Monday, April 06, 2009

Website dilemma and ‘Best of Bosses’

Current work: fiction
Listening to: Bach
Reading: Animal Instincts, Nell Dixon (enjoyed this – made me laugh out loud for the right reasons, and I particularly liked Dave the Parrot); The Valtieri Marriage Deal, Caroline Anderson (enjoyed this one, too – and I’ll have to ring her and nag her to write Luca’s brothers’ stories).


Spend the weekend mainly working, though we did go out to see friends on Saturday. AND I updated my website (yeah yeah, not before time). I think my Books page needs revamping. I mean, it’s fine if you have a short backlist. You can do lots with covers and it looks pretty instead of going on and on and on… whereas if you have a backlist that’s more than 30 books long, it’s a pain for the reader to scroll down to find the one they want if they have to bypass a list of covers and ISBNs and publication date and... (yada, yada, yada).

So I think it’d be easier for readers if I gave a list with clickable links to the titles.

But said list also needs refining – because a list of 30-odd titles in a lump is just not user-friendly. So. Do I put them in order of publication? Reverse order of publication? Alphabetical order? Do I split the Modern Heats from the Medicals? Do I then split them into mini-series and standalone? Because Medical readers like themes, do I say whether it’s an A&E book or a children’s ward or a GP surgery? Do I mention which ones were shortlisted/won awards/were a Waldies bestseller?

In short, what do you look for when you look at an author’s books pages?

Was just checking my new cover on Amazon when I discovered that I have a new ebook bundle out. I’m with Cathy Williams and Barbara Hannay in the ‘Best of Bosses 2008’ bundle. The book is ‘In Bed with Her Italian Boss’, aka my RNA award-winning book Breakfast at Giovanni’s. And you can find it here at e-Harl or on Amazon in a Kindle edition.



Plan for today: looks as if today is the only day this week without heavy rain. Will ask the kids what they fancy doing…

PS Go and congratulate Jan Jones, as she has some great news!

16 comments:

Katie said...

This is a tough one. By release date is good because that way if you've only just discovered an author you can look at what you've already missed (and hopefully find at the library!). I think it would be good to differentiate between medicals and moderns - maybe by colour coding?

Some of the best book list features I have seen have been charts/diagrams that show relationships between the books...or even just list if they are part of a trilogy or something. I love interconnecting stories and would generally choose those over one-offs if I was trying to read through an authors backlist.

Also - what would be great for me is the Aus/NZ release dates...I'm just too lazy to keep visiting eHarlequin.com.au....although it does give me a good excuse to "pop" into the book shop every couple of weeks to make sure I don't miss any favourite authors!

Hope this helps!
Katie

Diane said...

The backlist looks very good. Are they all available? I think I'd maybe consider thumbnails, but I like to see book covers. Maybe anyout of print could just be listed? I'd also like to see an option to see them in their series or see them in chronological order - but then I'm anal like that. :o)

I would look for the author, the individual series, and the chronology. Then I'd decide whether to read them in actual order or read them in series order.

Liz Fielding said...

Congrats on the Best Bosses bundle, Kate!

I've been trying to sort my books into a slightly more reader-friendly grouping, too, so will be watching responses here with gret interest!

linda margaret said...

Kate;

Your comments about book lists are interesting. The one thing I like when each book is listed once. Some lists include the reprints listed again so it is sometimes difficult to tell if it is a new book or not. Particularly useful if one discovers a new author and then attempts to get or read everything she/he has written like I did when I discovered Kate Hardy.

I like Katie enjoy linked books and prefer to see how books are linked. Also living in North America, it is useful to have the North American publication information as well. We are going to make it more challenging for you I am afraid.

have a good day

Linda

Also experiencing days on end of April showers

Nell Dixon said...

Glad you liked Animal Instincts. I just like any list that's printable so I can keep a copy in my purse to look out for missing books and clickable order links where I can check the covers and make sure I haven't made a mistake with a title.

Jan Jones said...

Hi Kate! I wondered why I suddenly had an influx of comments on my blog! Thanks for spreading the word.

Backlist - I think you should list EVERYTHING. Date, genre, sub-genre, mini-series, the lot. You know you want to really. It'll be satisfying. (And it will make it SO much easier for the rest of us)

Caroline said...

Hi Kate - as an avid reader of all sorts of Romances I prefer date order - newest releases first. It would also be useful to differentiate between different genres as well. And as an aside I'm always a sucker for a book that has won an award - so flag that up as well. If you include the "blurb" that goes with winning the award all the better! Hope this helps. Caroline x

Shirley Wells said...

Congratulations on being part of the bundle!

As for your books, I would list everything in order of release date - probably as thumbnails that can be clicked for more info.

Kate Hardy said...

Katie - thanks for your thoughts on this. Am taking it all into account!

Kate Hardy said...

Diane - current releases are in shops/on the M&B website now, rest are available on Amazon/ABE.

I'm not happy with the way it looks now as there's too much white space - white space is good, but this is OTT. I think your idea of thumbnails is a good one - thanks.

Kate Hardy said...

Liz - thanks!

I did look at your site. (It's finding other people who have a 20-plus list and seeing how they handle it... I like your clickable list.)

Kate Hardy said...

Linda-Margaret - thanks for your thoughts, too - especially the reminder that some of my Meds are re-released in the US under different titles in Presents. (Or, as last year, one month in Meds and the next in Presents... ow, not fair on the reader, but out of my control.)

I'm beginning to think that maybe I need three lists...

Kate Hardy said...

Nell - I currently have the list on the site and a printable list.

I think I need a clickable list and a printable list for each country, really...

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - yeah, if I had my way, I'd do the lot on a spreadsheet. (You know me and my spreadsheets. Even though Excel is not as user-friendly as Lotus 123...)

And my pleasure about sending people over to celebrate your good news. It's lovely to spread the sparkle!

Kate Hardy said...

Caroline - thanks! You know, I'm not sure I did include the judges' stuff on Gio. I really ought to. And maybe pics from the ceremony. And...

Thanks :o) Have added that to my todo list for the end-of-month update!

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - thanks.

Will have to dredge my book out and see if clickable pictures is the same in CSS as it is in HTML. Otherwise, might have to whine to my site designer...