Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Looking for Feedback

I'm considering simplifying my blogging life, but I wanted to get some feedback first. For several reasons. (Can you tell I try to be a people pleaser?)

Anyway, I have a blog Becky's Christian Reviews. It is for the most part a neglected blog. I try my best, but except for posting my CFBA book reviews (weekly). And the occasional book review, it isn't an active blog. Furthermore, it's not a popular blog. I would be surprised if it had a regular readership at all. Really surprised. That's not shocking. It is the unfavored child of my blogs. I don't mean to treat it differently from Becky's Book Reviews and Young Readers and even Becky's Challenges and Becky's Online Reading Group. It just is one of those things filed under sad but true. It's not poplar because it doesn't get the energy and the effort and the time that my other blogs do.

That blog, Becky's Christian Reviews, is for reviewing Christian books for all ages. My question is this. I'm considering (I haven't decided anything definitely) incorporating Christian reviews into this main site. Those posts might be thought of as "off topic" for some folks looking for YA book reviews. They might get annoyed with me there. And I suppose it's possible I might offend people if I review Christian books on my main site which is typically not affiliated or associated with being a "Christian" site at all (or a spiritual/religious site for that matter.) I don't want to lose any readers. Or bore any readers. But I also like the idea of just having one main blog to do all my book reviews.

How many reviews? I'm not sure. It could be something that's once or twice a week. Though more likely it will be a once a month (or twice a month) thing. If my luck continues on, it might be an every-other-month thing. So chances are the content would only shift occasionally. You might not even notice it.

Another reason I'm considering is that I feel slightly guilty (is guilty the right word? probably not...) that the few reviews I do write up for the other site are neglected. They're not in a place to attract any attention. I don't feel I'm adequately promoting the (relatively few) books I'm receiving from publishers. (The number of visitors I receive in six months on my Christian site, I receive in one week here at Becky's Book Reviews.) So if my reviews were on my main blog, I'd feel I was giving back more, offering more for the authors and publishers.

So is this something that would bother/annoy/offend you? Do you care at all one way or the other?

I wouldn't be eliminating Becky's Christian Reviews altogether because I'm signed up for the CFBA Blog Alliance and I wouldn't know how (exactly how???) to go about switching my information for them to the new site. (Though I suppose it's possible to figure that out at some point? Maybe?)


Laura 5:29 PM  

Let me begin by saying that I've been amazed since I started reading your blogs how many you've been able to juggle at once. So, by all means, make things simpler for yourself!

I'm not a Christian, but it wouldn't offend me to read your Christian reviews. It's who you are, and it's your blog. You always post thoughtful reviews, and I read blogs to keep up my knowledge of the book world and many of my library's patrons are Christian, so I'd consider it a help to read the occasional well-written review of a book I could safely recommend to them.

Also, I think it's your blog(s) and if your hook (for lack of a better word) is that you sometimes post specifically Christian reviews (and a lot of challenges!), then cool. It'll be another thing to make your blog unique.

Whatever you decide, thanks for being such a thoughtful blogger. I've gotten more than a few great recommendations from you!

Becky 5:33 PM  

Thank you, Laura! I appreciate your feedback very much.

I am trying to simplify my life. But I don't want to risk losing readers by making my blog too broad (if there is such a thing). I read broadly, and I wouldn't find it distracting to read a blog that did a little bit of everything.

But some readers are more impatient than others, I think.

But maybe a good use of tags could be beneficial so people could sort things through if they're just interested in one type of book.

mariel 8:29 PM  

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I really enjoy reading your reviews, and though I probably wouldn't read a specifically Christian book, that wouldn't stop me reading your review of it. And if I wasn't particularly interested, I would skip to the next review! It certainly wouldn't stop me visiting your page. I find that having one blog uses up a lot of my spare time, so I don't know how you have managed with so much!

And Laura is right, its the uniqueness of each blog that keeps people interested.

Just keep reviewing and coming up with great challenges, and I'll keep reading your blog!

Kim L 8:40 PM  

I don't see anything wrong with simplifying your life and migrating your Christian reviews here! I have enough trouble keeping up with one blog, so I am amazed at how much you manage to do with multiple blogs. I probably wouldn't notice a big difference honestly. A few other blogs I read review Christian books occasionally and if they interest me, great, if they don't interest me, no biggie.

Tricia 8:43 PM  

Hi Becky,
I read your blog regularly (it's in my blog reader) and find it to be an amazing resource. Anything you review (and this includes Christian titles) should be of interest to your readers. I would love to hear about anything you are reading.

Good luck with this!

Becky 9:08 PM  

Thank you Mariel, Kim, and Tricia! Again, I appreciate the feedback. Since no one (at least so far) has spoken out against it, I'll probably go ahead and do it.

I don't think it will change the blog too much anyway, just a handful a month.

I'm not going to give up my kid/YA/ or challenge reads to focus on the other. It will just be an occasional thing.

Jeane 12:18 AM  

I don't think it would be offensive/bothersome at all to include reviews of Christian books here. I enjoy reading reviews of all kinds of books, and if the topic (religion in this case) didn't interest me at the moment, I would just skip it and read the others. Variety is always good when it comes to books! And it sounds much simpler. I had no idea you kept up so many blogs!

BooksPlease 4:31 AM  

I am amazed at your output! It wouldn't offend me or make me stop reading your blog if you reviewed Christian books here.

Debi 5:29 AM  

I don't generally talk about it, but I'm not a Christian, not really a religious person at all. (Though I do consider myself spiritual.) I only say this to let you know that I most definitely would not be the slightest bit offended to see Christian reviews on your sight. I can't imagine why anyone would be offended. No one is forced to read every post, right? I have this one blogging friend who I read regularly...during the spring and summer 4 out of 5 of her posts are about baseball, which doesn't interest me in the least, yet I still check her blog every day and read all her other posts.

And I for one, even though I'm not a Christian, will still more than likely read those reviews as well. I love reading and learning about others of different cultures and faiths and beliefs. Unless you are attacking other faiths and beliefs, which I KNOW you would never dream of doing, no one should have any reason to be offended whatsoever!

Bottom line, Becky, simplify your life a bit! You put so much work into your blogging, and give so much to others with your reviews, etc., that you definitely deserve any break you can get. Besides, having all your reviews in one spot will let us get to know Becky just a bit better, right?

Annette Laing 11:50 AM  

Actually, I think you would be doing everyone a favor, by helping to break down stereotypes about Christians in Red states, and what they read. Go for it (Full disclosure: I'm a non-evangelical, highly tolerant Christian who lives in a Red state. :-))

Charlotte 11:51 AM  

I agree--it's your blog, go for it.

I have pondered this business about religion and book reviewing a bit myself--there was one book we read for the Cybils that, in my mind, had a marked atheist slant, that I found rather refreshingly different. But I didn't want to say so on line, lest I do the book a disservice by putting off Christian readers....much the same way that I am a bit put off when a work of fiction is labeled "Christian," or as promoting Values, as if that is the most important thing about it.

chrisa511 2:20 PM  

I see nothing wrong with that at all Becky! In fact, I think the more diverse your blog is, the better. I enjoy reading a little bit of everything and I've been known to read the occasional Christian book even though I'm not a very religious person. I've always been interested in lives of the Saints though, so I'll read books on them occasionally and I love biblical fiction like OSC's Women of Genesis series. Well, ok, that's the only biblical fiction I've read :p But I say go for it!

Meredith 9:26 PM  

I love reading Christian reviews! I love Christians! So, I say go for it.

Unknown 7:09 PM  

When I first started blogging I instantly decided that I would become too overwhelmed to do a children's blog, an adult blog, and a Christian blog, so I just incorporated it all into one. I've never had anyone complain!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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