For today’s Website Wednesday, we’re reviewing the website of New York Times best-selling author Lisa Renee Jones. Lisa has been a part of our TRS community since our early years and if you haven’t read any of her works before, what are you waiting for? Her latest release A Perfect Lie is out on 5/15/19 and it promises to be a sensational story.
First, I want to say that I really like this author site and feel it has a lot to offer readers. I like that the overall tone and feel of the site which mirrors the author’s fiction. I love romantic suspense, thrillers, and scarier stories so when I see a website like Lisa’s, I get my hopes up and think perhaps this author writes darker stories. She does and if you like those stories too, you won’t be disappointed.
The front door page of Lisa’s site has everything I want to see as a reader. There’s a picture of the author, information about her latest releases, a collection of social media widgets so readers can connect with her on their favorite platforms and information on becoming one of her “insiders” (more about that later.)
The graphics are pleasing visually and easy on the eye. There’s even a video welcome message in the author’s footer (it’s adorable!).
What’s On The Menu?
So here we’re dealing with two separate menus. The standard navigation menu is below the site logo and a quote from RT Book Reviews (still hard to believe they’re gone) and has all of the offerings you expect to see.
All of the bases are covered here in a way that’s fairly easy to understand. On this page, you see all of the author’s titles organized by series and order within that series. There’s a submenu here that includes International Editions (her titles as available in countries outside the US which is handy), Printable Book List (also handy and in easy-to-download PDF), and Series. Now the Series link on the submenu surprised me. I assumed that if I selected Series on that menu that it was a hot link that would take me to that series wherever it was on the books page. Not so fast. No, I was taken to a specific page for that series. There is no additional information or content about the series on the series pages, but I like the fact each series has its own page because when it comes to Google search, it will make things infinitely easier to find if I have questions on a specific book in a specific series as opposed to having to comb titles all thrown together on a single page.
The individual pages for each book are well done and offer a lot of information. You can read the blurb, find out what other titles by the author are connected to it, read an excerpt, and buy a copy from just about any online vendor on the web. There are social media share buttons and a utility so you can add the title to your GoodReads if you have one.
The individual book pages also have a submenu so we get a little complex here. The Books link takes you back to the book’s series page. The Pinterest link takes you to a Pinterest board set up for the book’s series. And the Fan Store link takes you to a shop with the author’s merchandise at a Zazzle store.
Very nice, simple page that’s a listing of Lisa’s upcoming titles with links to pre-order them and Read More links to take you to the individual books’ pages.
The blog is what you’d expect with regular posts from the author about her works and related topics.
I love when authors include a FAQ page and this is a pretty good one including answers to questions about the author’s books (one series is being developed as a television show), about writing and having a career as a writer. The author’s answers are pretty insightful. I don’t when or how often these are updated but I think it’s a nice touch.
This page has its own submenu. It includes Appearances (which will offer information on such and has a submenu but I’m not going to explore that because I want to stay closer to the top levels), Videos (which gives you information on the author’s YouTube channel), FAQ (a link back to itself), International Editions (the page we talked about earlier), and Cover Art Gallery (which took me to a media page).
A nice biography page with the author’s photo, bio, where to find her on all of your social media platforms, along with social media share buttons. The page has its own submenu which includes Appearances, Videos, and Fan Store which we’ve talked about already. It also includes a Media page which seems like an extended biography page with a lot more information about the author on it like Career Highlights, Press Releases, Articles and more. There’s a lot of neat information there. It also has the Contact page (there it is!) which gives Lisa’s web form and directions for common groups who contact her like booksellers, book clubs, and more. Contact has a submenu that includes Claim Your Contest Prize and Fan Store.
Is a simple page on signing up for the author’s newsletter and it’s great!
Also want to mention that on the footer of each page, lower right corner, is a section about becoming one of the author’s insiders. This includes a link to the newsletter page, a link to Bookbub, and a link to special insider Facebook group that the author has established.
Takes you off the author’s site to a separate site that will allow you to order copies of the books autographed by the author.
In the upper right of the site in the header and in the center of the footer on each page is another graphical menu (with a neat scroll-over effect) that features what I’m sure are the author’s most successful series and links to those series’ pages.
The hallmark of a well-done site is one where you can contact the author (or business) from any page you happen to be on. A reader is able to find the author on any social media platform on any page of the site and if they really needed to connect with her, I’m sure they could. If the Contact page could be linked on the primary menu? That would be awesome.
There’s a mobile version of the author’s website that includes all of the features we’ve outlined and it works great.
As a reader, I’m happy with this author’s site. When I Google the author’s name, her website is listed before any other pages of hers like Amazon, Goodreads, and more which tells you that the website is turning in a solid performance for the author as a marketing platform and as a venue where she can interact with her readers.
I’d only recommend changing a couple of things. First, I’d make sure the contact page was a top-level menu item so I wouldn’t miss a single email from a reader about how much they loved those books and this author certainly must receive many of those. Her books are that good.
I’d also recommend securing the site with SSL encryption. Google’s been on a quest for a few years now to build a secure internet and secured websites are rewarded with higher search engine rankings and increased visibility. With this site’s impressive performance, with the benefit of the stronger Google rank SSL encryption would bring, more happy readers might discover this author and be able to enjoy her books and website as much as I do.