This website reached a milestone today, surpassing 5,000 page views in just over a year – and approaching 2,000 visitors – not bad for a website about a novel (I confess I don’t visit many of those myself). I like the fact that there are more views than visitors as I guess it means that folk stop to have a look around.
Digging into the web stats is interesting. The most viewed page is on the real-life 16/17th century pirate – Murat Reis – a renegade Dutchman whose descendants include members of some of the most prominent American families – his son was reckoned to be the first ever Muslim in the USA – points picked up in the notes for American readers. The maps page is also proving one of the most popular, with 17th century maps ranging from the Isle of Wight, to Malta, Algiers and Venice.
The stats also show where the website’s visitors come from – which is right around the world – but with big clusters in the UK and USA, and a reasonable number in the Netherlands (presumably related to Murat Reis) and in Algeria, Morocco and Turkey (reflecting the Ottoman aspects of the novel).
In addition to providing information on the colourful people and places in the novel, other pages on the website cover topics featuring in the plot ranging from the use of ternary (think binary, but with 3 digits – you can use it to count to over 200 on the fingers of one hand), to the theme of Holy War (Jihad) – so relevant to our times, to the fascinating religious-military Order of St John, and to the deliberate parallels with RL Stevenson’s classic novel – Kidnapped. There’s even a chance to catch a glimpse of a ‘real-life’ 17th century village and to crack the code that features in the novel.
If you like the website or the facebook page then please share, like or leave a comment. It’s essentially the only form of marketing for the novel at present and will bring it to a wider audience, so you’d be doing me a big favour. Thanks for all the kind reviews to date (on Amazon and Goodreads and elsewhere – they are all very welcome – no matter how short – one Texan left just two words!) And, of course, don’t be shy about recommending the book to friends for some holiday reading – a bit of sea-side adventure in some sunny places should fit the bill.