Saturday, July 14, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog

In a tour of POD blogs today's I find that I am rewarded by new posts at iUniverse Book Reviews (2 days old) and the PODler (1 day old). I know not to check POD Critic who posts to a schedule and lets people know when there with be a hiatus (last post, 5 days old). Some members of the ring post more erratically like Leo Stableford who obviously has other stuff going on right now (last post 7 days old). However both None May Say at 48 days and Pub-ioneer at 70 days will soon fall off my list of bookmarks altogether and I assume that Fantasy POD at 194 days and counting is effectively dead and just hasn't let us know.

It is a widely reported, but potentially apocryphal fact, that most blogs die off within three months. My own rule of thumb is that new blogs not destined to last tend to go within the first 50 posts because blogs that had a lower posting rate tend to take longer to wind down (rather than the sudden burn out characteristic of busy blogs). Needless to say, I hope that all of these POD blogs will experience a resurgence some time soon. I try to have a post up here every day, but if there really is nothing to say there will be gaps....

It is a simple fact that a blog like this tends to be well down the list of things to do. My own list goes roughly: work, writing-editing-promoting my own fiction, my own website and blog, my erotic romance blog, general real life events and then reading-reviewing-posting on the POD People site. The order has to do with real life and money earning activities getting priority.

So, I am currently noticeably derelict in reading the books in my TBR pile. I try to keep posting on the blog to keep it active, to show I am still committed to this place and hopefully tide the readership over 'til the next review. If you get sick of my 'fill in' posts here are some ideas:

1) Send me news, views or any short comments relating to self-POD. Reprints from your own blog are quite welcome and will be posted with a byline, link and a small picture if you so desire. Please, no simple promotional material, although a promotional element is fine if there is also some broader commentary attached. (PODpeep at

2) Join the POD People. The more reviewers we have, the more reviews we will be able to provide. Please note that there is no participation requirement. You selected the books you want and their format, when you want them. If you want to just provide one review that will be appreciated. Email to learn more.

3) Just drop me a comment about what you would like to see more of on the blog. I want to encourage people to visit and help grow interest in self-published books. So any comment is helpful so I know you are out there, what you want to see more or, less of, or just general impressions and suggestions.

Thanks for visiting.


Tabitha said...

As the proprietor of iUniverse Book Reviews, I wish to make a few comments. The links to Fantasy POD, None May Say, and Pub-ioneer have been left on my site for archival purposes. One day soon I'll consider grouping together all the archival links. After a point, I have to consider the sending of readers on a snipe hunt through the POD Review Ring, looking for prospective reviewers. Leo is the wild card in this scenario.

The plan I have set up for my blog is that there are three categories of posts: reviews, interviews, and miscellaneous articles. I purposely leave most reviews and interviews at the top of the page for 5-7 days, allowing the author her time in the spotlight. I post the remaining articles in between the reviews, usually while I am reading through a long book to be reviewed. This pattern allows me to showcase the authors and post new material at least once every week. This posting pattern works for me because personal service to the selected authors is the central intent of iUniverse Book Reviews. I want my blog to be one place where iU authors are not treated like ugly stepchildren!

We all have to find our niche. You have certainly done your share by requesting more reviewers for your blog. That element alone helps you to stand out from all the one-man-shows like my blog. Maybe your niche is to become the only absolutely free, legitimate, high-volume review blog.

Steph_J said...

I don’t have a web site or a blog. I realize these are essential tools for the self-published author. Hopefully one day I’ll figure out how all this stuff works. I can’t imagine if I did have a site where I reviewed books that I’d post more than once a month. I just don’t have the time.

It isn’t necessary for the blogs I enjoy reading (POD People is one of them) to post every day to keep my interest. Even if you only post once a month or so, I’ll keep checking in. I enjoy the reviews, the spot-lights on the problems with POD books, and the helpful suggestions. I’ve learned a lot from all the review sites. Most of all, I learned that I sure made a lot of mistakes with my self-published book! I’ll do better with the next one. :)

It’s always sad to see blogs fade away, but I can certainly understand that these sites aren’t a priority in the hectic schedules of peoples’ lives. I agree with a lot of the points Tabitha made, especially regarding archiving sites that are no longer active. I’d wait until the end of summer to make this decision though. Pub-ioneer has some very good reviews on it, and it would be a shame to see it disappear from the links completely. The same goes for None May Say.

Speaking of None May Say, if you haven’t checked out Devon Kappa’s review of A Dancing Bear by David Free yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. Last I checked you could still read the book for free on the author’s web site, but this probably won’t last much longer. I was very excited to find out that Mr. Free has made the book form available through Lulu and online book sellers because A Dancing Bear turned out to be a ‘must have’ for me.