David Louis Edelman December 19th, 2007
I’m currently in the process of reworking my Infoquake website to conform with the new cover design, and creating a MultiReal website to match. I feel like the Infoquake website design hasn’t held up particularly well as I’ve made changes and additions to it. The new one will be much snazzier, I promise you.
But at the moment, I’m more concerned about the content of the sites than their visual presentation. And so I’m evaluating lots of author websites to see just what works and what doesn’t.
Today I was poking around the website for Brandon Sanderson, author of Elantris and Mistborn. Careers in the science fiction and fantasy world don’t start much better than Brandon’s. You may have heard recently that he’s been hired to finish off Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, which is kind of the fantasy novelist equivalent of being asked to pinch hit for Mickey Mantle in the bottom of the ninth. I started digging through Brandon’s website and discovered a massive amount of chapter annotations for his debut novel Elantris. Go ahead, poke around yourself — these annotations are detailed. Obviously a lot of thought went into this.
So my question today is this: what do you find useful on an author’s website? I think we can all agree that excerpts help, and at the very least, having a blog doesn’t hurt. But what about the rest? Do you read additional material like chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and first drafts? Do you actually refer to online glossaries and the like? Does this stuff make you more likely to buy the author’s work? (And when you do buy her work, do you appreciate having lots of links to bookstores that carry it?)
If possible, name an author website that’s directly influenced you to buyÂ that author’s work, and why.