Now live: A redesigned books page

Okay! Behind the scenes, a fairly substantial redesign of this website has been taking place. For me, back here, the site looks a bit different. For you, I think most of the site looks about the same, EXCEPT the Books page has been dramatically redesigned.

Click on over to the Books page and see what you think! Every series has its own page, plus the standalone titles have been set into their own categories. I think it should make everything far, far easier for people who perhaps aren’t as familiar with my books as perhaps most of you may be. It should also be both a more attractive and more straightforward presentation.

As an added perk, I’m told the behind-the-scenes part will make it easier for me to add new books myself as I bring them out, which has been a major pain in the neck in the past. I should have multiple opportunities to fiddle with that aspect of the redesign this year, and of course next year and in years to come.

I suspect this redesign will also take care of the occasional problems in which comments don’t show up, or don’t show up unless and until you fiddle around a bit. If anybody still has a problem with that after today, please let me know.

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11 thoughts on “Now live: A redesigned books page”

  1. It’s looking good, but I’m thinking of two elements you might wish to add at the top. Also, your recent books aren’t listed on this page yet!

    One a simple short list of series, that link to the spot on the page where you show all the books in that series. Putting a category like “Standalone adult fantasies” in that list would make those extra-accessible too.
    Please give the Tuyo series a name too, to show in the listing that they belong together – are you calling the whole series Tuyo as well, or something referencing all the different lands? “Mosaic of worlds” or “Where worlds collide” were the first things I thought of, for that concept, as a series name.

    Two, I do like keeping series together, and for a Books page that gives an oversight of all your work I much prefer the series in order, rather than a publishing order. But it means it’s not immediately noticeable if for instance the new volume of the Floating Islands series has come out, because that series is not at the top of the list.
    So, maybe add an extra feature at the top, “Recently published”, in which you highlight the books you’ve brought out this year, and link them to their series lower down on the page. Not a full repeat of all the information you give in the full listing, but maybe a thumbnail of the cover, the title, and one or two sentences that give the link to the book information lower on the page.
    Example of what I mean by a “Recently published” (subheader, if the whole page has the header “Books”) teaser at the top of the page:
    (Row of 3 thumbnails) DEATH’S LADY trilogy – coming soon, this all new trilogy will be published in May 2021. No cliffhangers, no waiting for the next book – all three books will be published within the month. See the book descriptions for xxx, yyy and zzz. (3 links).
    (thumbnail) TARASHANA – published March 2021 – this new book in the TUYO series (link that) takes us to the Starlit Lands. Check out the book description here! (link)
    (thumbnail) THE SPHERE OF THE WINDS – published February 2021 – the long-awaited sequel to The Floating Islands is now available in Kindle and paperback. Book description here (link).

    Probably best to keep this to 3 or 4 items at most, which is why I’d put in the whole new Death’s Lady trilogy as one item.

    Then the subheader “Series” with the list of links to the series & categories below;

    Then the subheader “Books” with all the books and their covers and information as you’ve got them listed now, per series (sub-sub-headings?).

  2. Hanneke beat me to it. Books+blurbs adds up to a lot of scrolling. There are a number of common techniques to split them up (tabs and menus, along with H’s suggestion of a TOC.)

  3. I wonder whether you’re seeing the new Books page. I believe every single book that’s out is indeed shown — and the series are divided up, plus all the series are shown from first to last in publication order.

    I think this may be an issue with caches or something. Let’s see if it doesn’t fix itself in the next week or so.

  4. OT: fun Big SF books, from Vernor Vinge, who had similar style to Cambias.
    He wrote three books in his crazy universe, 2 of which form a series; I’m rereading the second book. It involves contact with a group mind species, who form packs that communicate with each other in a high-frequency sound network. Cool! Individuals are entirely emergent, with singletons being essentially talking dogs–not too bright, and not much to say.

    And the bon mots!
    It isn’t a 3-d printer. It’s a “reality graphics display.”
    “Librarians and archeologists are always the ones to bring civilizations back.”

  5. I am now seeing the redesigned book page, with a series/categories menu defaulting to the Black Dog series (presumably on an alphabetical basis).

  6. Oh there it is. Except house of Shadows series is on the same page as Black Dog. I agree “recent books should be a link, and should be the default.

    I sooo like Vinge’s aliens, including the spiders. And his Bad Guys are something else!

  7. Right, it must have been a cached version I saw, because now it looks quite different, and better than what I saw first.

    I like the ordering by series, and tapping the series/category to open it.
    I don’t like that the Black Dog series, as the topmost one, is opened right from the start, so I only see the list of the rest of the series after I’ve scrolled past all five of the Black dog books.
    That might stop people who don’t know the breadth of your writing from looking further, if the impression they get from the Black dog covers is not what they’re looking for. I know they would likely put me off from looking further, if I hadn’t read other books of yours first, because of my aversion to horror and general disinterest in werewolf and vampire stories.

    I still think adding a “***Recently published***” item at the top would be a good idea, showcasing the last 3 books or so, if possible linking to the series lower on the page. Then that would be the item that is automatically open to view when one opens the page, and would immediately give a hint as to the different books you write.
    If you can’t put in a link to a point lower on the page, just mention the series where you can read the full book description below.

    Then when you add a new book or trilogy in its proper place, you also add it at the top of the Recently published list, and remove the bottom item there.

    With the Recently published item at the top, the list of series below that would start with the Black dog series, giving it no greater prominence than the other series, but showing off the breadth of your work right from the start.

  8. Hanneke, good suggestions, and actually I would prefer to have the default series set to be the Tuyo series. But I also really like your idea about a “recently published” category.

    I think I will ask them to do that real quick. … In fact, I have just asked them to do that, and they say it’s no trouble and should be done in the next couple of days.

  9. And the Recently published item is now visible at the top, very nice!
    A pity that Sphere of the winds isn’t up there anymore, it has such a lovely and eye-catching cover, with such a different feeling. Maybe because it’s slanted towards YA, but I always feel such a positive vibe from that one.
    But I guess that’s what you get when you are this productive, books age out of that item very quickly.

  10. Hanneke, I’m distracted and forgot to ask them to add Sphere. But since it only came out in February, it should probably be there, especially since, as you say, the cover is pretty.

    Supposedly this new website design should be easy enough for me to use that I could in theory add Sphere there myself. I have a tutorial here someplace. In about two weeks, when I’m hopefully much, much less distracted by other things, I will have to remember to try that and see how it goes.

    Thanks for your suggestion about redesigning that page, and now for your reminder about Sphere. I’m making a note about it now.

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