Alison Grunwald, author

mock up image showing the home page of Alison Grunwald's website displayed on screens of various sizes

I am absolutely thrilled with the website Lissy created for my children’s book series ‘Whatever Next, Grandma!’ She was so easy to work with, full of wonderfully creative ideas for layout, quick to get work done and tenacious in sorting out glitches. She guided me every step of the way and forgave me my knowledge gaps with her characteristic grace! Marvellous value for money - I can’t recommend her highly enough.

It’s not every day a crazy Grandma and a clever cat need a website… but thanks to children’s author Alison Grunwald that’s exactly what I got to work on during the Covid lockdown!

Alison’s book series for 5-10 year old ‘early readers’ follow Grandma’s adventures with her cat – when we went live four books were already printed with more planned. With her varied career as a doula, teacher and writer and her experience as a Mum and Grandma she knows just how to entertain children and tell a story…

Site requirements

Alison required a reasonably-priced and easy to manage website that was fairly simple – a brochure site with details of all her books, a bio for her and links to where to buy the books. She’d also asked her illustrator, Mike Phillips, to create some colouring sheets and other resources for schools and families to enjoy.

Choosing WordPress.com

We opted for WordPress.com for this site after considering a range options. I recommended this because:

  • other than the domain name (which she already owned) all costs for hosting, updates and security would be with one provider at a competitive fee
  • her needs, from a technical point of view, were simple
  • the illustrations could be used to make the most simple WordPress.com theme look unique and fun

In addition to my fee for building the site and teaching Alison how to use it there are clear and reasonable annual fees for the WordPress.com service. It’s not right for all customers (for example those who want extra functionality immediately or in the future). But in this case it was a very good option.

Creating the site together on Zoom

We used Zoom to plan and build the site together with me undertaking the site build and doing most of the jobs that ‘only need doing once’. Alison was, of course, best placed to create the text and focused on editing the content on the site – building skills she would need in the future for editing content.

As well as information about her books we added colouring sheets and further short stories in a blog style section – using the built-in functionality of categories to order content into ‘extra stories‘ and ‘craft resources‘. It will be easy to add more books in the future.

Social and bookseller links

So that Alison can promote her writing via social media – a low cost way to promote her books – we added prominent social links, connections to her Amazon author profile and links to each of her books on Amazon and other sites.

Reviews

We also added many great reviews – from young children and quite a few Grandmas (but no cats…). We’ve dotted these around the site as well as collected them all on one page.

Next Steps

In future Alison wants to improve the way her site connects with Facebook so she’s more able to track how people use her site to interact with her online. She’s also added fabulous videos of her reading the stories. If you’re looking for a great way to keep your children happy and introduce them to some fun stories I highly recommend checking them out…

Alison is a giggle and has been a delight to work alongside – I love her commitment to her writing and her sense of fun and empathy with children.