I've made a few changes to the blog, and wanted to get your reaction to them because, well, the whole point here is that this stuff is enjoyable to read…and I think format has a lot to do with that.
First, because the ever-wise Lawrence Block pointed out that black text on a white background is much easier to read (than white on black or gray), I changed the background and text color.
I also changed the background image because I figured out how and felt like it. But the biggest changes are in the sidebar to your right…
I’ve debated long and hard about having ads on here at all, and I’ve added some selective ones to the sidebar because, ultimately, I want people to buy books. And while I’m not a big fan of Amazon, they’re a big bookstore and easy to buy from no matter where you are.
I split the book widget into “available now” and “preorders.” Preorders are hugely important to authors—Alafair Burke helped me understand why—and I’m going to try to keep this up-to-date.
I also added a Google eBookstore link because I like it for eBooks.
But I want to be clear: I support and encourage bookstores, especially independent ones, which are the lifeblood of communities around the world. Should I ever make a single dime from people buying books through links on this site, I will spend it in an indie bookstore. I promise.
I’ve added the widget from Shelf Awareness, which publishes a free e-newsletter for readers (in addition to one targeted to booksellers and publishers). If you sign up for the newsletter, you’re entered to win a signed copy of Laura Lippman’s new book, THE MOST DANGEROUS THING. Shelf won’t spam you—they’re good people—and the newsletter has short reviews of all kinds of books, including crime fiction.
And if you scroll right on down, you’ll see the meter that tracks the number of people who are sharing their FridayReads on Twitter. On Fridays, this is bunches of fun to watch, and when it reaches 10,000 people, that whoop of excitement you’ll hear ‘round the world will be me. Click on it to open the site where it lives and is much bigger.
So…what do you think? Before you tell me to switch everything to Wordpress, understand that I know just enough about technology to be dangerous…and Blogger is comfy for me right now. But I know I should switch over, and probably will when I can get my head around it.
Any suggestions welcome. And more real posts coming very soon.