Moonshine Publications’ website needs to include all the usual information included on an author’s website (bios, reviews, published works, and a blog) for both my co-author and I. Its theme should speak to fantasy, mystery, and horror readers. Rather than focus on self-published writers, I looked at popular authors in the urban fantasy genre who have the support of a traditional publishing company. I don’t want our own site to suffer in comparison.
Cassandra Clare wrote the hugely popular Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. Her website, while not the easiest to navigate, nonetheless invokes a bit of the fantasy and magic she includes in her books—in other words, it’s sparkly. The book background, parchment texture, and eye-catching art are all things I’d like to incorporate in my own site. Ideally, Moonshine will also have a dark and somewhat unique style to reflect the content of our novels, but not at the expense of readability. Like Ms. Clare, we’ll also be including a gallery for our artist.
Jennifer Estep is the author of the Elemental Assassin and Mythos Academy series. Her site includes all of the information I’d like to include, but it’s not organized in the easiest way. Her home page, for example, includes news, book reviews, a description of her series, and a brief introduction. Ideally, I’d like to separate this information onto different pages. One thing I would like to include on Moonshine’s site (either on the blog/home page or the About page) is a “What We’re Reading” section. In addition to communicating a little more about ourselves as people, it will let my co-author and I support our favorite authors. She also has a clearly visible link to buy her novels.
Dean Koontz is a world-famous horror and mystery writer. He’s published countless novels under a variety of different publishers, and has the resources to produce a top-end website. His page is professional and clean while still incorporating the cover of his most recent release, and has a huge amount of information to support his fans and novels. I’d love Moonshine to appear as professional and established by making it both easily to read and navigate. I also love the idea of tweaking the website’s theme to go along with our releases or even changing it according to the seasons. However, I never want it to feel quite as sterile as Mr. Koontz’s website. There’s no blog, and despite the bio, Q&A, and photo gallery, Mr. Koontz appears to have very little to do with his own site. I don’t think Moonshine will succeed if we separate ourselves from our fan base in this way.