Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mithril Wisdom Inspired

I was reading the fabulous Jamie's blog over at Mithril Wisdom today, and it got me thinking. Jamie is, as far as I can make out, my only reader! And so I completely adore him. Reading his thoughts from today's posts made me wonder about what people would expect from this blog, or really what would bring people in to a blog like this. And after some coffee break musings and Googlings,  I reckon it's Advance Reviews that are key. I'm pretty sure that's what makes Book Bloggers stand out, and brings the masses flocking to them. Because I mean, anyone can pick an old Fantasy novel off a shelf and read it for themselves, why would they come to me? But if I'm reading the newest and hottest Fantasy tome 2 months before it hits the shelves, BOOM, you're going to be over here checking it out. Right? I mean, maybe I'm way off the mark. If anyone actually is reading this, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

The trouble with me is that I'm all about the Epic. There isn't a huge amount going on in terms of brand spanking new Epic to get excited about. Urban Fantasy? Paranormal Romance? they're everywhere you look. Epic is different, and that's partly why I love it. There's a huge back catalogue of Epic-ness that I want to catch up on, and I'd love to share my thoughts here. But how many people are going to want to read reviews of novels that are, in some cases, five, eight or even ten years old. Probably not so many! And if you take roughly the average size of an Epic Novel to be say 600 pages, well now that takes a time to get through. With a day job and a family it takes me about 2 weeks to get through a DoorStop Tome, which means a long time between reviews.

So on the whole, I guess what this entire ramble of mine is about is...will this ever be a place people will stop by and read? Or am I destined to be forever typing into the void? Do I need to wrestle some ARC's into the mix to get some FootFall? But then does diluting my Epic angle just weaken the whole concept?

Hmmm, I'm not sure. I started this site up as place to enjoy myself and review the books I love to read. But seeing some of the busy and bustling sites around me I feel a bit...daft, almost. You know, I'm that tired at the moment I don't even know if this makes sense. I will have to come back to it after some sleep, and when, hopefully, the whole redundancy situation at work is resolved and I can get my brain back into some sort of coherent state.

Until then...Jamie, you've got me thinking!


  1. I'm always reading too, sorry for not commenting more! Well, you and I are maybe in similar boat-type vessels, so I have been thinking about this too. I'm happy to have my blog be a total ragbag of new books, old books, very old books, and not-about-books-at-all, especially as I think it's mainly friends and family reading mine, so they'll read anything!

    For you, if you'd like to stick with a theme (epics) then I think you should definitely do that. I haven't read a lot of them, so I'll be reading anyway. I think people will always be interested in a fresh perspective though, and in seeing what a total stranger thought of a book they liked (or hated).

    1. Bless you! 2 readers! Honestly, huge smiles here :)
      I did a bit more thinking, heaven help me...
      really I started this blog to hopefully find some like-minded readers, because no one in my family/friends is into Fantasy, and it can be a lonely obsession!
      and just having even 1 or 2 folk drop in to chat books, well, it's mission accomplished really :)
      Big thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

    2. Well, perfect then! We can have a bit of a genre book chat and head to bed happy with ourselves! I was interested to read what you thought of Robin Hobb's first Assasin book, because I didn't particularly enjoy that one either (I didn't finish it!) whereas I loved the Liveship series and the new Dragon series. Unpredictable! Anyway, goodnight!

  2. I'm a reader too!

    I know when I first started blogging I felt the same; not many people were reading or commenting and I felt all the effort and time I was putting into writing and reviewing was been wasted.

    What I found helped get footfall and traffic to my blog was using all the other types of social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads ( I see you already have twitter!) This is because I found most people do not use Blogger but use one or more of these other sites. So if you can get a following started on one of these like Facebook (which nearly everyone has) then you can divert traffic back to your Blogger site whilst been able to have a conversation about your reviews and updates on FB. I must say it is hard getting a following on FB but it does pay off in the end!

    I hope this advice helps! I'd also just say to keep your reviews coming because I enjoy reading them!

    1. Adam! reader number three! Thank You :) :)
      Your advice is really appreciated, thanks for taking the time to comment. I have to confess I *loathe* FB with a passion! but maybe I need to look again. I also need to confess that I've no clue what Pinterest is but I keep hearing about it so I will drag my dinosaur-like self over there and invesitage :) Cheers!

  3. Thanks for the mention, though I figure I'm not the only one who enjoys what you write (see above for proof :P)

    If epic is what you want to focus on, don't compromise that for the sake of gaining extra followers. There's still good reason to look at the older epic fantasy novels; I remember one site that did a reread of A Song of Ice and Fire, but only read the chapters that focused on characters they liked to see if it impacted on the story at all. Maybe taking a different spin on these older epics might work.

    If you can get your hands on some epic fantasy ARCs though, it's a good way to pique people's interests ahead of time.

    Alternatively, write a series of reviews titled "Why Tolkien is a load of old rubbish". Guaranteed extra readers then, though it might go hand in hand with hate mail ;)


    1. Thank you Jamie!
      That's tomorrow's post sorted then :D

      I'm going to keep my eyes open more for upcoming Epics, I kind of stopped looking because all I ever see is bloody PNR everywhere I turn! But I'll try and keep up with more of the Epic-friendly publishers. And I think you're right, not compromising is going to be the way I reckon.
      Cheers! and thank you for always stopping by and saying hey, I really appreciate it

  4. Not as alone as you think you are :)

  5. Arg, I had a superlong comment all typed out and Blogger killed it... *cries* will try and redo it from memory:

    *waves* I'm still reading! As for footfall, it takes time and as Adam said cross-promoting on social media helps a lot. That and interacting with other bloggers. It took me over two years to build up traffic to A Fantastical Librarian and now I've moved to Wordpress it seems I have to somewhat rebuild again (or WP analyses pageviews differently). The most important thing is to write about what you love and to have a distinctive voice: just be you! Yes, reviewing ARC's and posting cover reveals and participating in meme's will get you hits, but if people don't get a sense of who *you* are, then they won't stick around. As for epic fantasy, there might not be much traditional epic around (such as Martin, Rothfuss, etc.), but there is plenty more fantasy out there beyond UF and PNR :-D However, if epic is your thing, stick with it and you don't have to focus on new stuff. There are plenty of people only just now discovering fantasy who won't know about those not-so-new books and won't discover them by just walking into a regular high-street chain book store. You might help people discover their favourite book by highlighting an older title.

    And Jamie, I remember that reread! I loved the idea. I did some digging, it was by Victoria over at Speculative Book Review ( I remember being sad she never got to book 4 :-)

  6. Thanks Mieneke, wonderful advice :)
    everyone is so kind!!


    I will keep at it, and it's EPic all the way :)