What do You Like (or not like) about my Website?

I’m getting ready to update my website again, and would love input from you on the changes you’d like to see. Do you have favorite areas of the site? Areas you couldn’t care less about? I haven’t updated the photo gallery in years. Is it worth keeping and updating? I plan to let the contest page go. . . unless I hear some protests. What other areas do you care about?
I’d like to lighten the look of the site–it’s a bit dark and brooding right now. I want to make it easier to navigate, and fill it with truly engaging material. One thing I don’t like in some of the author sites I’ve seen lately is a “depersonalization,” and that’s a danger in any website overhaul. I know many of you like feeling a personal connection when you visit an author’s site, and I’ll keep that in mind.
Please let me know your thoughts!


  1. brenda on January 22, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    The Blog, of course. It is the only one I check regularly/faithfully…I have gotten to know you…and others through the BLOG…
    I check the events-hoping there will be a workshop some day.
    I like the newsletter-the information about your books.
    I do not check the contests, etc.
    I think new releases is a section that is important for those who don’t blog.
    I also think the books=titles and perhaps a precis on each would be important for those not familiar with your work-I sent others to your website for that purpose.
    I think your website is great—better than most I have seen.

  2. Cheryl on January 22, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    I like your website. I think its easy to navigate and all the important information is easy to find. One thing I think is neat is the foreign cover quiz. I think you should keep that. I think the new releases is the most important section and like that there is a link from your home page.

  3. Diane Chamberlain on January 22, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    This is very helpful!
    Cheryl, if I keep the foreign cover quiz, i really MUST update it. wow, it’s old.

  4. Linda Austin on January 23, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Hi Diane, just found you thru a link from Ritergal’s blog. Since you asked, the navy is very intense on your website. The lighter blue is attractive (love your blog look). In website studies, the navigation tags do better on the left side (or as tabs along the top), your photo at top is great, and you should have a brief statement about you and your writing along with that photo as an introduction. (I like your bio blurb about “My stories are often filled with twists… my readers seem to agree with me.) Then follow with your books and a short reviewer blurb for each. Also, if you court the press for publicity, a media page should be readily available (not via email request). Hope you don’t mind a stranger butting in.

  5. Margo on January 23, 2008 at 8:14 am

    The blog is the best part of your website Diane. As Brenda said, we’ve gotton to know more about you and about each other. I also like the home page which talks about the newest release. Some authors have sites that are so ‘busy’ with too much ‘stuff’ to find this or that but yours is just right…simple and easy to follow. If I look at a site that has too much going on, I don’t bother reading it. I enjoy your photo gallery so I hope that you do update and keep it. (-:

  6. Leigh on January 23, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I agree that the blog is why I keep coming back; and I must confess that I like it all: how you work, the ins-and-outs of publishing, etc. I would probably like more pictures of your daily life,and I am really interested in what sparks your imagination, as well as what you find the hardest about developing a story, etc. Also how any personal experiences are reflected in your books, or if they are at all. The first book of yours I read was The Brass Ring and I am still fascinated as to how you got that topic, and how/why you made one of the main characters paraplegic. Plus, I just love blogs of all kinds. I write on mine almost daily and find it really fun to do.

  7. Diane Chamberlain on January 23, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Great input, all! Leigh, thanks for the detailed feedback. I agree about the navy. I think the site is simply too dark, although I liked the look when my designer and I first came up with it. Margo, I agree about “busy” websites and want to keep mine spare. Leigh, at your request. . . I just added “why I made Jon a paraplegic” in BRASS RING to my list of future blog topics.

  8. brenda on January 23, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I think that the pictures on a website are great. However, I do think that you have to be careful about putting them on there…some authors are not doing it now because of the danger. A student made a MY Space for me (without my knowledge) and put pictures. You cannot imagine how that ended up. (I do not think My Space is a good idea, and that is only one reason…) The BLOG is for those of us who read your writing and rec. it to others…it has been the greatest. As to the color of the website, etc. I don’t pay attention to that.
    I DO NOT LIKE BUSY websites and refrain from using them. I agree with that.
    However, to be totally honest, I might visit others occasionally but not often. Yours has me hooked because of the group…
    THANKS for bringing us together.

  9. brenda on January 23, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Remember ladies-I teach high school and college and SEE the problems that go along with the My Space. I want law enforcement to catch up with technology….

  10. Leigh on January 25, 2008 at 10:08 am

    One last thing, since I grew up in the Triangle and currently live in Chapel Hill, I like reading all the little local places you reference. Topsail, for example, has been our family’s beach since 1970. And your blog is more like a “real” blog: you write on it regularly, and it isn’t tied to your publishing company like so many writers. So thank you!

  11. Diane Chamberlain on January 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for that encouragement, Leigh. I love Chapel Hill. Have you read The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes? Part of it is set in CH in the 70s. And I LOVE Topsail. I’m hoping to do a signing at Quarter Moon Books there, as well as Quail Ridge here in the Triangle.

  12. brenda on January 25, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Girls-Barbara Delinsky’s new book is great!!! It came out Tuesday…
    She and Diane never fail to amaze me…
    Won’t be long and your book will be out, D., and I Can’t wait.

  13. Diane Chamberlain on January 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Brenda, I just picked up Delinsky’s latest (The Secret Between Us) and Anita Shreve’s latest (Body Surfing), but it will be a while before I can read them. Can’t wait!

  14. brenda on January 27, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    I LOVE Anita Shreve. Barbara Delinsky’s is wonderful…glad you got it…you both have a lot in common-you never let us down–that’s a lot of pressure, I know, but it is so true.

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