Bookswarm and The Bestseller Experiment – Q&A on author websites

Simon’s made another foray in to the world of podcasting, this time joining Mark Stay over at The Bestseller Experiment.

The Bestseller Experiment is a weekly podcast presented by Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux, in which they talk with leading lights from the publishing industry, million-selling, chart-topping authors such as Michael Connelly, Joanne Harris, Bryan Cranston, Ian Rankin, John Connolly, Scott Lynch, Michelle Paver, Maria Semple, million-selling indie sensation Shannon Mayer, agents, editors, and social media experts. And Simon!

Simon’s podcast was one of the podcasts’s trademark ‘Deep Dives’, and was all about the challenges facing authors when it comes to their websites (a topic on which we do have some experience). We answered questions from Bestseller Experiment subscribers, and hopefully helped them focus on the issues that really matter.

The full podcast is available to the podcast’s Patreon supporters – however you can listen to a teaser-length version here, or below, and become a supporter of The Bestseller Experiment for only $5 per month to hear the full Q&A.

Bookswarm advises The Literary Consultancy on website strategy

Last year we were asked by renowned UK-based editorial consultancy service The Literary Consultancy (TLC) to come and work with them to help them streamline their website offering and assist their users to navigate more easily to the services and content relevant to them.

The work consisted of:

  • Initial desk research, and planning a workshop where we could explore all of the different approaches that service providers can take to Information Architecture
  • Delivery of the workshop (armed with copious quantities of sticky notes, a whiteboard, flash-cards and LOTS of biscuits)
  • Writing up the chosen approach, including creating sample wireframes that could be used to brief TLC’s incumbent web developers

The new website is now live, incorporating a much simpler home page which signposts users to the key service areas, and the Writers’ Wizard, which helps writers work out where they are in their writing journey and how TLC can help them.

TLC Director Aki Schilz explains how the process worked for them:

“Following a strategic review of the business in 2018, we realised that whilst the design elements of our website still felt fresh, the overall site ‘journey’ didn’t quite chime with the writer journey we’d been tracking for some time. We wanted it to be upmarket, but approachable (like us!) and to genuinely help writers, pointing them to various resources, links, and a whole load of useful content which we hadn’t quite organised properly. We were also extremely excited about various new elements we were keen to introduce, but didn’t want to overload the site. Simon was absolutely fantastic. He read through our branding and marketing briefs, totally understood what we wanted, and gave brilliant, creative suggestions for a range of solutions, which either his team could implement, or we could go back to our web team with. His approach was open-hearted, and I felt he really understood what TLC is about, rather than simply rushing in with ‘design solutions’ that had little resonance with our ethos. The whole thing came together organically, but was also time-efficient, and targeted. The net result is a gorgeous website that’s zippier, and that writers can really feel supported through navigating. And, we’ve a funky little Writers’ Wizard which we’re particularly proud of, and which was Simon’s original idea. Thank you, Bookswarm!”

It really was a pleasure working with TLC. Please do contact us if we can help you with web strategy and information architecture, even if you aren’t looking to change web agencies.