Friday, October 14, 2011

Changes are afoot at MFB



Sarah, Mark and I have been chatting for some time now about some changes we would like to implement here on MFB going into 2012. I know, it’s crazy that we are already thinking that far ahead but we are proactive little readerly bloggers.

The biggest change will probably be that we will no longer take part in blog tours. Blog tours have had their day as far as we are concerned. They have saturated the blogging community and it is hard work to set up, both for the publicity people and for the authors who are asked to contribute. We have looked at each blog tour very closely and have found that our reviews and interviews with authors are far far far more popular.

A further thing that will be changing for all three of us is that we will definitely be reading an even wider selection of books and will be doing our utmost to not just concentrate on the new and current, but to give some of the older unread and some old favourite books a re-read and review them, and where we can, catch up with the author to see what they have been up to since.

Back when I started MFB, all those dark years ago when blogging was new and publishers thought bloggers were some weird space-aliens and bloggers were terrified of talking to publishers and publicity people, my big aim was that I wanted to highlight books that did not get the chance to be shouted about, not because the publishers weren’t enthusiastic about it, but purely because there was no money to push these books. And that got us thinking. We all three speak to a lot of booksellers and it is these guys’ job to know about not just the big titles but the smaller sneaky titles and so we will be featuring book recommends from our friends over at Foyles and Waterstones and Big Green Books once a month. It’s a crazy idea and I hope we can pull it off.

Basically what I am saying is that MFB will be going back to its roots. We love getting new titles, but there will be a genuine balance now between old and new or rather, not so new. We’ve occasionally tried, because we were asked very nicely by our publicity friends, to review a book by a certain date. At the moment books we receive are added to our shelves and we get to them as and when we can. Mostly we review our books just before or after publishing date - this too will change. It will be even more random than before purely because we don’t want to flood the review stream our readers are seeing with the same thing at the same time. And more importantly, rushing reads are never fun and you can tell by the reviews - and if it is one thing we pride ourselves on, it is our honestly and quality of reviews.

If a book gets highlighted too much by too many people, I tend to leave it be on purpose. I don’t like the hype, but sometimes, sometimes we can’t help but get caught up in the hype because genuinely, you fall for the author and the writing because the story is just that bloody good. Case in point: Daughter of Smoke and Bones. So occasionally, you will be asked to forgive us for our lapse into hype.

I think the blog will still be pretty much divided between adult and younger titles but we will definitely be showcasing more genre novels for all ages. I am really missing my fantasy books and need to immerse myself in their luxurious worlds so prepare for an onslaught soon.

As most of our readers know, all three of us on MFB are aspiring writers. I am sure you may have noticed how many of our questions to authors we interview are about writing and process and their journeys and inspirations. This will continue to be a big focus for us on MFB as I know we have a lot of other aspiring writers reading the site and every bit of inspiration must be shared.

But the big thing behind MFB is still: reading and loving books and introducing new authors and especially shouting about books we think our readers may have missed. All of this will become more apparent as we near 2012 and we draw a line under one of the busiest years on MFB.

As the year progresses there will be more news, about more changes, but that is still in the future. In the meantime, thank you for reading MFB and for all your support!

“We read to know we are not alone.” CS Lewis

17 comments:

Vivienne said...

What a fabulous post Liz. I congratulate you on being honest. I think this is a fantastic way forward.

Luisa Plaja said...

This all sounds great. Congratulations on a fabulous year and good luck for the future!

Cat Clarke said...

Sounds good to me. I approve wholeheartedly! Go Team MFB!

Book Angel Emma said...

I am with Viv congrats on your honesty to yourselves as readers and to your blog.
I wish you all the success in the world. You guys are inspirational. Huge hugs.

maryom said...

Interesting thoughts. We're trying a similar line of trying to include more random reviews of things that have caught our eye than those that are thrust at us. Look forward to reading next year's posts.

Jenni (Juniper's Jungle) said...

You make some excellent points that I agree wholeheartedly with (and have been thinking myself for some time). I wish you all so much reading happiness for 2012, it sounds to me like you've found the path to it!

prophecygirl said...

Nice one!

Raimy-rawr said...

very interesting post. I agree that the hype can put you off a book a lot, it puts me off which is why I still havent finished the Hunger Games series or read other books.

I cant wait to see what MFB is like next year but im certain it will be as awesome, or even better than it is already!

Also, LOVE the Reading Is Coll pic! :D

Lucy Coats said...

Wonderful. I highly approve of your shift in focus, and look forward to lots of the in-depth, thoughtful stuff you are all so brilliant at. Someone had to put their hand up and say,'Whoa! Stop!' on the blog tour front. I'm glad you have, because it was all getting too much.

Sarah said...

I think it's a fabulous idea to mix in older books along with the new, I try to do a bit of that on my blog but I still need to get a better balance. Just like I'm trying not to feel guilty about reading the books I bought for myself! I'm looking forward to seeing some of the older books you guys start recommending (I dread to think how many more books I'll end up buying though lol)

Becky said...

Ahem to that!

;-)

Steve Feasey said...

Book blog tours - just SO last year, darling!
It'll be good to see the new-look MFB, Liz & Co.

I Want To Read That said...

Coolio! Although I agree with Sarah and am concerned by how many more books I will end up buying as a result...

Mieneke said...

No matter what you review I will be here to read it!

Ailsa said...

I like the sound of these changes. I don't really understand the point of a 'blog tour' rather than just a normal author interview/book review.
It does get a little annoying when a book suddenly has so much hype. I'd prefer to read about books people have enjoyed when they've read them - I don't want to see all the reviews for one book all at once.

Looking forward to more reviews of older books, too :)

~Ailsa

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

Changes are great and I am also thinking of what I'll be changing on my blog. It sounds like this is where to visit for book recommendations and titles where one might have missed or is unaware off.

A.J. Mullarky said...

That's really interesting actually. Good for you.