ReaderWriterVille

Blog in progress

Category: blog stuff

More social media trimming

Warning: navel-gazing ahead.

I thought about deleting my Goodreads account today. GR is the last social media platform I participate in, and I’ve been active there for the last couple of years. I returned to it when I started reading a lot of literary fiction again; I swore off the romance and related genre discussions quite a while ago, but the lit fic reviewers and groups didn’t seem to have the same kinds of recurring kerfuffles (NARRATOR: they do, just not as often). But they have their own idiosyncracies, like focusing to an obsessive degree not just on group reads of awards longlists and shortlists, but also choosing to spend lots of time and energy debating the worthiness of the books on those lists.

At first I found these discussions informative and mildly amusing. Having been buried in the romance genre for more than a decade, I hadn’t really paid attention to the proliferation of prizes in the lit fic world. But my goodness, they have not just multiplied but become much more prominent in terms of promotion through newspapers, magazines, and blogs. (#notallmedia, of course; the LRB, TLS, and NYRB don’t seem to care much about which books win prizes, but they’re in the minority.)

What isn’t different is the extent to which GR readers and reviewers depend on ARCs for their reading. Just as much as genre bloggers and reviewers, they try for Netgalley and Edelweiss, as well as obtaining ARCs directly from publishers. And there are a lot of small publishers in lit fic who are increasingly important to the health of the book industry in terms of innovation, creativity, and as incubators for new or new-to-English authors. This creates an intimacy between publishers and readers which is more similar to the relationship between authors and readers in romance than I’m comfortable with. One of the reasons I stopped reviewing romance novels and requesting ARCs was that I wanted to increase the distance between the author and/or publisher and me and decrease the distance between the book and me. I still don’t take ARCs, but when I review and discuss books at GR I know that authors and editors may be listening in. Which is absolutely their right, but it makes me think twice about what I post.

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Blog housekeeping update

Energized by the wonderful discussion that took place below my whine-and-complain post about the state of book talk today, I’ve made some changes and updates to my blog.

Format

I’ve finally stopped being a cheapskate and upgraded from the basic WordPress blog. I’m unthreading comments to see if that makes talking easier. We always preferred that at DA and quite a few multi-author blogs don’t thread their comments, so let’s give it a try. Sadly, we lose the reply button unless I move the blog out of WordPress. Which I may do, but for the time being we’ll have to muddle along.

The URL for this blog is now https://readerwriterville.com. The wordpress.com one will still redirect to the site, of course.

I’ve enabled Markdown for comments. If you don’t know what Markdown is you don’t have to use it, but if you do then you can substitute it for html codes for bold, italics, underlines, etc. It’s also easier if you want to embed links (it takes fewer keystrokes than html). I’m using Markdown to write my posts as well as some other stuff and I’ll post about that at some point. Feel free to hit me up with questions, although I’m a newbie.

I have a feeling I’m going to be playing around with the theme for a while. If I’m going to blog more I want to be able to have different kinds of posts, and I want to make sure that the theme is readable across platforms and renders comfortably and easily. Please let me know if the current theme (this one or future ones if I change it) is difficult to read or download. I don’t love the theme you’re looking at now, but it is versatile and it lets me have everything I want visible on the page. I’m especially interested in knowing if it takes a long time to load on less powerful computers and phones.

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