For over two years, I have run a successful review blog called Fantasy Debut. The tag line was “all debut fantasy, all the time.” After a while, I was compelled to stick an “almost” in there, because I kept straying from my own niche. Why? Several reasons:
- It proved to be very difficult to read all debut fantasy. Often, I wanted to read the author’s next book, too. Therefore, I capriciously coined a phrase: debut graduate. And so I reviewed second books. And thirds. No fourths yet, but I already have one in my possession. Flatteringly, authors think of me and want to send me their books, and I, quite frankly want to keep reading them.
- From day one, I included the definition of fantasy to include science fiction. So the title of my blog was never entirely accurate.
- It proved to be unreasonable of me to expect publicists to remember that I focus on debuts. Therefore, I have received a lot of non-debut novels, usually as surprises in the mail.
I have several other reasons for starting a new blog.
- I am frustrated with Google’s inability to deal with comment spam. I like opening up my comments to all and sundry, whether they wish to leave a name or not. But when I do, I get comment spam that takes precious time to go in and delete. I have been told that WordPress deals with comment spam much better than Blogger, so here I am.
- I have my own domain, and it is all based on this WordPress blog. That made this domain easy to set up. I like easy, because easy = fast.
- I read historical and mystery as well, and I wanted to cover those without going off-topic. Therefore, I decided that this blog would not be focused on a specific genre.
I’ll be honest. I almost stopped blogging altogether. But stopping the flow of review copies is much like rebottling a genie without making a wish. Therefore, I took a step back and figured out what I found frustrating about Fantasy Debut, and what I enjoyed. If this isn’t an enjoyable hobby, then it’s not worth doing.
What I’m Keeping
- Writer Wednesday. This proved to be a popular feature, so I will continue it here.
- Discovery Showcases. Now open to any genre, and posted sometime on Sunday.
What I’m Changing
- Debut Showcases. These will be posted weekly, and will be more round-ups than full-fledged showcases. I hope to cover a wide variety of genres, not only speculative fiction.
- Debut-focused reviews. I will now review any novel that fits in my areas of interest. I still expect to read a lot of debuts, since I will learn of them through the debut round-ups. As ever, I prefer to be queried, rather than sent unsolicited copies.
What I’m Eliminating
- Can’t think of anything.
What I’m Adding
- More genres. I have my favorites, but I’m not going to limit myself.
- More personality. Expect me to go off-topic more frequently. I enjoy lots of things, not just reading.
If you came over from Fantasy Debut, thanks so much for following me. If you just found me, welcome! I hope to see you’ll around the comment threads. Thanks for visiting and please let me know what you think!