have yet to get beyond just blogging for the sake of blogging. And, of course, I got started with Blogger, which really limits me. Seems like what I might want to do is start a WordPress page as my actual author page, and link from there to the blog (and vice versa).

    Can I confess that part of me is just waiting for the spouse to retire (in 16 months) so I can convince him that handling my web presence would be a great retirement project? 😀

    Reply
    • 6 March, 2017 at 6:42 pm
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      I think you need a project for your spouse. Maybe he should get started now, so he can make the transition to retirement seamlessly….

      Reply
  • 15 March, 2017 at 4:10 pm
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    I never thought about a fan page, but I do have a book Facebook page. It’s sort of quiescent.

    Reply

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