Making Home: Home Pages for Authors

I’ve been updating my website again, my namesake lorenrhoads.com. I think it’s been six months since I did the last overhaul and things had gotten dated again.

Part of my problem is that this site is so complicated. I wanted to have one place that would encompass my fiction (my true love), my nonfiction (my calling), my editing (a totally different skill set), my photography (the skill I’m still mastering), and performance (the one thing I feel passionate about teaching).

I also want the site to do things that I rarely saw other authors’ websites doing: I wanted it to have a photo of me that interviewers could download if necessary. I wanted it to have a bibliography, so if anyone ever needed one, the information would already be gathered together. I wanted it to have information on all of my books: descriptions, reviews, ordering information.

I wanted all those things because I put together the convention booklet the year that World Horror was in San Francisco — and no writers I worked with then had those things pulled together. Everyone had to scramble around to give me what I needed. It was frustrating for both of us.

So today I was fussing over the pages, making sure the links work and that everything is pretty. And I realized that the different pages have slight variations in layout…

Then I decided that the pages of this website are like rooms in a house. Just as the kitchen has a different layout and purpose than the bedroom, the Fiction page and the Photography page do not need to do the same things. They don’t need to look the same. No one is likely to compare one to the next, other than me. I feel better now.

However, there are still a couple of pieces missing:

* I’d like to put together a page about the class I’ve taught on performing your work in public. It’s a subject I feel passionate about and I’d like to get some more gigs teaching it.

* I’d like to figure out a way to include some short sample bios. I have a different bio when I submit a cemetery piece than when I submit straight nonfiction or travel essays or a personal essay. I have different bios when I submit science fiction or an Alondra story or one of Lorelei’s stories. I’d like to make the information easy for someone to find, say, if they’re going to lift a bio to put together a con booklet.

* I’d also like to find a place for people to report broken links to me — maybe on the Contact Me page?

* I’m toying with the idea of making a different header image for each page, too.

What do you think? Have you seen any particularly well-organized and intriguing authors’ websites?

About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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