Author Website Critique

Me and my team started working on this product for over 8 months, and we are ready to officially launch it to the public. In order to make sure we have covered everything I have hired a professional to review the service.

Criteria for hiring this person:

  • NO connection with us “Publishing Addict”.
  • A successful published author.
  • Someone with who can understand the product from a buyers perspective.

So we managed to find someone brilliant – Her name is E. Lee Caleca author of Creekwood and Creekwood 2.

Lee Caleca

Lee Caleca has a style that not only makes her pieces enjoyable to read, but enjoyably unique as well. Highly recommended. – Allistair Marquise, Helium Sub-Channel Manager.

Caleca is a New Jersey native who began fine art training at age 11 and has worked in many mediums including pastel, oil, watercolor and acrylic painting, clay, plaster of Paris, textiles, wood and natural fibers. 

With early training in voice and jazz dance she's appeared in newsprint, theater, on camera, on stage and runway and has held responsibilities including professional photography, location assistant, set design, property, casting, and costume design and execution. 

She's currently a judge for the Global Ebook Awards and the Eric Hoffer Small Press Awards, holds a B.A.S. in Fashion Design, is a 2x Juice Award winner for Fresh Design & Outstanding Use of Creative Perspective by IADT, and has received the HubNuggets Award for best new writer by HubPages. 

She is a forty year health and nutrition advocate.

So here it is, her genuine review on “The Author Website – We Give Authors Their Time Back

It seems as though you’ve covered everything an author might want or need in terms of getting a website set up, marketing, functionality, and fluidity. It all reads and flows very well, IMO.

Your advertising graphics are simple, creative and clever so they don’t get in the way of the message. Good color balance.

There are a lot of website builders and managers out there and I don’t know how many are specifically geared to writers and authors, but yours offers everything and the site clearly shows your ability to design. In that regard, it adds a much needed service.

The section at the bottom “Do Not Disturb – Writer at Work” is great, but it’s way at the end of the page, and with all the other links and tabs going on, it may get overlooked. However it delivers an important part of your message – your goals and your guarantee.

I suggest finding another location for this somewhere near the top.

Also, under Our Goals!: “…we’ll stay on top of things.” I suggest adding “…so you don’t have to.” That further strengthens the time-saving point.

Why would I, as an author, not accept an offer like this?

Money would be the only thing that would hold me back from taking advantage of this. You do all the work and have covered all aspects.

If an author can afford the price of admission and monthly rate, it’s a great deal, however, there may come a point where they won’t want to pay the monthly fee anymore. What happens to their site then?

  •  Money – IMO, writers don’t make a lot of money until they have a blockbuster or are backed by a major publisher, so this will always be a big issue – making it affordable and still making a profit for your company. With that in mind, the pricing plans are a little steep. The set up fee is OK, but the monthly fee may be a sticking point for some.

Also, on the Max plan, $45 hourly is high for extra hours beyond the included 2 hours. You may have a tough time convincing writers to pay this. Again, it all comes down to authors and writers who are not really making a lot of money from their writing so they need to justify spending the money they make from their job, if they have one. But this is likely not the biggest money-maker of your site, so the point may be somewhat irrelevant.

You might consider offering a yearly discounted package for the monthly rate. If they sign on for a year, offer a significant discount, or a “visits” challenge – if they don’t see a certain number of visits within a predetermined timeframe, they receive the next month free, or something like that.

Your existing guarantee could stand, so there’s really no risk, but if someone is excited about getting a website and they don’t see great results at first, they’ll be disappointed. It’s good to give them a way to stay on board and hope for better results. It would, of course, be an either/or but not both. If they stay, they would no longer be eligible for a 30-day refund.

  •  Trust – The site is well put together, so that instills a level of trust. People relate better to real people. Consider adding a page with profiles and pictures of your top team members – programmers, designers, team leaders, data people, even the smallest team member. Let us know who they are, what their function is on the team, a bit about their background or qualifications, how they came to Publishing Addict, even something personal such as “John has a bulldog named Irving that likes to watch him work”
  • Testimonials – Not sure what you’re asking here. Please let me know if you want me to look at testimonials, if you’re wondering if you need testimonials, authors / books testimonials page?
  • Message un-clear – This is definitely a time saver, especially for those who have previously entered the time sucker of trying to build their own website, create daily or weekly Twitter interest, link to other sites such as FB, research SEO, understand marketing types, and the rest of the nightmare. Most authors get as far as a static author page that links to Amazon for sales. So the message, even if not stated outright all over the pages, is very clear. “OMG…what a time saver!”

I’d still like to see more of these messages throughout the site.

  • “We give authors their time back!”
  • “We’ll create an amazing website where you can showcase your work and tell your life story”
  • “We’ll build and manage your website for you – so you can focus on writing”
  • “We’ll help you market you books social media”
The following two tabs change content below.

Radu Balas

Radu is the Founder of Publishing Addict and author of "Sell More Books Using Your Author Website | The Easiest Way To Brand, Build, Market, and Manage Your Authorship" Soon available on Amazon.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.