Thanks to the long weekend, I was finally able to update my website, which is here. I haven't changed the theme or basic layout, but I did update the front page with the most current news, reorganize a few pages, and update buy links for my works. I might play with the theme or background during the next update.
One thing I noticed as I updated buy links is that some of my short stories are only on Amazon or one other retailer. As I discussed previously on my blog, I decided to switch my distributor from Smashwords to Draft2Digital. In fact, I just had my Smashwords account closed last week. Now I have to decide if I should enroll some of my short stories in Kindle Unlimited (KU) or distribute them widely. Although KU doesn't pay as well for short stories as it used to, it could still introduce new readers to my work, and I've always done better on Amazon than on Kobo, Apple, or any other e-book site. On the other hand, exclusivity can backfire. It's also easier to enroll in KU than pull stories down from other sites. I know at least one regular reader of this blog who prefers to buy from Apple; does anyone else here buy ebooks from other places than Amazon?
Lindsay Buroker, an indie author and blogger, once recommended puttting up samples of your stories on your website for readers to download. I tried it for a while with Lyon's Legacy and Twinned Universes, but I'm not sure it made a difference. Would you prefer to download a sample from an unknown website or from a trusted one? I get all my e-book samples from Amazon, as I learn about new books from all the e-mail newsletters I subscribe to. They link directly to Amazon, and once I finish a sample, it's easy to buy the entire book if I choose to. So it might be better to just direct customers to the appropiate store.
There's still so much I have to learn about maintaining my website and marketing with it. Someday it might be worth selling directly through my own website, but I don't want to deal with collecting taxes. If I ever do sell directly, it'll probably be in conjunction with something like Gumroad.
How often do you visit author websites? What do you expect them to have?