About Debuts & Reviews

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!

23 Thoughts to “About Debuts & Reviews”

  1. Nice digs, Tia!

    I’ll change my link to you on my blog and make an announcement on Wednesday (since tomorrow’s post is already set).

    Sly minx, you. Starting a new blog without telling a soul what you’d been up to.

    The only thing I wish this comment section had is a way to track later comments without having to revisit over and over again. Other than that, it looks pretty spiffy! Good job!

  2. Tia

    Thanks for the suggestion; I’m going to have to figure out how to do that. There should be some sort of email notification thingy–I’ll have to figure out how to turn it on.

  3. Tia

    Ok, it took a plugin, but the checkbox to subscribe to comments is now in place. I also turned off comment moderation, but askismet should swat any spam.

  4. SQT

    Nice site. Got your links switched over.

  5. Phew, I made it! Now to update you on my blog. I hope you’ll be able to review my debut one day soon!

  6. Tia

    I hope so too! Thanks for the link, and I have returned the favor.

  7. Made it! And love the new layout, by the way πŸ™‚ My feed reader is updated and everything. Love the new spot, and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us here at Debuts & Reviews!

    (Also, wordpress kicks blogger’s ass, doesn’t it? Hehe)

  8. Awesome job, Tia! See, this is why mommies make such good bloggers. We know how to adapt to changing needs.

  9. I’d follow you anywhere! Glad you found a way to keep doing this that still made it fun for you. I’m still working up to adding links to my blog…but when I get to it, you’ll be the first!!!! Congrats on the new space.

  10. This is fantastic! I’ve updated my links and feedreader and look forward to reading more over here. πŸ™‚

  11. Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

    There’s a way to subscribe to comments separately in WordPress. I did that for all three of my friend Liz’s WordPress blogs. (Do not ask me why Liz has three blogs on WordPress alone. She doesn’t stop there, either. {Smile})

    {fiddle around}

    Ah! I found something:


    I just subscribed to that thru Google Reader, and it pulled up the ten comments I see here. I can’t speak for other readers, but I suspect they’d manage it too. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  12. Tia

    Thanks, everyone!

    Anne, you are a web goddess! I’m still fiddling around with my feeds, and am going to redirect the old Fantasy Debut feed here. However, I didn’t think that anyone would actually want to subscribe to my comments feed. So I’ll put a button for it on this site as well. Thanks!

  13. edifanob

    I like your new blog and the intention you described. Even I love fantasy I also like to read different stuff.

    I look forward…..

  14. welcome to your new home.

  15. you mover and shaker you!!!

    I’ll try to get the links updated tomorrow. I Just did an update of all the review blogs I follow and little did I know…

    I use wordpress. There’s a plug-in (wp-recentComments) that lets you put the latest comments (5 or 6 or so) in the sidebar (see my blog for an example…) People seem to like it — they can follow along on the latest conversations.

    Welcome to a new adventure, new blog. I know this will be a fun place to hang around!


  16. Tia

    Hmm . . . there IS a recent comments widget in the inner right sidebar, but it isn’t working. I’ll just replace it with the WordPress default and see if that works better. Thanks for reminding me of this!

  17. Nice Look!

    I switched the links over – I have to keep you happy since you are one of bigger referers to my blog πŸ™‚

  18. Tia

    Wow, that did make me happy! I’m glad to provide you with referrals. I feel kind of the same way about Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, which, if you’re like me, provides you more referrals than any other blog. Thanks!

  19. {Chuckle} You’re most welcome, Tia. I just tried versions of the links that worked with my friends’ sites. One did, fortunately. {Smile}

  20. Tia

    The Feedburner feed is working now, if you want to switch.

  21. yeah, Pat’s blog is the number one referring blog and has been since I started – I owe him for that (but also many of the connections I have). But your blog is number 2. And, I’d be happy about that too.

  22. Good for you. Seriously, if you don’t love it then why do it, right? Blogging is tough enough already, but to force yourself to write on things you don’t enjoy… well, that’s why I have a dormant spirituality blog and a fairly dormant “cheerios” blog (a blog about my life). Writing has become my life, so Initial Draft is pretty much what I’m all about these days.

    It’s easy to START a blog, and not so easy to keep the hits coming.

    You’re doing great.

  23. Tia

    Pat updated my link! I’m happy now. And I hope this blog resumes it’s number two position on your referral list in record time.

    Thanks, Todd. One must have enthusiasm, or its lack thereof will show.

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