Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mary Stewart fan site!

Exciting news! Twin and I have been working the last couple months to build a website -- a fan site (completely unauthorized, of course) for Mary Stewart, our favorite author. And it's finally ready for visitors! It's at MaryStewartNovels.com.


I first got the idea for the site from looking at the stats for this blog -- a lot of people seem to arrive here by googling "Mary Stewart summary" or something like. And I haven't even talked about her all that much. I did a little research and there was almost nothing on the web about Stewart. Horror! Because she's sooo wonderful! Even the synopses to be found on Amazon and B&N tell you almost nothing. We had a lot of fun putting our site together, and I hope that people find it useful.

Now I know that some of you are also Mary Stewart fans -- so do me a huge favor and go take a look at the site. I've never built a website before, so I would love some feedback. I'm open to any and all suggestions for improvement. I've also started a Mary Stewart Novels blog as a way of chatting with other fans.

And if anyone would like to link to the site from your blog, that would be AWESOME. Help me give the Googlebot a tickle. I would love for people to be able to find the site by googling.

21 comments:

Marg said...

I've mentioned it at HistoricalFiction.org, where there are a few Mary Stewart fans.

Kerry said...

The website is lovely. Great work.

I'll mention it on my blog. Don't know if it will do you any good, but I'll mention it.

I looked through your cover gallery and I think most of the covers I have are different. When/if I get some spare time I'll try to scan them for you.

Jill D. said...

How nice Jennie, I especially liked the quiz!

Li said...

That is a really good website - and better than some other "official" author websites I've seen.

I've never read a Mary Stewart but I will now :-)

Jennie said...

Marg--Thanks! Any way of getting the word out is appreciated. :)

Kerry--I love looking at Mary Stewart covers! I don't know why. So please do send the scans if you can find the time. It's very easy to add them to the cover gallery slide show.

Jill--Lol. We had fun making up that quiz. Definitely not scientific, but we thought it might help point people to a book that would suit them.

Li--Thanks! I'm always amazed by how ugly and user-unfriendly some authors' websites are. My sister is a designer, so she helped me lay things out, which was great.

You have to read Stewart!! I think you'd like her a lot.

Li said...

Will def try her now - I loved the excerpts you quoted on the quiz!

Just a couple of thoughts on your website (I've been trying to figure out which books to start with ;-) )

- Publication date for each novel - I know it's on the page for each book when you click through, but it'd be cool to see it on the main Novels page too.

- Any chance of linking to reader reviews from the Novels page (including yours!)?

Jennie said...

Li--Excellent suggestions. The novels are listed on the Novels index page in order of publication, but you're right, I should put the dates there. Will do. :)

As for linking to reader reviews--I was thinking of doing that on the Stewart blog, rather than the site. Hmmmm. I guess I was trying to keep the site professional-ish and free of my own personal opinions, but maybe that's silly. I'll have to think on that. Plus I actually haven't done that many reviews here for Stewart books -- I tend not to review re-reads. I should have a Stewart week and write up a bunch of reviews. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennie
I usually lurk here (great reviews, thanks for putting me onto Susanna Kearsley and Eva Ibbotson in particular).
But I adore Mary Stewart and wanted to say I love what you and your twin have done, great site.
Also, Meg Cabot has apparently been asked to do a foreward for a reprint of Thornyhold, you may want to check it out on her blog.
Vickie (UK)

Jennie said...

Hi Vickie! I'm so glad you delurked! :p And I'm glad you like the Stewart site. I am a little bit obsessed (just a little). :)

And thanks for the info on Meg Cabot! I'd seen her mention Stewart as a favorite of hers, but I didn't know about the foreword. That is wonderful--she's such a popular author (I find her books addictive in the extreme) that it'll be great advertisement for Stewart. :)

rachel said...

I'm really impressed! I love that all the books have summaries. Excellent job--I'll definitely link to it, too.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Rachel! We were able to find old hardcover editions of most of the books, all of which have these really nice long summaries on the flaps. Much better than the more recent mass-market editions.

nath said...

Good job Jennie :D

i think the website looks great :D Simple and elegant :) Good job :D

Kristie (J) said...

Very nice!! It certainly makes me want to go back and revisit all those Mary Stewart books I read years ago. It's great that you and Twin took the time to do this :)

Susanna Kearsley said...

Hi Jennie. The web site looks wonderful. I have a huge Mary Stewart collection myself (as you know!) with American and British hardbacks and various paperbacks which I'll sort through and send any covers you don't seem to have. And I'm happy to post up a link on my next web site update. Anything to raise awareness of my favourite author!

Li said...

Jennie - Re review linkage, I see what you mean... what about if you do a review-type post on the Stewart blog, you link to that post from the novel page? So you have a link to reviews, but you still keep the personal stuff on the blog. Or would that be too many links?

Oh (and I've spent way too much time thinking about this!), a sitemap / index would be useful so you could see all page links in a single screen.

I'll shut up now.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Nath! Simple and elegant is what we were going for -- I think Mary Stewart must be a classy lady. ;)

Kristie--You should reread some! So many people say that they read Stewart as young adults and loved her then. I get very nostalgic myself. :p

Susanna--Thanks! That would be great. And btw, I'm working on my Winter Sea review. It'll be up soon. :)

Li--Linking to reviews on the blog might work. I wanted to dress up the novel pages a bit eventually anyway. I'll have to work on it.

And a site map is a good idea. I'm not really sure how to do one, but I bet I could figure it out. (This has been a huge learning process for me! Though I've had fun figuring everything out.) I really appreciate the input!

ninnyhammer said...

I loved the fansite! Classy, clean, informative. Your love for M.S. has made me curious. I've never heard about her before although I'm a regular here. The stuff you wrote about her writing and your review of Thornyhold has definately peaked my interest and as soon as I'm done sulking I'm going to give some of her oldies a shot.

ReneeW said...

This is wonderful. I've been a huge MS fan since my first encounter in high school with Nine Coaches Waiting. I'll definitely blog about it.

Rosario said...

Jennie, this is wonderful! Thanks for all the hard work. I've experienced first-hand how difficult and frustrating it is to find information about Stewart, so your site will be much appreciated!

Devon said...

Great Job, guys! Best of luck with it.

Jennie said...

Ninnyhammer-Thanks! You should definitely give Mary Stewart a try. She really is my favorite author (on most days, anyway). :) And her books are really very easy to find -- any public library worth anything will have a couple, and I always find them in used book stores. And lots are still in print if you want new copies.

Renee--I thought I remembered you saying you were a Stewart fan. Nine Coaches Waiting is an excellent one.

Rosario--I hope it'll be useful to people. Even just finding a complete list of her books was difficult.

Thanks, Devon!