Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, August 29, 2016

Remodeling & Modernizing a Website

The WiDo Publishing website is getting a remodel! I'm as excited as if it were my house. The designer asked me to send her links of sites I like What a super fun little task!

I LOVE looking at publishing and author websites. It's like an obsession of mine. My favorite designs are sleek and streamlined, without clutter, without a lot of movement and easy to navigate. The WiDo website hasn't had any significant change for years. It's due for a facelift.

Still, I'm nervous. I don't want to lose the tone and temperament of it, since it clearly represents what our company is about. So many of our authors have mentioned the WiDo website as a motivating force in submitting to us.

“After viewing their website, I discovered they had an approach to books that very much matched my own – books that tell good stories!" --Ruth Fox

 "WiDo had a large number of women authors in their list. I felt from reading the website that WiDo editors would 'get' this collection, which is a deeply personal book.” --Patty Somlo

“My book is too special to me to be looked at like a product. WiDo takes a personal approach to its books and that really appeals to me." --Melissa Palmer

"When I read the WiDo mission statement, I felt as if the editors were reading my mind, so I knew I had to submit." --Donelle Dreese

“As I browsed in the fiction section of a local bookstore, I picked up a book published by a company called WiDo. I remember admiring the beautiful cover. I searched WiDo’s website, and read editor Karen Jones Gowen’s article, ‘A New Renaissance in Literature.’ Karen’s philosophy matches my own thoughts. She even mentioned William Tyndale, a hero of mine." --Carol Pratt Bradley

“I did my research and narrowed my short list down to two small publishers with beautiful, amazing books and authors who loved to work with them. " --C.R. Asay

“I have studied literally hundreds of publisher websites over the years, and since submission via email is now the norm, the state of the website is of crucial importance for writers looking to submit. So, when I found the WiDo website, not only was it a pleasure exploring its different components, but I was impressed with the straightforward, unfussy submissions guidelines.” --Rebecca Lloyd

Reading these quotes along with those of other excellent authors who submit based on their positive impressions from our website, and one can understand why I feel nervous about changing it. 

But it feels like the time is right. I'm excited to see what the designer comes up with!

21 comments:

  1. I'm sure the designer will be able to keep the tone and temperament, but still give it a new look that will continue to impress and inspire authors.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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  2. Exciting! Good luck, and I hope they come up with something great.

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  3. We redid the DLP site in 2014 and it looks SO much better now. I hope yours turns out just as great.

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    1. Diane, that's encouraging. I hope I'll be able to say the same!

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  4. I'm sure it will work out great. Thanks for stopping by, it's always so good to see you.

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  5. That is indeed exciting news Karen! Can't wait to see the final results.

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  6. If it's an improvement then the change is worth doing. What I hate is when a site works just fine and then some website geek goes in with so called improvements and make everything more complicated. My bank recently did this with their site. It now looks kind of modern and slick, but it's impractical to use and I hate it.

    Good luck with your updates and I hope they are for the better.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Arlee, whenever the bank upgrades to "serve you better" I can hear my husband howling in frustration from his office.

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  7. WiDo's website, the old one before the one being replaced now, had everything to do with my submitting to WiDo. This says a lot about the power of web-design.
    A writing friend sent me a list of five publishers I might approach. WiDo's site back then had an old-fashioned school-desk on the home page. I loved the calm and tasteful colors. The school-desk said to me, "this is a place for your story." I sent it to WiDo first before considering others on that list.
    Before my book came out, the site was changed. It was probably a better design representing all the books WiDo publishes.
    But taste was never the issue--superb in either case. I'm sure the new site will be, also.

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    1. Mirka, this is really interesting! I can barely remember that first design but if it inspired you to submit The Voice of Thunder then I am grateful for it.

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  8. Hi Karen - sounds like a great project and I'll be so interested to see the changes. I have to say we go by visuals so often - there are sites I don't like as too much clutter ...

    I must redo my site too .. cheers and I'm looking forward to seeing the result - Hilary

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    1. Hilary, very busy and cluttered sites with images that pop out at me are unnerving. These are the ones I don't stay on for long.

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  9. You have investigated, read reports to find out more and so I think your website will be great!

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  10. Change is never easy. (I wouldn't be surprised if there's still an old baby bottle or two hiding in the upper cabinets of our kitchen...) But change when what you already have is working well is even harder. But I have faith that y'all will come up with something even better.

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  11. Karen, I'm sure your new website at WiDo will be wonderful. We all need to keep ours looking fresh, but without too many bells and whistles. I'm sure we all have things we love and hate on websites. :-)

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  12. Hi, Karen!

    Sounds like an exciting NEW adventure! GREAT! Funny, I just posted my REHABBED LOFT today at my site.... UGH... a website certainly will be a LOT MORE FUN!

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  13. It sounds like an involved project. I'm sure you won't rest until it is exactly right...

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