Time For A Make-Over

Last Thursday was a big day for me. I hit “send” on a new ms for Bethany House. It’s a contemporary instead of a historical, but the story has many the same elements that characterize my LIHs.  The hero owns a truck and a Harley instead of a few horses, but he’s a cowboy at heart. If I put the heroine in the Old West, she’d be running the local paper like she does in the contemporary.  No website, of course. But she’d still be in the thick of things and good at her job.  

I don’t have a final title yet, but the  tentative pub date is Spring 2014.  I’m glad it’s a ways off, because I have a lot of background work to do.  my website (www.victoriabylin.com)  in desperate need of a makeover, and so is my social media stuff.  The fact I call it “stuff” tells you this isn’t my wheelhouse.

So here’s what I’d like to know . . . What are the most important things to you as readers about an author’s internet presence? I’d love to hear what you think about everything from Twitter to book trailers to websites.

 To say thank you, I’m going to give away a few books.  To enter the drawing, just leave a comment. Three lucky winners will get to choose a title from my backlist.  Just one exception–I’m out of Wyoming Lawman.  (I either gave away a lot more of them than I thought, or my closet ate a box of author copies.) 

Here are some questions to get us started. Answer one or as many as you’d like. Or make up your own.  That’s even better.

 The first place I go online to check out an author’s work is _______________.

My favorite place on an author’s website is ___________________. (booklists, FAQs, bio, etc.)

I don’t like websites that __________________________.

Pinterest rocks because ___________________________.

Twitter rocks because ____________________________.

Facebook rocks because __________________________.

I love book trailers because _______________________.

I skip book trailers because _______________________.

I like to read reviews because _____________________.

I never read reviews because _____________________.

 Thank you all for your input!  Check back late tonight for the drawing winners.

 

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Written by Victoria Bylin

Victoria Bylin is under contract with Bethany House Publishers for two inspirational contemporary romances.Prior to jumping to the present day, she wrote westerns for Harlequin Historical and Love Inspired Historical. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons. You can learn more about Vicki at www.victoriabylin.com

Visit Victoria Bylin's website


26 Comments on “Time For A Make-Over”

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  1. Jennifer Tipton says:

    Hi Victoria, I look up an authors website to read up on their beliefs, how colorful their site is and if it’s welcoming! Also, I like if an author has pictures of their books so I can see what certain ones look like.
    Pineterist is okay I rarely look at or go there. I’m still figuring it out and Twitter is a work in progress.
    I enjoy Facebook a lot more because it seems easier to get around and to see new books or what’s going on with authors.
    Book trailers are okay as long as they are short and sweet! Sometimes I skip them, depends on time for me usually but if I remember I’ll go back and check it out.
    I’ll read reviews mostly if they are not to long and I’m wanting to find info on a book that I’d like!

  2. Laurie G says:

    1) The first place I go to check out an author’s books is Amazon.

    2) Favorite place on an author’s website- I love learning a little background information so the Bio section. I love seeing pictures too. It makes you feel more “REAL” to me.

    3) FACEBOOK is the only social media site I visit. I like it because the page comes up quickly and you can hop from page to page easily. You get up to date info at a glance.

    4) I don’t watch the book trailers. I still have dial up and it takes too long to load.

    5) I do read some reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I also follow some websites: The Romance Dish, Romance Reviews Today and the The Book Reporter newsletter. I’ve found a few reviewers that have similar tastes to mine. I tend to gravitate to their recommendations.

    6) Contests for free books are a great way to introduce your work to new readers.

    7) I know the trend is for e -books or books on PC. I personally do not own an e-reader. I also find that reading a book on the computer is uncomfortable. I also don’t like the brightness of the computer screen when I’m reading for a long period of time.

    8) On your website I do enjoy the book section too. Adding an excerpt along with a description works for me.

  3. Jennifer Tipton says:

    Didn’t mean to put my email like that, ugh! To tired still.

  4. Margaret Brownley says:

    Jennifer, don’t worry. We edited it out!

  5. Margaret Brownley says:

    Victoria,

    This is a really interesting survey. I’m eager to see the results. Thank you for coming up with this idea!

  6. Victoria Bylin says:

    Oh, this is interesting! Can’t wait to read more . . . I have a little part-time job, so I’m headed out for the morning. Be back in a while!

  7. Cathy says:

    Amazon is my go to for books and upcoming books. I tend to preorder as soon as I see what I want listed.

    I love all places on authors websites but tend to look at the list of books first.

    I have never gone to Pintrest. Maybe I should. I don’t have a Twitter account so I don’t tweet. I do have a Facebook account but only look at it once in awhile.

    I read reviews but generally not til after I’ve read the book. If one person says anything negative then it makes me unsure if I want to but it.

  8. Kathleen O says:

    Number 1 is books.
    Where to find them.
    Are they part of a series.
    Upcoming books.
    What other places I can find you such as FB or Pinterest, Goodreads or any other book affiliations.
    Do you have a blog. I like to know what you are thinking about or what new books and authors you have found and liked.
    And of course I want to know all about you in your BIO.

  9. Phyliss Miranda says:

    Morning Victoria, what a great blog! Since I’m crossing over not only from western historicals and traditional printing to contemporary romances with eKensington, I’m scared to death. I love your survey and really need this feedback for me, as I begin my journey in promotion on “The Tycoon and the Texan.” Thanks for asking great questions.

  10. Mary Connealy says:

    The first place I go online to check out an author’s work is this is a tossup between Amazon and her website. I’d have said website first until I saw Jennifer’s Amazon answer and thought, ‘yeah, maybe I do go there first.’

    My favorite place on an author’s website is booklist.

    I don’t like websites that make the obvious hard. Give me book info right up front. What do you think I’m here for? And make it really easy to buy.

    Pinterest rocks because // I’m on Pinterest but I’m not using it much. It’s just one thing too many–and I know a lot of people love it but I don’t cook much anymore and I’m not crafty–so Pinterest becomes a place I go to hate myself.

    Twitter rocks because not so much with the twitter. I use it but I don’t make full use of it–if that makes sense.

    Facebook rocks because I find the ease of loading pictures really fun. It’s easier than a blog and longer than Twitter. And I do tend to go on…as I’m doing with these comments. 144 characters? I can barely say HI. But I’m trying to get better.

    I love book trailers because–I don’t know if I’ve ever bought a book because of a book trailer. I have watched them and enjoyed them, but usually for books I’m going to buy anyway.

    I like to read reviews because–they give me a real feel for the mood and fun of a book. I think you can tell a lot from reviews and bad reviews don’t stop me if it’s a book I want but they do maybe give me some idea what to expect.

    I DO read reviews.

  11. Elizabeth Lane says:

    Congratulations on the makeover, Vicki, and the new direction. Bethany house does such beautiful covers. Bet you can’t wait to see yours.
    And thanks for putting up the survey. Very helpful and informative to all of us.

  12. Cori says:

    The first place I go online to check out an author’s work is Amazon.

    My favorite place on an author’s website is first the bio cause I like to know about who im reading about and then of course the book list!. (booklists, FAQs, bio, etc.)

    Pinterest rocks because ___________________________.

    Facebook rocks because it give a personal insight to the Authors and its nice to think you can be in contact with someone who writes the greatest books in the eyes of the reader!

    I love book trailers because so many times when I read books I wish they would make them into movies! I know a trailer isn’t as long a movie but its something. Helps make the characters come to life even more.

    I like to read reviews sometimes but mostly I trust my own judgment. Someone may not like the book but I may love it!

    I also love book covers that show something about the characters. It brings them to life and often when im reading I turn back to cover through out the story to put a face to who is talking!

    Thanks for asking us your questions.

  13. JOYE says:

    I am an avid reader and there are so many books I want to read. I realize I do not have that much time to read so I go to several places and read reviews of a book. I go to Amazon, Romantic Times Reviews and the author’s website. I don’t do twitter, facebook or other links to authors. It takes up too much time.
    I also belong to a book club and can get a good idea of what a book is like if several of the members like a particular book.

  14. anon1001 says:

    I go to Amazon or the author’s website for excerpts or book lists. I also like contests–nothing that requires me to buy a book though or takes too much effort. I like book trailers and I’m in the minority but I hate social media.

  15. Katie J. says:

    The first place I go online to check out an author’s work is most of the time Amazon.

    My favorite place on an author’s website is the bio. I love reading about the author.

    I don’t like websites that are difficult to navigate.

    I have never visited the Pinterest site. I do not have a twitter account or Facebook.

    Sometimes I watch book trailers but avoid the ones that are too long.

    I like to read reviews but alot of times I buy a book and read it before reading the reviews. Then afterwards I go to the reviews and see if I agreed or disagreed and often write my own review.

  16. diane says:

    Amazon is where I look for upcoming books.
    The author’s next release.
    I read reviews since I enjoy learning what others think of that book.

  17. Colleen says:

    The first place I go online to check out an author’s work is blogs and author websites.

    My favorite place on an author’s website is their booklist.

    I don’t like websites that do not give you book blurbs.

    No Pininterest for me

    No Twitter for me

    No facebook for me

    I tend to only read reviews when it is a new to me author to get an idea about their books.
    :)

  18. Anne says:

    I Generally check an author’s books on Amazon.
    The author’s website is interesting, bio, upcoming books.
    I don’t visit social sites.
    I read reviews since it interests me.
    I don’t watch book trailers.
    I don’t go to complicated websites.
    thanks for this post today.

  19. Summer says:

    I usually go to an author’s website to see their booklist.

    My favorite part of an author’s website is usually their blog, it lets you know a little about the author’s interests and how it relates to their books.

    I do read reviews if I’m hedging on whether to buy something, it can help decide, though most of the time, a sample page or chapter, is really what sells me on something.

  20. Tanya Hanson says:

    Vicki, what a fabulous post today. I too need a makeover, especially with a new genre (young adult romance) and pen name (Anya Novikov) coming up in the fall. I’m so eager to read today’s responses. And best of luck with the contemp! Way to go!

  21. Victoria Bylin says:

    Thank you all for responding! We all have different tastes, but it looks like websites and Amazon are the “go-to” place for info. I’m that way, too. Amazon is usually first, then I scoot over the author’s website.

    Keep the comments coming!

    I’ll post the giveaway winners later tonight :)

  22. Patricia B. says:

    Good luck with the “Make Over.”
    1) The first place I go on line to check an author’s work is their website. I also check Amazon, but that is secondary. There are a few other sites that come up when I google an author that I will also check out if looking for more information.
    2) My favorite place on the website depends on the author. If there is a section that deals with research and background information on books, I usually go there. The Bio section, a good one, helps to get to know the author and what inspires her or him.
    3) I don’t like websites that don’t give you a complete list of the author’s books, whether they are in a series, their order in a series, and a blurb about the story.
    4) Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook are OK, but not a necessity. There just isn’t time to follow everything. A good website with a blog section is more effective for me. I don’t want to have to chase an author all over the internet.
    5) I like book trailers that are well done and give you a feel for the characters and the story.
    6) I like to read reviews, but dislike those that are written like book reports and are basically a retelling of the story and have lots of spoilers. There are several sites I visit that do good reviews and whose opinions I trust. I will sometimes look at the reviews on Amazon, especially for an author I am unfamiliar with. I like to see the negative as well as the positive, taking them all with healthy skepticism.

  23. Cheryl Pierson says:

    Hi Vicki!
    My website is nonexistent right now. I need someone good to just put it together and maintain it for me. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know! I can’t wait to see how you update yours. I envy anyone who can maintain their own website like that! Congratulations on your new book!
    Cheryl

  24. Victoria Bylin says:

    The more I read about what we all like, the more I see how important just a good old website is. For me, the social media stuff is icing on the cake.

    Thanks to all who have commented! I’m adding all the names to the hat for the drawing.

  25. Melinda Elmore says:

    Vicki,

    I love all your books this was really fun today….

    The first place I go is Author’s Website and Amazon

    My favorite place on an author’s website is __Booklists and Bio. (booklists, FAQs, bio, etc.)

    I don’t like websites that are hard to get around.

    Pinterest rocks because Shows covers of books.

    Twitter rocks because we can connect.

    Facebook rocks because we can connect as authors and readers.

    I love book trailers because they give an insight to book.

    I skip book trailers because _I dont I always watch them.

    I like to read reviews because they give an insight of the book.

    I never read reviews because—–I do read reviews

    Melinda

  26. Cindy in Ontario says:

    The first place I go online to check out an author’s work is their website if they have then Goodreads.

    My favorite place on an author’s website is Bio and then the booklists as I like to read books in order they were written for a series.
    I don’t like websites that are hard to navigate.

    Pinterest rocks because of all the different ideas but do not visit the site often.

    Twitter–I do not use.

    Facebook–I have an account but do not use it much.

    I love book trailers because it is a different way to promote books.

    I like to read reviews to find new authors and books that might interest me. But, I do not rely solely on reviews because sometimes I think there can be alot of hype towards one book at any given time.

    Cindy in Ontario

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