Friday, January 04, 2013

Stymied by the Invisible Audience

I've decided it is time to professionalize myself one step further and finally build my website. The problem is I cannot decide on a target audience. YA readers? Other writers? Industry people? Who would visit silly old me online anyway?

I have looked at the sites of several authors I admire and found a variety of approaches. John Green's pithy, nerdfighting site seems to be aimed at savvy YA readers who love his books (and most likely are crushing on him in a big way—who can blame them?). Of course, I don't have even 1/8 his wit, so I'm not sure how I would frame my content.

Maureen Johnson has a little something for both readers and writers. Her clever bio takes you through her journey to publication, hitting each book as a signpost. Her blog is directed at writers and offers entertaining insight into the business of writing.

Sadly, Libba Bray's site has been marked by our administrator (yes, I'm writing this post at work) as a potential malware menace and has been blocked. Curses!

Meg Cabot has such a wide array of publications and her website focuses on her reading audience, including contests and discussion boards.

All these examples are people who have already hit huge success, celebrity status even. I'm at the beginning of my journey, so what do I focus on?  I don't have any FAQ's yet or any published titles other than a magazine article.  But I need to build something.

I've also looked at some great sites from writing buddies—Kimberly Sabatini, Joyce Moyer Hostetter, Marissa Doyle—all at different points in the journey.

I guess what it comes down to is a battle with my lack of confidence. Writing is a world of constant rejection, self-doubt, and crazy ideas that could be brilliant or could be crap. It is hard to feel I have anything more than my finally published manuscript (whenever that happens) and then to whom do I offer it? What should my website intend? I guess it's just another existential crisis. (That's why I write YA!)

If anyone is out there and actually reading this blog post, do you have any ideas? Suggestions? List of no-no's? List of must-haves?


  1. I wouldn't worry about getting too gimicky with your website till you have a platform. Just who you are, what your projects are, and some stuff to let the world know you.

  2. I am *actually* reading your post and even looking at the various excellent author links. I fully agree that you should worry a lot less about your style or who the reader is at this point. Websites are a work-in-progress, always. If they don't look/feel right at some point- you change it. Especially when you know who the readers are, or if it is more of an intro-supplement to queries for the publishing professionals.
    The only thing that to me is a major turnoff is bouncing pulsating flash. I’ve never had a migraine, but I don’t want to chance it… I click it off faster than I read anything on it.


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