Should I read this book? Well… Here’s how I’d frame it. And in fact, I’d like this called out very noticeably on the landing page. Here’s some placeholder text:
If one or more of the following is a good description of you, I’d recommend reading my book:
• I currently have cancer or another serious illness and am looking for not only a story of hope, but a story I can relate to (illness can be lonely). And I’m okay with reading about people who don’t make it and don’t mind reading about the negative side effects of cancer and its treatment.
• I have a friend or loved one with cancer or another serious illness.
• I’m the primary care giver for someone with cancer or another serious illness.
• I may or may not be interested in cancer, but I like non-fiction story telling. Particularly if it’s fast-paced and crosses humor, suspense, fear, and tragedy.
• I like memoirs and human interest stories.
• I’m interested in how others think about—and face—mortality.
If one or more of the following is a good description of you, I’d recommend caution before reading this book:
• I do not want to read about potentially frightening and tragic stories of death.
• I am grieving a recent loss of a loved one to cancer (my guess is that you might find my use of humor off-putting at this moment that is anything but light for you).
• I’m looking for advice on how to prevent or beat cancer (I’m not yet 100% off the hook myself).
• I’m not a fan of profanity or sophomoric humor (there’s a tad of both in the book).
• I’m looking for a story that discusses religious beliefs—a religious journey (not intentionally left out of the book—just not really discussed).
Even though I just wrote a bunch of bulleted text above, here’s the challenge: I don’t want too much text on the landing page. It can’t be text heavy. That said, it should cleverly offer to reveal text if the visitor wants to ‘read more’ if you will. And that doesn’t necessarily mean just linking to another page. There are more sophisticated, nuanced ways to reveal additional information in 2016 :^)
Please see the attached document for additional text that should appear on the landing page as well as an image of the book cover, front and back, and spine. There’s no requirement to include both the front and back cover. I’ll leave it to you. Really, whatever is on the site should at the end of the day feel like the visitor is meeting someone who is friendly, raw and honest, warm, serious but with a good sense of humor. The book is so personal—people who read it will come to ‘know’ me. So, avoid something that’s embarrassingly narcissistic—this is a show about the story and the people who read it, not me. That said, make it possible to meet me, if you will.
Additional components / calls to action I’ll want on the landing page(s):
• Sign up to receive notice when the book launches (First, last name; email; city, state or province, country). This should include the following placeholder text: “I promise not to spam you.”
• Contact the author. This should include the following placeholder text: “Please don’t be offended if my reply is delayed and/or super brief—perhaps even one word or a single emoticon. Really just a symptom of needing to keep my day job, not my not wanting to write more or more responsively :^) Contact me should lead to a form, not an email address—I don’t want bots scraping the page then spamming me.
• Eventually I’ll want a buy it button somewhere, so plan for that now. Just now that it won’t be on the page at first, so its absence can’t leave an awkward hole if you will. Perhaps something else occupies the space until the buy button appears (?). And it will probably offer options where to buy it (e.g Amazon, Barnes and Noble)
• The landing page should offer the ability for visitors to download the book’s introduction. If they want to do that, though, they will need to go through the same sign up flow mentioned in the first bullet.
• Should offer the ability to like my book on FB--I will have a page up for the book (not me personally-I want to maintain just my close circle of friends on my personal FB page).
• Space for 1-3 reviews / blurbs. But don’t call give the section a title. And the ability to see additional reviews in the future (some way to ‘see more’)
• I want my signature somewhere… “All the best – Walt”
The page must look good—and function-on all modern browsers—IE, Firefox, and Chrome. Any version released in the last few years. Worst case, have a “fall back” design for older browers.
For font, I love Segoe UI Light but am willing to consider alternatives