Regular readers of The Story Bazaar will be familiar with the concept of book-related web-sites (see Out with the Old).
These are becoming increasingly sophisticated and interact with their readers in a more proactive way than they had used to. This is especially true of sites relating to books for younger readers. Anyone who has visited Pottermore, J.K.Rowling’s site about Harry Potter and the books he appears in, will appreciate just how much these web-sites are central to reader engagement. Such sites are becoming the norm – see the site for Lemony Snicket. Some of them are also about directly selling merchandise (even Pottermore has its shop, as if there isn’t sufficient merchandising for Harry Potter done elsewhere ). Please note, there will be no merchandising on ‘Reconquista‘s site, only versions of the book.
‘Reconquista‘s site – Reconquista.online – is up and running, as from today, although it is relatively sparsely populated. To view it click here.
At present it gives information about the various versions of ‘Reconquista‘ available for sale and where they are to be found, together with the pre-publication reviews. These are from young neighbours and one or two other writers. I will be including a link to all the reviews on the major sites, Amazon, Goodreads and Smashwords so that readers can see their own thoughts in print, rather like the link to Goodreads reviews found lower down on this site.
Over the next few weeks I will be reporting on ‘Reconquista‘ events, such as the book launch and Readers’ Afternoon at the Clapham Literary festival, on the site ( as well as this one ); this is standard for any web-site and reports and photographs appeared on the web-site for ‘The Village‘. But there are plenty of other, more interesting, additions planned.
- Maps and diagrams of the various journeys of the characters (there is already a map of Jerez city on the web-site, from the book, others will follow).
- Q & As with the author, especially from questions asked at Readers Afternoon and other events.
- Pieces on the history of the city and the area around it.
- Pieces on the historiography of the period, especially given the recent controversial re-interpretation of the primary sources.
- Articles about the genesis and development of the book, including ‘out-takes’.
- A Gallery of pictures – photographs from the thirteenth century parts of Jerez which visitors can still find, together with the original illutrations from an earlier version of the book.
- ‘Artefacts’ belonging to the characters, such as Rebecca’s Diary entries, Nathan’s star charts.
- Articles on daily life in 13th century Al Andalus.
It will have the equivalent of The Story Bazaar’s ‘Readers Club’ with a members forum called ‘Join the Journey’, for new, free snippets from the sequel and ‘back story’ tales about the characters. I hope to get young readers writing themselves, asking for short spin-off pieces, the best of which will be published on the web-site.
The book, published on-line later this week and in book shops shortly afterwards, suggests that readers might visit the site. I hope that they do and that they enjoy reading it and decide to take part.