Jean Zimmerman ia a writer with an MFA as an honors graduate of the School of the Arts, Barnard College of Columbia University, New York, New York. Her first solo work, Tailspin: Women at War in the Wake of Tailhook (1995), focused on the Tailhook Association scandal and the link between sexual harassment and the role of women as warriors. Jean’s recent book, The Orphan Master (2012) has been optioned for a movie. She presently resides with her family in Westchester County, New York, where they live with their dog, Ollie.
I conducted this interview about how how she uses WordPress as an author for her work via Facebook. Jean has been using WordPress since 2012.
How did you find out about WordPress and what was your experience?
My friend who has had some experience with web design suggested it. My prior experience with WordPress or with blogging was zero. I had no idea about other platforms and lacked knowledge in general about the internet aside from doing research.
Are there aspects of WordPress that you find are more intuitive?
My experience with WordPress has not been 100 percent positive. I don’t think I use it as effectively as I could because I still do not understand many of its dimensions and I find them difficult to learn. I find it easy to post and insert pictures and some other easy things.
It would appear that you use WordPress mostly to generate reader interest in both yourself and your work. Is this true?
I use WordPress as a communications tool, to reach people and if possible inform them about my work. This is why I started blogging, and I have found that it works. I am still not sure that WordPress is the best vehicle for me but it’s become what I have, so I’ve kept it.
Thank you, Jean, for sharing your insights with us!
About Jean Zimmerman’s WordPress Site
While many are frustrated with WordPress, treating it like a word processor and being not familiar with how WordPress works, Jean has created a powerful site with WordPress.com.
The site features a static front page with a blog integrated into the site using the Hybrid or Integrated Site Model. The header art prominently features her latest book, taking advantage of the space for promotion.
Jean uses WordPress Widgets in the sidebar to promote ways to buy her books and find more information, including a list of her upcoming book tour and speaking events. She also features a very long list of links to resources and related-subject authors in the blogroll.
Most authors feature their books and published material on Bibliography or Books web page, but Jean features hers on Works, with descriptions of each of the published works and their book jackets.
The Blog features her latest posts about her writing and books, along with news and events. She uses categories like tags, but access is only through the posts at the bottom of them, along with links to social media sharing sites and networks.
The structure and content organization of the site is based upon WordPress Pages rather than posts for much of the content, so it is sometimes hard to navigate and find related information, but the look and feel of the site is professional and fairly easy to use, and helps to connect with her readers and provide information they need to learn more about her and her work.
Be sure to check out Jean’s blog on WordPress.com. Her newest book, Savage Girl was published this month and can be found in book stores across the nation.
Edited by Lorelle VanFossen, Instructor