Friday, April 22, 2011

Make Every Byte Count with Guest blogger: Elaine Cantrell

Meet author Elaine Cantrell at the Book Boost today!

Here's what she had to say...

Every author needs a website. In today’s information age, people expect to find anything and everything on the internet, so it’s crazy not to have one, especially if you’re an ebook author. You can hire any number of professionals to make one for you, or you can plug in the keywords ‘free websites’ and take your pick from a huge number of free websites. I’ve had a website ever since I started writing, and these are the elements I think should be included.

1.Basic information about the author. I have one section on my website called How It All Began. There I give information about me and why I started writing. Watch that you don’t get too personal, though. Things float around on the internet forever and could come back to bite you.

2.Blurbs. Readers need to be able to read the back cover blurb just as they would if they went into a brick and mortar bookstore.

3.Excerpts. Would you buy a book in a store without first flipping through it? Excerpts can vary in length, but I’d do no more than a chapter at most.

4.Buy links. Without buy links you may lose a sale.

5.Book Covers. I have a page for each book, and I also have them all displayed on the first page.

6.Newsletter Sign up. This is something that should be easy to do, preferably on the front page.

7.Blog Link. Have a predominately displayed link that will take readers to your blog.

8.Photos. I’d suggest only photos of the author at conferences, book signings, etc. That being said, some readers love pet photos. When I posted pictures of my cat in my newsletter everyone loved it.

9.Authors Favorite links. I think this is a good idea, but I don’t have it on my own website. I posted links on my blog.

10.Book Trailers. They can be posted on the website or you can give a link so people can go to You Tube or wherever you have it.

11.Coming Soon. I like to know when my favorite author’s new book is coming out.

There are two things that I hate when I visit other websites.

1.Music that plays automatically. I click out as quickly as I can.

2.Pages that are too busy. If it’s too confusing I won’t waste time trying to figure it out.

Not being a website designer myself, I’ve probably left out something important. Authors and readers, help me out. What do you think a website needs?

A Note from the Book Boost: Great tips, Elaine! Thanks for sharing. I agree with you on that automatic music thing--very aggravating. Particularly if I happen to have the volume turned up on my computer at the time. Please tell us more about your book.


After an auto accident destroys his pro-football career, Matt McCallum struggles to find a new dream for his life, but nothing engages him the way football did. After a stint in rehab, he takes a job managing a grocery store where he meets Violet Emerson.

Violet works in the bakery department, but her dreams carry her far beyond the doors of Chef’s Pantry. As soon as she can save the money, she plans to open a catering business. And she thinks the new manager’s broad shoulders and blue eyes are simply divine.

Thrown together at work, Matt and Violet find a common dream for their lives, but a loose end from Matt’s past returns to jeopardize their future. Will love be enough to save their new dream before it turns into a nightmare?


When Matt turned around, Violet caught a glimpse of his
face, and it occurred to her how dark and quiet the deserted store seemed. Maybe she shouldn’t have worn such a revealing costume!

Violet hunched her shoulders and pulled the top of her
gown up. But that only drew attention to her chest. His eyes lingered and his tongue darted out and lined his lips. Violet shivered as her senses registered how the air swirled with sensual overtones.

“Hadn’t we better go?” she appealed as she fidgeted with
one of her bracelets.

“What’s the hurry? We never have a minute to ourselves.
Someone’s always around.”

Violet’s heart raced as Matt moved toward her. She wasn’t
really afraid of him. She couldn’t imagine him forcing his attentions on her no matter how big and powerful he was, but he had acted different the last week or so. With effort, she held her ground at his approach.

“Why are you scared of me?” Matt asked his voice as soft
and rich as velvet. “Your eyes are as big as saucers.”

Violet’s chin came up. “I’m not scared of you.”

“Then you won’t mind if I do this.” Matt trailed his fingers
up her bare arm, leaving a path of goose bumps behind.

Violet quivered and tried to catch her breath as he pulled her
into his arms. She didn’t know whether to bless or curse her costume, for both of his hands now rested against her bare back.

Matt laid her head against his shoulder. Violet caught his
male scent and shivered; she pressed herself closer to him. A warm, fluttery feeling deep inside coiled and twisted and threatened to build into something monumental and wonderful.

He bent his head and nuzzled his face against Violet’s neck.

She felt his lips warm against her throat, and convulsively her arms
tightened around him. A few guys had kissed and nuzzled her before, but it had never been like this. This was the most arousing experience of her life. Matt’s masculinity had stimulated all of her feminine instincts. Had she ever been so aware of a man before?

No, she hadn’t.

Boldly, she stroked the back of his neck and explored the
texture of his hair. Matt didn’t seem to mind, so she rubbed his shoulders and back; the man did have great shoulders. Matt made a little sound low in his throat that made her knees grow weak. What audacity to think she could control the leashed power under her fingers.

In a sudden, swift motion, Matt pushed one of the brief
sleeves of her costume from her shoulder and kissed the place where the sleeve had rested. “Your skin is so soft and warm,” he whispered.

Violet gasped. “Don’t, Matt.”

Want More Elaine?

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Anonymous said...

Elaine - I've read most of your books and have truly enjoyed them. I am only partway through your newest but it may be your best yet! And I would agree that anything playing automatically on a site sends me packing!

Dawn said...

I have to say that I think you covered it all in this post. All of these things are a must if you you want to keep my attention on a website. I like the convenience of a website but I also want to feel as if I am almost holding the book in my hand. A good website will give you this experience by allowing you to see the cover, read a chapter , and conveniently buy it , without ever leaving that comfortable spot on the couch. I have really enjoyed your books and look forward to reading more!

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Great tips, Elaine.

elaine cantrell said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I do think it's important for an author to have a website, and I hope I've given you a few helpful tips.