Completed contest

Crime author website. No code. No corporate restrictions

PD Martin needed a new web page design and created a contest on 99designs.

A winner was selected from 20 designs submitted by 12 freelance designers.

20
entries
12
designers
1
winner

How PD Martin started their web page design journey

Summary

I need a new design for my website, that accentuates "PD Martin" as a brand and portrays a dark/mysterious design. Initially I'd like 1-3 page mock-ups and then once I've chosen the winner, I'll need that designer to provide full page designs/mock-ups plus the cut-up images ready for my existing web programmer to build the site. Important Note: I will choose a winner BEFORE this stage, based on 1-3 mock-ups, so only the winner will have to spend the time cutting up images. Also, I know it's not as good as cash :), but your website/name/company will appear in the acknowledements of all my future books. Likewise your logo with click-through to your info on my site. As part of the prize I'll also mail out signed copies of my books.

The site will include a CMS (built by my existing programmer), and I'll be adding new menu items if necessary - the design needs to accommodate this.

See full design brief for my existing site, samples of other author websites and my comments, and the full site structure.

What inspires you and how do you envision the design for your business?

My existing website was launched in 2005 and is in need of a new look. Since then, my books have been published overseas as well as in Australia and with book 4 due out in February I need a new menu system to accommodate the expanded works. See http://www.pdmartin.com.au/books.asp (the menu system running across the top is about to run out of room)! So I thought I'd take this opportunity to give the whole site a re-vamp.

I would be described as an "emerging" author - i.e. unfortunately I'm not a best seller or making much money from it - but I know a strong brand and website is essential to communicate with my existing readers and hopefully build on sales over time.

Based on other author websites, I think the design needs to focus more on my image than the book covers to create a look that doesn't date and to help readers get an impression of the author.
Some other author websites you might be interested in looking at (and my thoughts on them) are below:
http://www.michaelrobotham.com/aus/index.htm
I quite like the way this one’s got a pic of him and the latest book cover (but I’d want to be able to control/upload this area so it shouldn’t be ‘hard-coded’ design element). I like the way the reviews change on the top, right corner. Again, the developer would implement this as something I could upload.
Don’t like the tabs!
http://www.katherinehowell.com/
Like the banner, though not sure on how ‘obvious’ the menu is
http://www.karinslaughter.com/
Just like the look and feel of this one.
Different book covers are handled well - http://www.karinslaughter.com/foreign.shtml
http://www.tessgerritsen.co.uk/
The blood animation is really cool!
http://www.tessgerritsen.com/index.html - and like the way she uses the homepage just for her pic and a current ‘advert’.
http://www.michaelconnelly.com/
Like this banner too. Very generic for all books.

About me
I'm an Australian crime fiction author trying to break into a competitive field and make an impact. I want readers to be able to come to my site and find out about me, my current news, other book titles, etc. You can find out more about me at:
http://www.pdmartin.com.au/aboutPDMartin.asp

Wants

At the most basic level I need:
- A new banner, maybe with two different versions - a larger one for the homepage and a smaller one for the content pages. 
- A new menu system design that can accommodate a larger menu system than the current site design and that can also be added to in the future (by me) using a CMS. 
- Mock-ups of the major types of content pages. 
- All graphical elements need to be cut up, ready to go for my web programmer – WINNER only. The design should be dark and/or mysterious in some way to tie in with the crime fiction theme. Ideally, "PD Martin" should be written in similar font/s to my book covers. Not all covers are on my website at the moment - please email info@pdmartin.com.au if you'd like to see all of them. Also, different countries are using different fonts, but it would be good to pick up one of them.

To help in the design process, below is a DETAILED breakdown of each page that may have slightly different layouts. 
- a homepage - with subscribe area and latest 2-3 news stories/headlines and maybe graphical links to my facebook and crimespace pages
- general content pages
- news & events section/pages (the current system will need to be changed to archive news by year, so the design will need to cover this)
- Each news page should have the ability to include an image (like http://www.pdmartin.com.au/news.asp?id=62
- A blog page
- A subscribe page that uses radio buttons or checkboxes so users decide what they’re subscribing to:
1. News & events
2. Blog
3. Other site updates/changes
- A page for all the different book covers (like
http://www.karinslaughter.com/foreign.shtml) although I'll probably just use this basic layout/idea anyway so maybe this could fit under the general content page design(?)
- Photo gallery page(s) with index system to allow for expansion
- A video sub-menu page that display videos - maybe just grabs/still of the video and then click on it to play.
- FAQs page - redesigned to cope with large number currently in there. I'm going to split this section into author questions and reader questions and then archive previous years. Note this section also needs to cater for Post a question and this should be more prominent than current page.
- Scrolling reviews on pages like Michael Robotham's site: http://www.michaelrobotham.com/aus/index.htmNew proposed site structure
- Homepage
- “About” with sub-menu items of PD Martin, Sophie Anderson, My publishers and My blog
- “Books” with sub-menu items of Body Count, The Murderers’ Club, Fan Mail, The Killing Hands, Book 5, Meaner than Fiction, Around the globe, Signed copies & bookplates and Buy
- "News & events" with sub-menu items 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005
- "Media" with sub-menu items Reviews, Interviews, Photo Gallery, Videos, Audio and For the media
- FAQs with sub-menu items of Author and Readers. "Readers" also needs to feature archive system
- Links
- Contact

Don't want

- html coding
- a design that features my books in the banners (and will therefore date)
- A corporate feel - I'm hoping for something more artistic and 'sinister'!

Custom package

US$389

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