Thoughts on John Scalzi's Test Ad on Whatever

So John Scalzi finds himself needing a more professional website—plus he has this writing gig, you know, novels and stories and events and other little things like that, so he doesn’t have time to tinker with a website. And since I like reading his books and stories and, heck, his blog, I and pretty much everybody else in the Whatever audience support ads coming on Whatever, so long as they’re un-obtrusive, relevant, and are good-looking static images with maybe a little text. The money from the ads will go to hiring a skilled web designer/WordPress guru. Good deal all around.

Currently he has a test ad on his blog, and I think it looks alright—it’s off to the side, and it’s relevant, and it’s pretty, and it’s a static image with a little text under it.

I’m putting the rest of this under a cut, due to the images.

Here’s a bird-eye view of what his website looks like right now, with the ad in context in terms of the rest of the page:


Here’s a close-up of the ad and its associated text:


I think this is pretty good. And of course it’s All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear, so it’s extra good.

I think a little styling would be to the advantage of the ad, so here’s my thoughts on that:

.largeAd { padding: 6px 2px 1px 2px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #aaa; background-color: #eee; margin: 0 auto 0 auto; }
.largeAd a:first-child { text-decoration: none; text-align: center; display: block; }
.largeAd img { border-width: 0px; margin: 0 auto 5px auto; }
.largeAd .title { font-size: 1.3em; font-weight: bold; margin: 0 0 5px 0; padding: 0; text-align: center; }
.largeAd .author { text-align: center; margin: 0; padding: 0; }
.largeAd .quote { margin: 2ex 0 0 0; padding: 0; }
.largeAd .quote strong:first-child { font-size: 1.25em; font-weight: bold; display: block; margin: 0; padding: 0;}
.largeAd .quote .source { font-style: italic; text-align: right; display: block; }
.largeAd .bookLink a { font-size: 1.2em; font-weight: bold; text-align: center; margin: 1ex; }
.largeAd .info { padding: 5px 5px 0 5px; }

Cover: All the Windwracked Stars

All The Windwracked Stars

by Elizabeth Bear

“A howling success…A gnarled, overstuffed, heavyweight yarn from the farthest fringes of the speculative genre”
— Kirkus Reviews

By the way, if this looks strange on LiveJournal, this is because LiveJournal is put together from bubblegum and Popsicle sticks, and you should click through to the real blog.