NPR has an article about debut novelists who are using websites to interact with readers and add to the story they've told in their books. Both of the imaginative sites highlighted in the article offer enough fun to entice those who have already read the novels and those who may be thinking about reading them into making return visits.
Avideh Bashirrad, deputy director of marketing at Random House, says that a book Web site has to be dynamic and attractive and should deliver information that isn't in the book.Marisha Pessl has a site for Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Charles Bock has one for Beautiful Children. I haven't read Beautiful Children but enjoyed wandering around the site so it must be working. As for Calamity Physics, I didn't take to the book at all and really had to work to finish it but the website was lots of fun. It's starting to look as if authors are definitely going to have to put a webmaster on the payroll in order to keep up in the changing world of publishing.
"A letter from the author, for instance, directly to the readers, or even an invitation to e-mail the author directly, that kind of thing is really important to readers," says Bashirrad. "To be able to reach out to them makes readers feel really special and also builds loyalty."
The article sidebar also has these book website links:
Mergers and Acquisitions - Dana Vachon
Last Last Chance - Fiona Maazel
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill