Sunday, 2 May 2010

A Day in the Life of a Website - Joan Lennon

Welcome to the first of the Slightly Jones pages - the one for The Case of the London Dragonfish!

For each new book, we build a new page on my website. (When I say "we" in relation to the website what I often mean is I come up with stuff and my husband tells me why it's just too ridiculously complicated (if not downright impossible) to do on a computer and then he comes up with something else.) But for the book pages we've settled comfortably into a particular template,* which includes:

The Story ... basically the blurb on the back of the book.
Extract ... an exciting bit from the, er, inside of the book.
Did you know ... 3 things that I think are quite interesting about the writing the book, or the world of the book, or, well, me.
The artist ... with a link to their website if they have one.
Reviews ... Children's books don't get reviewed all that much, of course, but when they do, I bung 'em onto the page for all the world to see.
Oh, and the ubiquitous Order from Amazon link.

Sometimes we go crazy and do an animation too. The most recent is this one, for The Mucker's Tale.

All this started three years ago when a publisher told me I needed a website and a blog and I hit the ceiling like a cat that's just spotted a cobra under the sofa. And look at me now - hardly even flinching as the weekly (or monthly, if it's ABBA) blogging slots come round. And updating my website right, left and centre. How people manage who don't have live-in expertise, I cannot guess. Marrying your web-meister may seem extreme, but it is unbelievably useful!

And has it all been worth it? Has having a website and a blog or two affected my career? Does knowing that somebody in Burkina Faso has visited my website make a difference to my publishers, past, present or future? (Since getting a country counter my knowledge of geography has improved immeasurably, but that's probably not the point.) Have sales improved because the ferrets danced or people know that there's a unicycle under my stairs?

I don't know. I really don't. You just have to hope. But now I can't imagine NOT updating and posting and generally messing about on line. So if there IS no point in doing it, maybe just don't tell me, okay?

* This occasionally gets fancified - when all 4 of The Wickit Chronicles books were published we did a mini-site. There will be a Slightly Jones mini-site too, one of these fine days.

Joan Lennon's website
Joan Lennon's blog


Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

I'm glad you do blog. I love that you have a unicycle under the stairs and that you're up to your elbows in blood complicating things for your characters. Just the phrasing you use in talking about writing cheers me up. So please, keep on blogging. And many thanks.

Joan Lennon said...

What a lovely comment! Many thanks!

Elaine AM Smith said...

I have friends who visited Burkina Faso - my school sponsors pupils in a tiny school in a village. I nearly went there this year. Small, small world.
I think it is the unicycle that will do the trick ;)

Anonymous said...

感動 + 感恩 + 感謝(。-ˍ-。 )........................................

Ms. Yingling said...

This is the problem with the internet-- I get to see books that look fabulous that will never make it to this side of the pond. Sigh. Your books sound great and I will hope that some of them make it to the US.

Lindsey Fraser said...

I buy books I can't buy in the UK from - and I imagine you can do the same from - you have to pay a bit in postage but it's well worth it.