I’m still thinking about author sites. In general, what makes for a good site for a children’s and YA author? And specifically, what will be the purpose of mine?

A couple of posts elsewhere have caught my eye: Cynthia Leitich Smith’s interview with her site’s designer, and a Caroline Hickey*-led discussion at The Longstockings.

The many comments in the latter include this well-put advice from literaticat:

this is what you NEED:

* a short bio.
* descriptions of all your books.
* any upcoming event or book release info.

this is what you ought to have:

the above, plus:

* snippets from (or links to) editorial reviews.
* links to buy the books (from book sense or powells, too, not just amazon!),
* school visit info (like what you charge, who to contact, etc.)
* other contact info

I know that some author sites strive to connect directly with young readers, but presumably those authors have already succeeded at getting their books into the hands of those readers.

Until I’ve accomplished that, I expect that my site will focus primarily on driving requests for author appearances at schools, libraries, conferences, festivals, workshops, bookstores, museums, etc. — opportunities for getting my books into those young hands in the first place.

* The discussion must have paid off for Caroline — she wound up with a simple, elegant, effective site ideal for a first-time author.