You know me; the designs will be standards-compliant, CSS-based, accessible, and search engine friendly no matter what. We’re also using basic content management wherever we can. We know a good blog system can be used to manage an entire site, and it’s important to us to make it easy for authors to update their own sites.
In addition to the usual web design services, we’re throwing in some extras: helping authors stay on top of reader discussions and finding ways to promote their appearances online. There are lots of free web tools that let people do these things, but we don’t see many authors taking advantage of them. Our motivation is entirely selfish: as readers, we wish it were easier to keep up with our favorite authors.
What we’re not doing is hosting sites ourselves. We think there are plenty of great, cheap web hosts that do it way better than we could. We also believe it’s important for authors to retain ownership of their sites and domains; we’ve seen some strange situations arise when someone else — be it the designer, the publisher, or a fan — owns everything.
We’ll post a lot of tips for authors who prefer to develop their own sites. (I mean, if people hire us, that’s great, but the ultimate goal here is to improve authors’ sites.) Once a week, we’ll also post a new entry in a series, 50 ways your website is not helping you sell more novels. Alas, each entry in this series is based on a true story.
The first few pieces of the site are up; now we just have to add little things, like, y’know, a portfolio. Nothing essential or anything like that.