Authorpreneur’s Almanac #33: Our Upcoming Remodel (What do YOU Want?)

Author business resources

Today is short, but important.

NOTE: You won’t be able to see the meat of this Almanac if you’re not a Sterling and Stone Starter. You can become one by clicking here. It’s quick, easy, and (my favorite) completely free! If you already are a Starter and you’re seeing this message, chances are you need to log in.

About Sean Platt

Sean Platt is an author entrepreneur, founder of Sterling & Stone, and co-founder of the Collective Inkwell and Realm & Sands imprints. Follow him on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.


  1. Hi guys,
    I’d like to see a listing of ALL your books, more of your development diaries (like daily or weekly updates on the blog), and a list resources you guys use or recommend for authors at all stages of their careers (like a permanent page of Smarter Artist links).

  2. Comment notification?

  3. Not specific to the site, per se, but questions come up about things you say on the podcast, but there doesn’t seem to be a place to engage in the conversation once the hangout is over.

    I can’t listen live anymore, but I still sometimes have questions once I’ve listened to the mp3. When the show was still on the SPP site, there were some lively discussions on the day or so after the show went to iTunes.

    • I don’t know if comment notification is possible, but it seems like such a BASIC future request. It’d be a shame if it wasn’t.

      As for comments, DEFINITELY. We really want to unify things, and get a full SPP section here.

  4. Not sure if this is possible, but the ability to ‘favorite’ posts so that I can come back to them later. I’d also like the ability to receive email notifications when there are new comments on a post.

    I know you said ‘one thing’ and I’ve already given two, but here are some more.

    – A personal feed. It would be cool if you could subscribe to a single section of the blog (the Smarter Artist posts, for example) and either get an email when new posts come out or have an area of the site where I can go to see new posts in areas that I’ve subscribed to.

    – A page for each fiction series/book with the DVD extras. World info, character drawings, related blog posts, story beats, etc could go here.

    – A more prominent tools/resources page

    – Somewhere to find info about FU. It might just be me, but when I hover over ‘LOGOUT’ on the menu and click on ‘Fiction (fully) Unboxed’ it comes up with a blank page.

    You can take ’em or leave ’em, and I’d do the latter for most.

  5. I would like to see a more visual and content oriented home page.
    I understand what you’re doing with the home page, but I think now that you’ve established a presence as S&S, it’s time to move that copy to a “New to S&S? Start Here!” style page.

  6. Anma Natsu says:

    Second/Third a list of books! I have tried to find them more than once (usually to link to them) but the hard to find navigation for the various imprints just goes to blog posts.

    Also second comment notifications – it allows for much better engagement and conversation when you know someone is replying, versus trying to remember which posts you commented on to check for more comments πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, you and Roland are both right about comment notifications. Simple request that should be easy to implement, though I’m not sure it can be. If it isn’t part of the theme, we’ll ask for it as a features request.

  7. Nicola Lane says:

    I’ll pile in on the request for a Books page. Also can we get a page for fiction unboxed 1.5 the same as the one for the original? it is a real pain trying to find it on the site right now! Thanks.

  8. chris cloutier says:

    Will the theme be available for Rainmaker?

    • Yes. I’m not sure how soon it will be, but it is designed for Rainmaker, so I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be available for the platform.

  9. A live webcam feed from Dave’s basement.

  10. Blaine Moore says:

    I’d like to see better organization of purchases.

    Only showing what is available for you to download (so if you weren’t a platinum member in a given month, you won’t see that month’s downloads) as well as having the most recent downloads at the top of the page (reverse chronology.)

    If you were limiting to only what somebody has purchased, then you could also put the start library at the bottom of the page…it’d be right up front and center for new subscribers, but anybody that is a platinum member wouldn’t have to scroll all the way down to find if there are any new downloads.

  11. Connie Myres says:

    I’d like to see better navigation. Maybe it’s me, but I sometimes have difficulty finding what’s I’m looking for and I end up leaving the site. Something simple and intuitive.

  12. Cathy Pelham says:

    My biggest issue is the Navigation, especially the Login/Logout area.
    1. Bad Click-Through- For instance, today I read the weekly e-mail, and clicked on the link for this post. The system brought me to the limited view post, with the indication that I needed to log-in to see it all. So I clicked Login, which brought me to a menu in which logging in is not an option. From past experience, I clicked on Member Profile, which brought up the somewhat buried option to log-in. So I did. Then, rather than send me through to the Smarter Almanac post, the system brought me to the main page.
    2. Getting to a post- To continue my journey, I remembered this time that the link I originally selected from Saturday’s email was a Smarter Artist post, so I clicked on that. I searched for the post, found and selected it, I thought. The site just took me back to the same link, but not the post. It took two additional tries to get to this post. It is not clear on the listings whether you should click a title, the In label, or the photo.
    3. Back to Login/Logout- Member Profile, Library, etc.
    If you are not logged in you have to select Login to access member information. Ok, but if you are, you have to click Logout. If you stutter on an iPad, you actually get logged out and have to start the whole process from scratch. Login/Logout should be a separate function, and hopefully one that can flag the point from which it was selected, so once login is completed the originating page can be displayed.

    Love everything Sterling and Stone, except site navigation. And yes, I agree with the book comments above.

  13. Monica Leonelle says:

    A like button for the comments, so I can just vote up the ones I agree with.

    +1 to what Cathy said, I hate being asked to log in to view content and then having to search for the page I was reading. I wish the login was persistent for longer, too!

  14. Authropreneur – the scivener series is great – wondering if advanced internal layout episode will be made (i know you have tons going on but…)

    RE the site design – just wanted to comment on current design – the home page image (shadows in the sand) one of my all-time favorite pieces of design. Dave original? Brilliant, whoever.

Speak Your Mind