Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Brave Luck Books website is going under the knife

The time has finally come for me to overhaul my fantasy book and ebook website that serves as the online home of The Rys Chronicles, my epic fantasy series. It has been two years since the website had a major reworking. As always, I'm seeking to make the website easier for people to read and use. I strive for a simple presentation, but I've always struggled with this goal when I get to the merchandising areas of the website because I have six ebook formats plus the trade paperbacks to present to people. On top of that, I offer the additional option of buying all four novels as a set, which most of my ebook readers choose to do. Then, to make things even harder on myself, I include international options for readers outside the United States. About a year ago I noticed that I was getting international sales, which prompted me to give the website a worldwide orientation instead of just a U.S. focus. So, the trick is to show these options in a clear manner that does not leave visitors scratching their heads.

The old version of www.braveluck.com is still live online, but I have made substantial progress on the new version, which is much sharper looking and does a better job of communicating to visitors what I have to offer.

It's times like these that I wish I was big time and could hire professional help to redo the website, but since that's not feasible, it will be a do-it-yourself project. Fortunately, I love making websites. I'm not some programming guru, but I can handle web editing software and put out a decent website. For my purposes I only need to market my products and incorporate some basic ecommerce, so it's more about communicating effectively than ringing a bunch of internet bells and whistles.

Part of my new strategy for increasing the marketing effectiveness of the website is to add some interactivity and social networking tie-ins. Realizing that the majority of visitors aren't going to make a purchase on their first visit (It's an imperfect world.), I will be adding features that will improve the chances of my novels sticking in visitors' minds. For example, I'm adding links for each novel to its corresponding page at Goodreads.com so people can add my books to their reading list at Goodreads if they happen to use that service. Also, I'm including a way for Facebook users to become a fan of the Brave Luck Books page on Facebook. Every little thing adds up.

I expect to get the website update done in a few days. Until then, if you like fantasy books, please go to www.braveluck.com where you can download Union of Renegades for free or pick up the trade paperback for $1. Although this version of the site is officially condemned, it really isn't that bad to look upon. I even liked it two years ago, but I'm always working to improve my business. It's not easy being a one-woman publishing business, but I love it, and I hope my affection comes through in what I do.

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