Web Project: Author Charles Martin

Visit the website at http://charlesmartinbooks.com.

With one book under his belt and another title soon to be released, Author Charles Martin came to Gist Create desiring a website to go beyond promoting his books. While his initial publisher did a good job of featuring his book on their site, Charles didn't have a voice of his own on the web and wasn’t able to add content or interact directly with his fans.

  • Author Charles Martin
  • Author Charles Martin
  • Author Charles Martin
  • Author Charles Martin
  • Author Charles Martin
  • Author Charles Martin

Project Highlights

  • Web design changes with each new book.
  • Fans of Charles can now keep a tab on Charles work, book signings, speaking engagements and thoughts.
  • Website is integrated with ExpressionEngine, a powerful and flexible content management tool.
  • Newsletter campaign tools integrate with site allowing Charles to email fans when new books are released.
  • Website consistently ranks well in the search engines for numerous key terms.
  • The site has been featured on numerous design websites, including CSS Mania, Most Inspired and CSS Remix.


After discussing Charles’ goals for the site, we started researching other author sites and talking to readers about what they desired from a visit to an author’s website. Early on, it became clear that Charles’ goals matched his readers, so we mapped out his requirements as well as recommended a few different approaches to create a unique site that would differentiate itself from the typical author website.

During our research we noticed that many author sites just didn’t capture the true essence of each book. All the book pages looked the same and information was sparse. Thanks to Charles giving us creative freedom, we created a mini-site for each book - each with its’ own unique look and feel to match its’ story line. The end result: a one-of-a-kind site that graphically changes with each new book launch.

Hassle-free Functionality

To simplify updates, the site was integrated with a powerful, yet easy-to-use, content management system, ExpressionEngine. Charles’ writing style + ExpressionEngine = pure poetry. Charles can now easily post speaking engagements, book tour dates, industry quotes for his books, as well as blog posts. “Drop-dead dates” can even be used, which allow for scheduled appearances to be removed without him turning on his computer. No matter his location, Charles can update the site without having to wait on someone else…and who wants to do that?

Between the Lines

Since the launch, fans are swarming to his site, posting feedback, and writing Charles about the impact his books have had on their lives. Since the sites’ launch Charles has become a New York Times Best-Selling Author. Coincidental? Definitely. He’s that good. But he now has a website that stays up-to-date with his latest thoughts, schedule and book releases.

What We Did

Requirement development, research and competitive audit, information architecture, user interface design, CSS/XHTML template development, ExpressionEngine integration, email campaign design and management, integration with social media such as Facebook, and web hosting.

From idea generation to creative design, to hassle-free functionality, to pragmatic application, to ease of use, to you-name-it, Gist Create exceeded every expectation. And, as my need has grown, so has my site. Seamlessly. That present-tense ability to expand means Gist Create programmed it into the behind-the-scenes framework long before the need existed. They listen, speak my language, anticipates future needs and pay attention to details like few companies I’ve ever met. My site is proof.

— Author Charles Martin of CharlesMartinBooks.com