Internet Extends Endless Opportunity
As part of her job, Maragni must decide what to post and how to best help browsers find what they need quickly. In just two years, she's developed strong convictions as to what makes a Web site effective. Maragni believes that good Web site management demands attention to the following principles
Make the copy count. While previews, excerpts and synopses are all used on the Web, there's no magic formula applicable to every title.
"You can't always just take copy off of a book jacket. It doesn't always work. You need to warm it up and massage it for maximum impact so it can be read really quickly," she explains. Selecting the right approach for individual titles and collecting the clips or images to be posted is, in fact, "the most cumbersome part" of developing a Web site, says Maragni. "It really requires someone knowing the books."
It's also important to consider how much information is too much. A long, rambling description of a book may force the browser to lose interest entirely. "Get your message out and lead them on to another title if it is not what they are looking for," advises Maragni.
Within the Web site, "One of the things that's really important is categorizing the books properly."
Web files have a "keyword" file that browsers search in addition to titles. It's important to make sure those keywords include the words a browser might type into a search engine. Accurate and creative keywording allows readers to locate multiple titles quickly.
Making the most of linking. Authors can be encouraged to link their own pages to the publisher, and vice versa. Each helps promote the other this way.
Health Communications offers commissions to (preregistered) authors and other organizations when they link browsers to the Health Communications site who ultimately buy books.