New Digs! Also: Forums!

by | Dec 7, 2009 | Nathan's Books | 179 comments

As promised, the blog has gone through an extensive redesign courtesy of web designer Sean Slinsky, and I hope you enjoy the new look. If you’re reading this in an RSS reader or via e-mail, please click through and check it out!

And for the first time ever a brand new feature on the blog…………… discussion forums!

I’ve divided the forums into four categories: All Things Writing, All Things Books, All Things Publishing, and of course All Things Procrastination. But what happens in there is totally up to you. Want some feedback on your query? Want to expound on your personal publishing philosophy? Want to argue about who wins between bears vs. monkeys? Totally up to you.

The forums are also now the default place to go to ask me questions I haven’t addressed on the blog. And if you have any other questions about the publishing process, your experienced peers will be there to help you out.

If you’ve never participated on Internet forums before, don’t be shy! They’re really easy to join and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Thanks again to Sean for a fantastic job on the design, and I’ll see you in the forums.


  1. Diane

    Looks great! :O)

  2. Lisa Katzenberger

    Love the shiny new site! And discussion forums — great idea!

  3. Karen

    Love the new design and can't wait to check out the forums!

  4. Lisa Dez

    Love the forums, but is there a single question on writing/querying/agents that you have not yet covered? πŸ˜‰

  5. Steph Damore

    AH! I will never get any writing done now!!! Thanks πŸ™‚

  6. G. Jackson

    simple to use and navigate and looks great!

  7. Felicity

    Nice make-over. Not too much to make us wonder if you'll be able to keep up with that new look, just enough to be an even better version of you. Enjoy!

  8. Deb

    Wow. Nice, nice new digs. Congrats!

  9. Jerry Stewart

    Very nice. I love what you've done with the place. πŸ™‚

  10. Amanda

    This is wonderful! Congrats!

  11. Dara

    VERY awesome design! And I'm excited about the forums!

  12. CKHB

    I fear change, but am mollified by the fact that you've kept the orange decor…


  13. onefinemess

    Heyyyyy everything is nice and orange eh?

  14. Jenni


  15. Natalie Whipple

    I'm so pleased that your site is even more orangey now.

  16. Sissy

    Not that I didn't love the standard template, but this is waaaay more on topic. I love the typewriter!

  17. brizmus

    Love the new look – I'll definitely check out the forum!

  18. Elyssa Papa

    Love it! And love the discussion forums, too!

  19. Niki Papadopoulos

    Looks great! I echo all previous comments re: orange awesomeness

  20. Linda Godfrey

    Simply elegant and elegantly simple. Good job! I predict mountains of time lost wandering the new forums.

  21. Mit

    Thumbs up

    Clemson Orange and all! πŸ˜‰

  22. angelicajulia

    I love the new layout and digging the forums!

  23. D minus

    in the words of the great Garth Algar… "I fear change."

  24. Scott

    As I've always maintained, Nathan is the Man.

  25. Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA

    Very PIMP! I love the typewriter in the heading… I still remember learning how to type on one of those bad boys.

    Remember correction tape?

    Ah, memories! *sigh*

    I like your hot new BloggerPad.

  26. Courtney

    Ooo, shiny! Great job with the re-design, Sean.

    The forums are going to be awesome!

  27. chriskepner

    This is great, Nathan. Congrats!

    Do people who subscribe to your blog in an RSS reader contribute to your pageviews?

  28. Nathan Bransford


    They'll often click through to leave comments.

  29. Patti

    Looks great. The discussion forum is a great idea.

  30. Heather Lane

    Wow–High tech! I love Verla's Blueboards. Maybe we should refer to yours as the Orange Boards. Just what I needed–more forums to suck me in!
    Thanks Nathan!

  31. Mira

    Um, everyone is leaving short comments.

    I don't think I can do that. Short comments are not my genre.

    Well, obviously, I am going to have to quit my job. And I might as well drop out of grad school now and save myself the trouble.

    Forums, Nathan. Forums.

    Forums, aka, my new home.

    Nathan, you are so smart. I mean that. And generous. A whole thread just to answer questions? Wow. And queries? You're encouraging people to post their queries? Wow. You're smart and incredibly generous, especially in terms of time commitment! And the forums – a place for debate, information, solutions, community. Really wonderful Nathan, thank you.

    And I would like to personally thank you for that little forum on the end.

    A very special forum. An off topic forum.

    You're my hero, Nathan B.

  32. Mira

    Oh, I like the site very much too.

    Extremely readable, easy to navigate, organized, very smooth.

    Great job. Reflects your personality really nicely, too.

  33. Gail

    Looks great! Forums are a wonderful addition! Enjoy your new space!

  34. Arwen


    (ChrisKepner, as someone who reads through RSS, I rarely click through – but do so whenever Nathan suggests. I imagine those posts do reflect in general stats at least the RSS readers who obey commands. Often site counter stats packages separate out and count RSS readership but I'm not sure about blogger.)

  35. Kristan

    WHOA the site looks FABULOUS!! Nice work, y'all!

  36. Annalee

    hey, awesome! congratulations!

  37. Pepper Smith

    Cool. Just be prepared to kill spam on the forums.

  38. Marilyn Peake

    Congratulations on your shiny new blog site! Very cool that you've added discussion forums.

  39. Finny

    OOOOHHHH spiffy looking digs you've got here, Nathan!!! (I am a smidge jealous right now… your designer did a fantastic job)


  40. Anonymous

    Awsomeness! Love the forum idea. Somehow I know things will stay respectful on the site. Thanks for giving us a safe place to come play.

  41. carolynyalin

    Nice design, and forums are a great idea!

  42. Terri

    The things you can do with virtual paint and track lighting . . . very nicely done!

    Ummm . . . I love that new forum smell . . .

  43. Laura Martone

    Your new site is awesome, Nathan, but I'm with Steph D. With the new forums, I'll surely never get any writing done! Ack and alas!

  44. Sandra G.

    Very professional looking blog – good work on the part of Sean Slinsky.

    As for the forums – oh no! How appropriate there is one section titled All Things Procrastination…I may find myself more often than I'd like.

    Isn't it about time you hired a helper, Nathan? How are you going to keep up with all of this, your regular job (even though the two appear to be tighly intertwined) and your new book?

  45. Tina Lynn

    All of a sudden, I'm craving tangelos.

  46. Raethe

    Neat stuff! It looks great.

  47. rose

    I just read something about an Agent's query filter system over on the forum in the publishing subtopic.

    I'm thinking of starting a thread over there for hook feedback. Even if posters just give us a quick numeric rating from zero to four, with four being query-worthy it would be helpful feedback.

    It occurs to me that a thread like this might serve as an indirect query filter for you. Surely it would cut down number of on zeros and ones you have to look at?

  48. Joann

    You cannot go wrong with orangey goodness. Nicely done!

  49. Laura Martone

    Mmm… tangelos. Good idea, Tina. I knew I should've bought one from the farmer's market yesterday. Nerts.

  50. Lynne

    Congrats, Nathan! Looks great.

  51. Kia

    Woaah, head screw.

  52. I'm Erin

    So Snazzy! I'm tempted to drop by more often.

  53. Rebecca Knight

    HOORAY! Even more ways to procrastinate :D!

    Seriously, wonderful idea, Nathan. I love your commenters, and am excited to have a new community to hang out with!

    The blog is lookin' good!

  54. Scott

    Cool new digs, Nathan! Love the forums idea, too.

  55. Anonymous

    Hmm, site formating more in the modern up-to-date style of professional layouts that's emerging as a business standard format. Sober serious appearance at the same time as a touch whimsical and sentimental. Good job targeting and reflecting the persona of the site.

    Word verificate: cophllyp, a digital plasm that synergistically incorporates the whole in all its discrete parts.

  56. Cid

    Looks awesome – can't wait to poke around later!

  57. Camels & Chocolate

    Looks great, Nathan! Though can I say, I love how ANTM is the top in your category list–I know that's ranked by importance and not alphabetically, right? πŸ˜‰

  58. Donna Hole

    Awesome new digs! Hats off to you designer.


  59. Rick Daley

    Great job on the new site!

  60. Kristi

    I love that you kept the orange – it looks terrible on me but great on you πŸ™‚ I'll have to check out the forums. Also, the layout rocks. Great job!

  61. Fawn Neun

    Brilliant! #talklikeabrit

  62. Laurel

    Looks so cool! Except for the nearly Longhorn orange…Roll Tide!

  63. Jake Barnard

    Great new site – love the changes and will continue to visit. Great idea on the forums. I will be visiting there a lot as well now! πŸ™‚

  64. ryan field

    Nice Look. And easy to read.

  65. Christine

    Ooh shiny! I love the typewriter. =)

  66. Susan at Stony River

    It's gorgeous and I like it, but it took forever to load (well, six and half minutes LOL) on dial-up. But I guess not everyone is so rural as I am?

    Forums, wow; you're a brave brave man.

    Congratulations on the makeover!

  67. Tawny Taylor

    Viewing with Mozilla Firefox 3/5/5 and I don't think I'm seeing what everyone else is. No graphics at all. Loading very slowly too. Timed-out twice.

    Sorry to give you bad news, but thought you might like to know.

  68. Nathan Bransford

    Just a few technical difficulties at the moment, we'll get it fixed.

  69. Tawny Taylor

    Fab! I hope it isn't too tough working out the bugs. FYI forums timed out too.

  70. Emily Cross

    same as Tawny, using firefox and getting the same.

    Good luck with the kinks πŸ™‚

    Cant wait to see it πŸ™‚

  71. Nathan Bransford

    Looks like it's a Dreamhost issue – lots of sites are down around the Internet

  72. Nathan Bransford

    Okay, should be back up now! Server issues that affected lots of people around the Internet.

  73. maybegenius

    Oooooh no. Discussion forums are my downfall!

    Love the new design.

  74. quillfeather

    Love the new look, Nathan. Look forward to the discussion forums.

    Good stuff πŸ™‚

  75. Amy

    I like it. Great design.

  76. clindsay

    Looks great, Nathan!

  77. Emily Cross

    Oh looks really great!!!

    and forums aew such an excellent idea (aw sweet procrastination)

  78. David Kubicek

    I first discovered your blog when I read somewhere (probably on another blog) that it is one of the best in the business. The other blog was right. And this overhaul has made it even better. Thanks!

  79. Anonymous

    The quantity of graphics are a little taxing on the bandwidth curve for dial-up ISPs, but once they've loaded and are stored on the client side cache for summoning, the pages will load faster.

    Not meant as an indictment of either the site or users or dial-up ISPs, just an observation that ubsequent visits don't take as long to load.

  80. reader

    Ooo, I like what you've done with the place, I'm never going to get any writing done now! πŸ™‚

  81. L.J. Boldyrev

    The blog looks great and the forums are an excellent idea! Thanks for thinking of us!

  82. About Shira Miller

    Hi Nathan. The new blog looks great. Makes it even more fun to read your posts.

  83. Robin

    Wow. looks beautiful. Love the notion of forums. But I'm in agreement with some other posters -how am I ever going to get any words on paper if I continually get sucked into NathanWorld!!

  84. AW

    I have an old (real) Corona typrewriter just like that.

  85. Lucy

    Ack! Oof! Ouch! My paradigm has shifted without a clutch.

    Alright, I stole that last line from Dilbert. At least we're still orange, right? It's really very nice, Nathan, and I'm sure I will get used to it–though I'm reminded of those marital adjustments that take place when one of the spouses comes home with a drastically different haircut. πŸ˜‰

  86. Jil

    Does this mean we won't be writing on the blog, like this, any more?

    I will explore the forum. for sure.

  87. Renee Collins

    To quote Beast from the Wolverine movie:

    "Ooo, shiny."

  88. LCS249

    Brilliant. Waaaay better.


  89. mkcbunny

    Wow. Just … well, wow.

  90. Polenth


    Though is it okay to talk about reading short fiction and poetry in the books forum? That's a bit of a hole in the current forums.

  91. Dawn Maria

    I think I'll check out the procrastination forum tomorrow. Sounds perfect for me!

  92. Nathan Bransford


    Definitely! That could go in the writing section.

    In general I wanted to limit the number of forums so it's simple to navigate. But we'll see how it goes and I can always adjust if it's not working for everyone.

  93. DebraLSchubert

    Nice new digs! May you have a long and happy life here. πŸ˜‰

  94. menopausaloldbag (MOB)

    Well it's looking rather spiffing around here old boy. You've had some jolly good work done on this blog. Like the forum facility; it's a generous consideration for your followers. Thanks and toodlepip.

  95. Q

    Ooh, this is very nice.

  96. mkcbunny

    I should have said, nice job Sean. It's a very clean design on top of being a cool new set of features. Love the typewriter icon. It reminds me of Naked Lunch (the movie), which is a good thing.

  97. Catenabi

    Love the new and improved site! … and the Procastination section of the forums is a great idea. I'm on my way there right now cause, you know, I should be writing!

  98. Polenth


    You agreed with me, then told me to use a different forum, therefore disagreeing with me. πŸ˜‰

    The writing forum is where I'd discuss writing such things, but there isn't an 'All About Reading' to discuss reading them. So none of the forums are exactly right, but the books forum is closer in my opinion, as it's where people discuss their favourite reads.

    It's obviously your call in the end… but I'd be concerned that a shorts/poetry thread in the writing forum will end up about writing them, rather than reading them.

  99. Nathan Bransford


    Whoops! Somehow I missed the word "reading" in your comment. Yeah, definitely agree poetry/short fiction works for the "Books" section. (Even if they're not in books yet.)

  100. Terry

    So coo! Well done. Congrats to you and your designer.

    Love all the extra stuff, forums queries. You look marvelous!

  101. DG

    Like the fresh new look. But the forums! Further distraction is not what I need.

  102. Moira Young

    Very nice. I like the clean lines and the colour scheme. And the forums are a great idea, to help streamline comments and to build a more cohesive community around your blog.

    Hopefully this will help make things easier for you, as well? I wasn't able to catch it at a glance, but it never hurts to appoint a few trusted folks as moderators, so that you don't have to deal with every single issue that crops up in the forum.

  103. Alexa

    Ooo I love it! Orange is the best colour πŸ™‚

    Now I just have to gather my courage to enter the forums!

  104. Matera the Mad

    Oh, yes! Bless the man, it's readable at last!

    *Bounce – bounce – bounce*

  105. T. Anne

    It's soo nice! Thank you for not vexing us with a difficult to use comments section (no inputting our web address/ email). And forums? You da man! XOXOX

  106. Anna L. Walls

    I'm impressed. This really looks great.

  107. Madeleine

    I'm viewing this on my mom's phone right now, so things are a bit fuzzy, but you still got a thrilled "whoa!" out of me! I'll look into the forums soon, but I'll probably become ridiculously obsessed with checking them! I'm sure you're sick of hereing this, but everything looks amazing!

  108. Anonymous

    Thanks for implementing the new forums section. useful and fun!

    ~The Anonymizer (who will have to be deanonymized to use the forums, but it should be worth it!)

  109. Anonymous

    ::::::Comencing deanonymization process:::::

    Ouch, that hurts~!

    ~The Anonymizer

  110. abc

    I love this. Tear comes to eye. Choke.

  111. Brent Peterson

    Neat, not gawdy. And user-friendly! Yet another important development in the evolution of the 'Nathan Bransford' brand. Congrats!

  112. Jemi Fraser

    Love the new look! Forums will be great!!!

  113. M.B. Sandefur

    Oh, am I ever jealous… I'm going to have my tech gal do something new for me, lol.

  114. Grimmster24

    Very nice page, Nathan and Mr. Slinksy! Very shaweet-looking!

    I appreciate the forum option now, too, Nathan. Sometimes I get a little lost reading through all the comments on the blog post to see what all our community has to say, haha.

    Happy continued agent duties and continuing to write!

  115. Livia

    Nathan — the Captcha on forum registrations is really hard to do! I got rejected for too many wrong answers, and I swear I'm not a bot!

  116. MzMannerz

    This looks fantastic.

  117. Nathan Bransford

    Sorry livia! Not sure that is something I can change.

  118. Steve Fuller

    Looks good, but what is that machine in the top left corner of your blog?

  119. Carla Burke

    ooh la la…I love the new look!

  120. Uncle Gus

    Me likey!! Kudos to SeΓ±or Slinsky!!

    So, where can I get one of those cool new keyboard thingies?

  121. jmartinlibrarian

    It is the dawn of a new era. Before NB's blog facelift/After NB's blog facelift.

    Let the Revolution (or Wild Rumpus?) start!

    Great design. Love the typewriter.

    BTW, did you know that advertisers' use orange because it's supposed to stimulate the appetite?

    I'm hungry for more already.

  122. Kathy Collier

    Awesome!!! Can I borrow Sean Slinsky? That is my Christmas Wish. Merry Christmas.

  123. Kathy Collier

    Awesome!!! Can I borrow Sean Slinsky? This is my Christmas Wish. Merry Christmas.

  124. MJ

    Worth clicking through the reader to look at. Very nice new look.

    And I am wowed by your busyness. You invite people to ask you questions in emails or in the comment sections. You write quite enough material to help answer those questions and get asked tons more questions which you seem to answer most of them. And of course, your post about a bazillion queries in your email inbox and all the other stuff you must do for your job, and then you add forums that you are going to be monitoring and responding to as well?

    Just for the record, I think you're insane. A good, generous, insane, but insane.

    I hope the people who use up your time appreciate you.

  125. Linguista

    Oh wow! The forums or awesome!!! Thanks so much!!!

  126. Other Lisa

    Oh, man…forums? Another procrastination opportunity for me?

    Er, thanks. I think…

    The site looks lovely!

  127. Anonymous

    Very nice. I'm looking forward to enjoying your new look while keeping the great content.

    Good luck!
    Lee Mandel

  128. Anonymous

    The Orange seems to echo your Orange T…is that on purpose?

  129. Emily White

    Of all days, my computer had to decide to be annoying! Gah! I love the new look, Nathan! Now let me check out these forums of which you speak.

  130. Rachel Hamm

    Love the new look! can't wait to check out the forums!



    FYI: "GalleyCat expanded today, sharing its digital space with's thirteenth blog, eBookNewser. Our digitally obsessed sibling will cover eBooks, digital reading devices, publishing technology, smartphone reading applications, digital self-publishing, and the rapidly evolving future of digital publishing."

  132. Carpy

    Nathan, nice. It's one-stop shopping for anyone looking for help with writing! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!

  133. katieleigh

    Love the new look! I'm impressed.

  134. Gerb

    Ooh, shiny. Brava on the new look/additions.

  135. Genella deGrey

    Hi Nathan!
    These old eyes love the bigger font.

  136. Toni Kenyon

    I really like the new look, Nathan. Your forums are a great motivator to achieve the daily word count, then reward myself with a visit.


  137. Marta

    It looks great and I love the idea of having forums. Could you please recommend me a literary agent in Spain? Or should I write this question in a forum? Sorry, I'm not very familiar with netiquette :S Thank you so much. Best regards from Barcelona,


  138. Cathi Stoler

    Looks great! Love the typewriter.

  139. Julie

    Really like the new Digs!

  140. sruble

    Looks great Nathan!

  141. Cat Moleski

    I like the new site, but I have to say, I don't like the default font in the comments section. It's too small and scrunched up. Has your designer considered Verdana?

  142. Kathleen

    wow the new look is so awesome! Congrats!

  143. Lars Pergou

    Nathan, just caught up. Orange is fine in the sidebars but you need to darken up the headlines a little – on my LCD anyway.

    Light colored heads are not easy to read.

  144. Wanda du Plooy

    I have been following your blog faithfully for the last 6 months while writing my novelβ€”loosing touch with the world, as I got absorbed into my story; your words were and still are the only anchor I have to the β€œreal world”.
    I see you as a friend and a mentor so seeing the new blog was difficult. Please do not think that I am critical; the blog is very professional and creatively done but a little intimidating.
    I feel like a student finding out that the friend I have been talking to is in fact my headmaster.

  145. Teri

    I love the new look!

  146. Anonymous

    Grey body copy: mmm, not so much. Really difficult to read.

    Grey type on justified body copy: aiyeee, Scotty, beam me up.

    Seriously, dude, you're hurting me.

  147. Girl with One Eye

    It looks fancy. Very nice. I especially love the old style typewriter.


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Hi, I’m Nathan.Β I’m the author ofΒ How to Write a NovelΒ and theΒ Jacob WonderbarΒ series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams.Β Let me help you with your book!

My blog has everything you need to know to write, edit, and publish a book. Can’t find what you need or want personalized help?Β Reach out.


I’m available for consultations, edits, query critiques, brainstorming, and more.



Need help with your query? Want to talk books? Check out the Nathan Bransford Forums!