Friday, 7 March 2014

Change is Coming

I've gone through many changes in my life - who hasn't? - but one thing remains constant.  I hate change.  But change is a necessary part of growth, and this site is about to go through some growing pains.

With about two weeks left until the World's Biggest Bookstore closes, I've been contemplating change for some time now.  And I've come to a few decisions.  Some of these will come slowly - I'll still be working through April as we clear out the property - others will come into effect immediately.

After a lot of deliberation I've decided to stop doing Author Interviews.  Without the store display and ability to hand-sell the books, I don't feel my blog alone is enough of a platform for the time and effort authors put into interviews for me to justify asking for them.  I may do the occasional Q&A for promotion, but that's it.

And speaking of promotion, I want to do more shout-out posts.  It's hard to get a book out there, and harder to get readers to pick it up.  I was always amazed at the number of books I'd discover months or years after publication while shelving that I'd heard nothing about.  Since I won't be discovering books via shelving them or browsing shelves at work, I've got to remember books that interest me some other way.

And one of the ways I'll keep discovering new books is by doing my upcoming books posts.  I've started putting asterisks next to the books I want to feature/read.

I've also had two new ideas for posts.  The first hit me when I read this post by Kameron Hurley about 'Forgotten Fantasy Favourites'.  I used to reread books all the time.  In fact, I had a wall of books that I could pick from to skim when I didn't have time to read a whole novel.  I haven't opened any of those books in years, and so won't be reviewing them.  But it seems a shame to let my favourite books of the past languish unloved, so I want to start a "Forgotten Favourites" feature, where I can explain why I loved each of those books.  They won't be formal reviews, more love letters to old friends.

The second idea came from the overuse of the same fantasy creatures in most books and seeing new creatures in a few outlier books.  I'd like to feature different creatures from all backgrounds and see if I can inspire authors to branch out from the standard creature list.  I probably won't start this until I've stopped working though.

One feature you'll see soon is more history reviews.  I've got a few waiting to post but fiction tends to take precedence.  I'm going to start posting history reviews on Thursdays, maybe alternating with movie reviews, until that pile's gone.

I'll also have to start using social media more.  I already post periodically on Google+, but it looks like it's time to learn twitter...


Carl V. Anderson said...

I often feel the same way about author interviews. They do a lot of work and then no one comments. They don't even get to see behind the scenes to how many site visits the post got.

I like the shout out and forgotten favorites ideas!

John D. said...

You always have SF Signal to use as a forum for interviews. We're not getting millions of hits, but 5000 - 6000 a day ain't bad for an author, methinks.

Jessica Strider said...

I think author interviews are good if you've got the hits, but they're also a lot of work (for both parties), and I'm not up to that right now.