I’ve brought this up previously and gotten no response, neither pro nor con, from anyone but Curtis. I’m willing to work on our look, but so far I have to assume that you all think it just fine.
The Writer Coop Annex page I’ve created as an experiment on my own site, is it too slick for you? Curtis says too much work. Yes, it is more work than what we have at present, and I am not eager to dive in, but what we show here does not say, to me anyway, we’re in this game to win.
We have had a few folks put up a post and disappear. Do they see us as a waste of time? They obviously do not want to chat, they want a site with activity, that they can market to and through. That means numbers, which we ain’t got. I put Tom Wolosz in this category, and the guy with the riddles.
We have great, wide-ranging content, we need a better presentation, a front page slate of offerings, where people will see plenty going on, plenty to be excited about, that makes them eager to jump in.
I get emails, so-and-so liked your comment, names I don’t know. Why do few of you speak up? I’m damn curious.
Let’s take a survey: Why are you here? What do you like about this site? What don’t you like?
Are you a wanna-be (published) like me, or are you already in (trad/ebook) print? What tactics have you used to get out the word?
I consider Writer Coop to be grand entertainment. Do you? (It’s fun to read, even more fun to write for.)
Facebook has a number of groups where you can cry your wares. Writers do, in droves, hit-and-run appeals, and that gets tedious real fast. This site is more of a soft-sell marketing magazine with feature-length articles. And, literary-leaning, I love that. Do you?
Those who apparently have no time to prepare a piece for us, who are, presumably, busy with the blog tours and such, good luck to them. How’s that going?
Those who proudly proclaim, my book is #425 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban, give me a break. That’s a load of crap and you know it.
Hey, break it down even further: Yada > Yada > Paranormal & Urban > Alien Comedians. (There you go, GD.) You select a category narrow enough, of course you’re going to sound good. I would guess that not many of us, at this point, fall for that. How many books have you sold/given out, in the hands of readers, the start (theoretically) of a fan base?
Marketing is exposure, that’s a given. It’s also seduction. The best way to seduce me is to demonstrate your facility with language. And where better to do it than on here? We have no rules here, except perhaps, no bullshit (except in fun), and don’t bore us. Are you up to that?
Lurkers! How’s about, everybody into the pool. Start at the shallow end, the comments section. Get your fanny wet there.
I’m all-in on this, in case you haven’t noticed. But I’ve got my own site (in progress). When it’s ready, I’ll be pushing it gangbusters. So this effort isn’t make-or-break for me. But it’s a tool in my toolbox, and I want to see it succeed.
I bow to the majority will. If you’re happy with our as-is, I won’t bring it up again. Isn’t it worth an on the record yea or nay to shut me up? Everyone admits the need for a professional-level cover on a book. How is a website any different?
What does our DIY-feel format say about our marketing sophistication? Are we an enjoyable writer hangout, a place to recharge our batteries, marketing one of many topics we tackle, or the reverse, a small start on a marketing think-tank, stylish, smart schmooze our (tasty, if I do say so myself) bait?
Am I over-focused on cosmetics? Networking, that’s a vital strategy. Mentions scattered around the web may pay off. I announced our presence yesterday on Book Country. The result so far: 57 views, no replies.
Do we have a way to track visits? One site I followed had a visible daily tally. The owner turned that off fast. It was embarrassing how few dropped by. She’d set up shop as a web designer, but her effort on behalf of her most important client, for herself, fell way short. (That’s what I worry about here.) She targeted small business owners because small business owners, in my experience, don’t know good work from crap. When her domain name came up for renewal, she let it lapse, a wise decision. In the fifteen years I knew her, she never produced a piece I admired.
I could insert our link in the comments section of the YouTube publishing/marketing videos that I comb relentlessly for ideas. Do any of the big-name sites, Jane Friedman for instance, have the equivalent of letters to the editor? I am ready to try all of this, but first I think we need to reconsider our personal-blog style presentation.
I’ve dropped the term Glabelhammies into my remark on a Mark Knopfler video, and advised viewers to google it up. The hit on the search result brought me straight here. Guerrilla Marketing! Channel Hunter S. Thompson and get to work. That’s why we need a really exciting front page, so our accidental tourists are persuaded to peruse, and perhaps bookmark for a return visit.
Give us more neat words, GD. I’ll disperse them, here, there, in ways that (seem to) make (some kind of) sense. Write us a blog-post full of wonderful invented words and I’ll skip, tra-la, tra-la, from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter, Gretel-like, judiciously dropping my bread crumbs. I love new words. I’m always looking them up. I can’t be the only word-nut around.
Craigslist! Is there a category on Craigslist for us? If not, can we make one up? I’ve said it before. I say it again: NO STONE UNTURNED.
Here’s a screen shot of my latest try. This is built in Wix. I would look for something of this nature in the WordPress templates.
The blue and dotted lines are there because I took the screen shot in the Editor. A header and footer would display on all pages. And, of course, a menu.
A template, where you would have your features set up and only have to plug in new copy, I don’t think that would be too much work.
What you see below is real easy to do in Wix. The time consuming part is, you have to tweak everything. Every item impacts what sits beneath it. Any increase in depth on nearly anything, what lies below bumps and jumps around. Annoying as hell! A locked in place template is definitely in order.
FYI: From dotted line to dotted line is the recommended width for a standard screen. To accommodate a decorative edge right and left, I would have to skinny up the guts.
If I were working in Wix, I would create a spare, random repeat/motif of the symbols as a background, to liven up the empty side space on a big screen. I don’t know if you can do that with WordPress.