Check out the new digs…

Digs. Get it?! Holes in the ground! Silos! Ah, nevermind.*

It’s a brand spanking new website, but it should feel familiar enough. The background features artwork supplied by James Akers in our template competition. If anyone wants to showcase their stuff, feel free to send it along. And check out James’s website to get in touch with him. The dude has mad skills.

Everything else is in its normal place. The coffee mug now features a Jolly Roger. The old button was installed when a handful of readers complained my ebooks were too cheap. It soon became a spot for people who pirate my books to salve their consciences. I’ve been dying to update it into something that made more sense, and I think this works.

The genius behind this transition is Tim Grahl of Out:Think, who approached me some time ago to see if he could help. He had read about my system of taking orders and signing books (which is too convoluted and crazy to go into here) and said he could help. Tim works with authors to streamline their processes and help them sell more books. This is partly by making sure they spend more time writing, partly by helping them build their mailing lists, and also through website design and marketing tips.

Tim is seriously changing my life. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend going to his website and signing up for his newsletter. I’m not saying this as a favor to him, I’m saying it as a favor to you. His recommendations of little programs to install on my computer to keep me organized and help me respond to emails and PR requests are game-changers.

If you click around, you’ll see the site gives you the ability to buy ebooks online from Amazon, get signed copies from me, or get DRM-free ebooks directly, all a lot cleaner than before and just as secure. And all from one drop-down box. He integrated my word count feature, gave me more control over the navigation bar (which now features a fan corner), and kept it all in WordPress, so I know how to write posts and update things on the back end. It looks pretty and is easy to use.

It might take me a little while to get the signed books flowing again, just so you’re warned. I have some things to look into there. I’m going to play around with home pickup, as going to the post office was killing me. UPS has worked the past few weeks, but I feel bad about the extra shipping costs to you all. It was three times as much. I’ll update more about that later. For now, enjoy the new site, and I’ll try to keep the content coming. More writing and publishing tips soon, as I’ve had some requests for those. And more about DUST, which is getting close and closer to a finished rough draft. Exciting times!


*Lisa: I know nevermind isn’t a real word, but it should be. And I’m doing my part by adding to popular usage. I believe, in forty or fifty years, this will no longer be a typo. Get on the right side of history, girlfriend!

34 responses to “Check out the new digs…”

  1. Wow, I think it looks great. It really feels fitting. Feels nicer, and somehow, very Siloish.

    TBH when the last website changed to a huge red WOOL banner, it felt like it lost some Hugh Howeyness, and felt a little less personal, and more like the books website, than yours.

    This is sleek, sexy, bright. Very awesome.

  2. Thanks, Derek. The red banner was a little much, yeah. It was for the S&S launch. The site is back to being my site.

  3. I know you’ve had issues in the past with USPS, but you really can’t beat their prices/time for Priority shipping in the US.

    Pros: Free flat-rate boxes/envelopes. Free pickups. (Hint: if you use the Priority flat-rate boxes, check the price by weight as it may be cheaper than the flat rate.)

    Cons: The issues in your local PO. The tracking system isn’t nearly as good as the commercial entities, but it will give delivery confirmation.

  4. No offense to your artistic skills ;) but will Shift Obmibus be getting the cover treatment to match Wool and Dust? It just looks a little out of place on the sidebar of your website sandwiched between two professional covers.

    Also, the individual pages have some formatting issues (at least in Chrome) where the menubar and sidebars are messed up.

    1. Yup. I should do that now.

      1. Chrome looks good now, and Shift cover looks great!

  5. Would love to see the Shift cover updated on my Kindle…

    1. I think it’s been updated on the Kindle store. Maybe a refresh would update what you’re seeing.

      1. Harlow Fallon Avatar

        I just looked it up on Amazon and it’s not updated as far as I can tell. (Which isn’t very far without my glasses…)

  6. Really, really nice. Beautiful design, elegant setting for the whole community to come together. The silhouette in the lower right corner totally makes the joint.

  7. Hugh, I love the site redesign, but I don’t like that you have the Silo plan in the background. I police Amazon reviews regularly to ensure that a certain word is NOT pluralized, otherwise it’s spoilers, killing the big reveal in Wool. Seriously, I want everyone to have that same moment of shock, without any spoilers as to the certain plural nature of a certain setting. :)

    1. Ah, good point! I wonder if that would occur to anyone before reading, though. I keep hearing from people who read SHIFT before WOOL, and that seems strange to me. :(

  8. You know what ELSE is cool? The DUST-O-METER is sittin’ pretty at 97%!! Gimme DUST!!

    1. You want it right now?! Because it ain’t done!

      1. Sort of? Kind of. Maybe. :-)

  9. I looks great, Hugh! Now all it needs is that cozy, lived-in feeling that comes with lots and lots of posts! ;)

  10. Margaret Temple Avatar
    Margaret Temple

    The new look is rockin’ Hugh!!!! I love the bold blue background. It really pops. I very much enjoy checking in everyday to see what’s going on in your head. Thanks for being so good about updates. I am really looking forward to Dust. It is on my husband’s list of things I must have.

  11. Looking grand, completely different feel to it.

  12. Looks spiffy, Hugh! I love it! Especially the cleaner at the bottom right!

  13. Not ad advert, I promise but I keep hearing about on podcasts, might help.

  14. For the shipping, I recommend you look into USPS pickup. If you ship priority mail, you can get free pickup at home (and delivery confirmation is free printing labels online). It may be more cost effective than UPS even if it is more than the media mail rates you used before.

    I am a huge fan of FedEx Ground. I have shipped packages through them pretty extensively and if you use a FedEx account (easy to set up and link to a credit card to pay automatically), the cost is less than just walking into a store. Of course there is a little markup for pickup, but as a business, I think that may be waived.

    On a related note, if I ordered signed copies of all four Molly Fyde books, would I get the new Jaspar covers or do I need to wait a little more?

  15. New site looks great, Hugh! I see the new Molly covers…does this mean we can get them from you directly now instead of just Amazon?

    Love love love the new covers…but we already had that conversation, didn’t we? :)

    1. Yup. You can order them from the site. The process is brand new, so I expect some headaches on this end for a few weeks.

      1. Sweet! And take your time; we’ll be patient. :)

  16. Cool new look. I just checked out Out:Think and signed up for the free course. The 1st video was enlightening. Just wanted to say thanks for the heads-up about Tim Grahl.

    1. Thanks, Mark! And Tim is a mad genius, I tell ya.

  17. looks as it good as it functions – fantastic! and oh seriously dude, woohoo! dust in just two months! yay!

  18. The new digs are looking Fantastic Hugh! Your webspace looks sleek, sharp and professional. :)

  19. OH WOW! Ha! I was just here yesterday and what a change! Congrats. It’s a beautiful design :)

  20. Except I can’t search your website anymore? I found that really helpful when looking for tips on self-publishing!

    1. I’ll see about getting that added. Thanks!

      1. YAY! I see it’s back! Thanks so much. It’s a great design. I’m sure you’ll get many years out of it.

  21. This might be me missing the obvious, but when I’m in a post to read the comments, I’m not seeing the “next” and “previous” buttons to check out the next post in line.

    but I do like the new site!- very pretty

  22. Hugh,

    Nice website. I visited to learn more about Dust, and I thought I’d just say the site is nice and quiet. I like that. It reminds me of why I came to visit this place.

    I think I’ll go online now to B&N and start reading your other books.

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