I have a few things to share this week, so I decided to a News! post. I will do these periodically if there are changes to the blog, challenge updates etc.
I have implemented several small changes in the past couple of weeks that I want to make you aware of.
1. Giveaway Change: After reading several comments and talking to readers I have made one significant giveaway change. When readers are filling out the form for giveaways you will notice that instead of +25 (each) for promoting the giveaway you are now only getting +10. This is to slightly level the playing field for readers who do not promote giveaways other places, but still giving a slight advantage to those who do.
2. New Giveaways: I have always reviewed a very eclectic mix of genres on my blog and I have recently been reviewing a few Erotic Romances. I am unsure of your reaction to this development and would like some feedback if possible on how you feel about these kinds of books. I have also recently been able to offer a few erotic romances as giveaways, and have had some good responses to them. Just let me know how you feel LOL!
3. Urban Fantasy Reviews: I am really excited to be able to offer readers more reviews from the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance sub-genres. I really enjoy these kinds of books and hope that you will as well. Love some feedback on this as well. I hope to start offering giveaways of these kinds as well.
4. Updating Challenge Progress Page and Progress Bars: As many of you know I am a freelance writer with all kinds of deadlines most of the time and I admit that I got really lax in updating my challenges this year. For one thing I bit off way more than I could chew with signing up for so many in the first place. Next year I will pare the list down from 16 to 8 or less. I only plan to participate in the ones I most enjoy. I have been updating for the last week and I'm not finished yet. I will probably finish several challenges and fail several more LOL... I'll keep you posted!
5. 2012 Cozy Mystery Challenge : I plan to post the sign-up page for the 2012 Cozy Mystery Challenge the week after Thanksgiving. Readers will have until January 31st to sign up. I provide several reviews and giveaways of cozy mysteries every month and readers will be able to post reviews on several different social media sites and retail websites. There will be some major changes to the challenge next year and I can't wait to unveil all of them. I think it will be a much better challenge!
6. Review Changes: I have made several changes to how I post the reviews on my blog in the last week. I wanted to mention a few of them. As many of you know, I have a bit of a problem with Amazon. This is purely my opinion so take it with a grain of salt and find out how you feel about these issues for yourself. For my tastes Amazon is far too lax in how they control the self-publishing part of their website. They have allowed inappropriate and objectionable content, some almost to the point of being illegal. I have a hard time promoting a site that does this. HOWEVER, lately Amazon has tried to police this area of their site with more diligence and seems to be making some progress. So I have once again started using an Amazon link in the purchase information on each review. If I have reason to believe they are getting worse again, I will probably once again remove that information, but I have to admit that I like several features that Amazon provides, that are beneficial to bloggers:
They use and publish exact release dates, where as Barnes & Noble (which I have used as my primary source in the past) only gives the month and year. I like specifics!
I also like the fact that Amazon provides Author pages and biographies that more than just a couple of lines in most cases. As a reader I want to know more about the authors of the books I read.
Amazon also provides more excerpts with their "Look Inside" feature than all of the other retail sites combined. I like to be able to read a chapter or two before I decide to buy a book.
One thing I still prefer about Barnes & Noble is that they give the publishing house names, whereas Amazon only gives the imprint. That info isn't hard to find but when you write as many reviews as I do, you want it right there.
Barnes & Noble also provides better cover images that do not have white borders. My background is dark and I don't like white borders in most cases LOL!
So you'll see several review changes. Amazon purchase links, specific release dates. I have also added a section detailing Other books by the Author or books in a particular series. If you click on the image of the other books in the series, you will get a larger more clear view of each book cover. I love cover art and thought this would be a good idea. There are a few other changes as well, but nothing else that needs mentioning.
I know this is a lot of information to digest. I just thought it necessary to let you know that I'm continually changing and trying to make the blog better. If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment. I read every one of them. I would love to get some feedback on the changes, some insight into other kinds of books you'd like to see reviewed.... etc. etc.