File this under “Yes, please“: Over at the Beat, Torsten Adair asks comic publishers to improve their websites so that people can find information on their books more easily:
I spent the past three months doing something very foolish. I tried to post Coming Attractions articles by publisher or distributor. Normally, I would scan titles by month, pull out what was the most interesting, and do a post showing everyone in one list. Instead, I tried to show titles which might not interest me, but which others might enjoy.
It was a lot of work. I started with searches from Books In Print (run by Bowker, which manages ISBNs and EANs for the United States market). Then I supplemented them with info from the Diamond Book Distributors monthly catalogs, as well as from Previews. And then I had to format the page so it looked nice, and include links so people could click to get more information.
I try to link directly to the publisher’s website. They deserve as much web traffic as possible, especially if they have a storefront. As the paradigm shifts like a calving iceberg, they need as much help as possible.
I just wish it was easy to give them that help.
There are some great publisher websites out there that are easy to navigate, with lots of information (and images!) from past, present and future releases, and they’re great. And then there are the others, which are far less user-friendly, and in some cases, comically unfriendly when it comes to actually finding what you’re looking for without what could best be described as “too much trouble for its own good.” I can only wish that people pay attention to what Adair’s saying in his post.