In the picture – 1

Tom Benson

Hi there, and thank you for taking the time to check out this message.

I’m intending to write a series of posts to ‘keep you in the picture’. This may well be continued by Paul and Ian as they complete tasks they’re working on.

The aim

As any active member of the IASD would be aware, there is a small team of us working hard to restructure this website to make it both more easily navigated for the visitor, and a more efficient platform.

On the subject of platforms … one of our team works on the railway, and the other is a trucker (I checked the spelling), so those two guys may not appear on here as often as I do – tough! 

It matters not to us if you are a reader or a writer – the importance is placed on you being a visitor here, and we would like you to enjoy your experience so much you’ll return.

We as a small team are freewheeling in some areas, working when we can, in the areas in which we’re most comfortable, so it’s doubtful you’ll find a list of ‘he did this’ or ‘he’s doing that’, but it will be important to the IASD members to be aware of changes which will affect them as individuals which is why I’m posting this message.

We are also working to the mandate of our group members, so if you have an idea – let’s hear it!


My present and ongoing tasks

1 – One of my self-imposed tasks was to change the theme a couple of times until I found something that was manageable and attractive, and I think we’re just about there. The colour scheme may vary slightly, but there isn’t a lot of scope when as the user, you are given a restricted option of palettes. I digress.

In terms of management I was trying to locate a decent theme which gave the option of ‘drop down’ menus. I may write a brief post on them in the future to enlighten those who are not fully conversant with their use.


2 – Another issue which was screaming to be addressed was the hyperlinks. Paul and his good lady did a fantastic job of collating and cataloguing a massive number of titles and author information, and as a reader and writer, I appreciate how hard it was, and how beneficial for all of us. Thank you Paul and Christine.

One small issue is that certain titles only have a link to the Amazon UK, or the Amazon dot Com site.

My aim is to engineer the hyperlinks to take the visitor to the author’s website or blog, and my reasons are many and various, but here is the gist of it.

  • If the visitor is in a country outside of the UK, the UK link is of no use, and the title may lose the reader’s interest – and lose the author a sale. Obviously it works in reverse, if the author and reader are from either side of the pond.
  • If a browsing visitor clicks on a book, they may buy that book, but if the same person ends up on an author website or blog, they will immediately have access to more than one option to buy, and the option of finding out more about the author.


To keep you all in the loop, I am going to test my theory with my own titles, and then I’ll post in our Facebook group to ask for information. It will be in the author’s interest in every case to respond, because I may rename genre, and place titles in more than one group, but the source of purchase is key to an individual author’s success.

As an aside, this will also highlight for me those authors who are jumping on our bandwagon. We have 600+ members in our group, but probably only 200 who are ‘active’, even if that means they post a ‘like’ or make a teensie-weensie comment. I’ll get away from that topic, because I’m digressing again.

Watch out for those Facebook threads because each genre will have a thread of its own – if I do this right.

Thank you for taking the time to read this meandering explanation. Comments are not only welcome here – they are encouraged. I’m not a great one for placing my picture on things, but I thought it might be a good habit for this website, so when a post goes out we all know who we’re listening to … no, I’m not having a facelift!


P.S. We’re happy to continue with Patrick as our Featured Author for November. He was good enough to consider everybody else when he set up his most recent promotion, so it’s only fair that we continue to promote his brand.

17 responses to “In the picture – 1

  1. I think the site is looking great. I will start following all links posted here in order to become accustomed to all its facets. Thank you to you and Paul and Christine and all others involved in creating this site and keeping it running.
    NB No facelifts required 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re all doing a wonderful job, and the site is looking great. I have to say thanks guys, for taking on a task I can see is going to be beneficial to a lot of people.
    On a personal note, thanks for the update Tom, I really don’t think you need a facelift 😃.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Looks fantastic to me – thank you so much to everyone forall the hard work – I know it is something I could never have achieved on my own!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. To Tom, Paul and Ian…you are all superheroes. We do appreciate all you do for us…And thanks Tom for the suggestion of linking to our websites as I find the whole issue of linking to all the Amazon sites mind boggling. Surely there must be a simple way. If anyone knows, please tell the rest of us! At least I can manage the website link…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Barbara. As I build each section and sub-section I am presently pasting a message to suggest hovering over the cover will show you the link to the website.
      It is not active yet, merely explained. To let members see it working I have set it up on the titles in the ‘Adult’ section.
      Ian will be working with the covers, and I believe we’ll be able to operate separately, so I’ll continue to improve each section.


  5. Great Job and many thanks for all working on the site here!
    Tom, a while back one of our members (can’t remember who) posted a query about universal linking to our books, where one link will take the visitor to the proper Amazon site for that country. I’m thinking the process is something akin to a digital GPS, where the origin/location is read and then the link directs you to the proper site.
    I’d like to talk to someone who has tried this before trying myself (I’m suspicious about tracking related goodies). But this might be one solution for this site as well as our author sites. Here’s a link if anyone wants to check it out:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this Anne. Apologies for the late response. I believe Ian is following up on the universal linking when he has the covers under control. They’re looking great now, and will only be improved when we can give everybody max sales opportunities through links. 😀


    • Hi Rob and thank you – every bit of praise makes us work harder. 😀
      I’ve set a personal target of the end of the year to have us ready to ‘go public’.
      I’ll be concentrating on general presentation and navigation, while Ian will be hitting covers and book links, and Paul is assessing new content.
      When we reach January we’re really going to give it some … 😀


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