When award-winning author, Tessa Afshar, contracted with Tyndale House Publishers, they mutually decided to refresh her website.
Responsive web design enables a site’s design to seamlessly reconfigure to work perfectly on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Special features on TessaAfshar.com
Facebook Page Feed
In addition to penning historical novels, Tessa works full-time in ministry. So she has limited time to blog or publish e-newsletters. But she’s very active on her Facebook page, so she asked us to embed a live feed to her Facebook page on the Home page of her website.
Extended Video Trailer
Tessa partnered with Tyndale House to film a compelling video about her new novel, Land of Silence. The video is featured on her Home page. It also appears on the Land of Silence book details page and on her Media page.
Why put a video on three pages of a website?
Many website visitors do not check out every page of a site. They typically land on the Home page, and, in the case of an author, they’ll next visit either the “About” page or the “Books” page(s). Featuring a well-done video on several pages increases the chances of the video getting noticed by a wider variety of visitors to Tessa’s site.
Why you should NOT upload videos directly to your website
Tessa’s video is just over 4 minutes, but even a relatively short video can gobble up a site’s bandwidth, causing the site to load sluggishly (particularly on smartphones).
When featuring videos on a website, it’s best to upload the video(s) to a video hosting service such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia and embed the sharing link to that video on your site. The video player will display and users can watch it without leaving your site.
Behind the scenes of Tessa’s website
One custom feature I particularly like: On her “Books” page, we built a “featured book” area so Tessa can give top billing to a particular title. When you view the “Books” page on a desktop computer, you’ll see that Land Of Silence gets the space of honor by itself, at the top of the page.
About her new site, Tessa says,
“I love the site. Laura and her team designed a complex and detailed, yet friendly, inviting site that is easy to navigate… a truly amazing job on all fronts!”
Tip from Tessa: Creating a launch team for your book
Tessa’s new novel, Land of Silence, releases May 1. In preparation for the book’s release, Tessa “auditioned” fans for her launch team. Here’s the invite she posted on Facebook:
“It’s audition time! We are creating a launch team for my upcoming novel, Land of Silence, and want at least 25 of my most committed, passionate fans to help spread the word. If you have a presence on social media, or influence with a book club or local store, and want to get others excited for Elianna’s story, comment below explaining why YOU should be on Team Tessa. For those chosen, there will be chocolate bars and much gratitude.”
I love this “audition” invite and will borrow it next time I build a launch team for an author client. Her invitation sounds warm, friendly, gentle, and professional. I’m pretty sure she received way more than 25 responses to her query!
Ready for a new website?
The Blogging Bistro team specializes in building custom, responsive design WordPress websites. In addition to creating Tessa’s site, we’ve recently built sites for a professional photographer, a real estate broker, and a restauranteur. We’re currently working on a website for a mental health professional.
If you think we’d be a good fit, book an appointment for a free, no-obligation needs assessment. Call Laura Christianson at 425-244-4242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.