7 Author Website No-Nos and Pet Peeves

Thanks to a poll by The Book Publicity Blog, as well as some comments on their blog post about the poll results, I was able to amass this list of annoyances that readers just can’t stand on their author websites. Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Flash intro pages. You should NEVER make people have to wait for a Flash intro to finish before they can start clicking around the site. No matter how cute it may be.

2. No RSS feed for the blog. Don’t make people have to come back to your blog to find your new posts. Make sure fans can sign up for an RSS feed so your posts can come to them.

3. No contact info. Sometimes, readers want to contact YOU — not your publisher or agent. Make sure you allow them to do that, either through an email address or a contact form.

4. Dark background, small fonts. A dark background is hard on the eyes, so if you’re going to have it, make sure your text is large and in a font that’s easy to read.

5. Audio or video that automatically plays. This is a pet peeve throughout the web — and one of my own as well. Let people click “Play” before your book trailer, video, or background music starts blaring. Don’t have it start playing as soon as they arrive on the homepage. That’s just annoying.

6. Untouched blog or message board. If you build these types of community elements, keep them fresh and updated. If you find you’re unable to, then take them down.

7. Missing information. Some people need a printable backlist of your books. They may want the ISBNs and pub dates for each one. You can never include too much of this vital information.

Do you have any other pet peeves about author sites? Share them here!