Back on Track

An update, and assurance that I’ve not given up and run off to Boliva.

At last I can write that I think ScuttlebuttReviews is finally back on track! January was one incredibly stupid problem after another, including being locked out of the site for nearly two weeks, then, just as site access was regained, my computer’s hard drive died with a sad, anticlimactic gray screen featuring a question mark.

sad gray folder

I felt that image summed up my general feelings on technology as a whole. Meanwhile, I was still figuring out goddamned HTML, and falling so far behind with requested reviews it seemed crazy to think I’d ever catch up.

Incoming Review Requests

I don’t live entirely in a fantasy world; I am well aware I’m still behind, but I’m getting there. Frankly, I think the hardest part has been the overwhelming number of review requests piling up. My first reaction went something like, “Wow! I just started this site, and they’re sending requests already? How exciting!” That soon morphed into, “Huh. I’ve posted about 4 reviews. Why on earth aren’t they making me prove myself first?” Then, “The hell are they thinking? I’ve not posted a review in two weeks!” And finally, realizing I can say, “Thanks for your interest, but I’m so behind. It you’re okay with it not being posted when the book is brand new, okay, otherwise please let me know when your next book comes out (as long as it’s at least 6 months from now).”

Now, this isn’t to imply I don’t appreciate authors and publishers sending review requests, of course I do. Authors and reviewers enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship, especially in the tight M/M romance (or Gay Romance, if you prefer) community . But when one falls behind as I have, the benefits cease and just becomes a mess of, “Oh my god, I promised something and can’t deliver when I said I would” and, “Where the hell is that review I requested?” Plus, then I rush and the review isn’t as good as it should be, which is why I’ve held off posting in the last week and instead focused on reviewing the reviews and tidying up.

So, for all of our sakes, if y’all could give me another week or two before sending any more requests, that’d be much appreciated. At the moment, unless it’s a book I’m already planning on reviewing, I’m focused on catching up.

Please note this hold does not apply to guest posts. Though when I first set out with this site I’d not planned on featuring guest posts, author interviews or introductions, I’ve found they’re kind of fun, not to mention there’s little effort on my end involved to schedule and publish. For the author, they’re also pretty simple (assuming one isn’t writing a one-off but instead is submitting something similar to multiple review sites). Feel free to send a query about guest posts at any time, even if it’s just a few paragraphs that aren’t yet formatted or prettied up. I can either show you (the author) how to set up basic formatting so it’s easier for other reviewers/bloggers in the future, or do it myself. Note “basic formatting”; I’ve yet to conquer how triggering Bach’s Mass in B minor to play when the reader reaches the seventh word in paragraph four.

On a more positive note, once I realized my feeling so overwhelmed was mainly because I was so lost with the things out of my control, I hunkered down and banged out review after review, despite not knowing if I’d have a site where they would be published. That means the majority of those books listed in the Review Queue, and numerous others not listed, have reviews that have been (collective gasp) written.

So, the site is back, I’m back, and I have several reviews and related events scheduled for the next week. I’m still not posting a calendar for when each review will be posted because I’d like to re-read them to ensure quality (see the “banged out review after review” bit). I’m not of the school of thought that just getting something done is acceptable, and will not post something I feel is not appropriately appreciative of the time an author spends to write the book.

The Upcoming Week

That noted, the next reviews to be posted are (ABC order by author’s first name):

  • Cat Grant‘s Black Dog
  • HL Holston & Eleanor Bruce‘s The Moon’s Dirty Light
  • Hurri Cosmo‘s The One
  • MA Church‘s Wrapped in Leather
  • Sasha L Miller‘s Battle of Will
  • Susan Mac Nicol‘s Worth Keeping
  • Talya Andor‘s The Fall Guide

Guest posts and the like:

  • February 5th, we have a combined post written by James Crawford about his book Caleo and The Dome by his friend Nova Sparks.
  • February 7th, a guest post by Susan Mac Nicol about her new book, Worth Keeping
  • I am also working with Robyn Elliot, a relative newcomer to the scene, to create an author introduction which will be posted before her third (in three months!) book is released.

 

Beyond the Next Week

Though currently I have dozens of reviews finished-but-for-proofing-or-formatting, most are not brand new releases. New releases still get priority, but at this point, I prefer to only post one new item per day. If I sucker invite other reviewers to contribute to ScuttlebuttReviews, this approach will most likely change, but for now I like the idea of being able to feature one book or author for an entire day.

I sincerely appreciate the patience everybody has shown as I muddle my way through this. The website building and maintenance tips have been invaluable, and thanks to all the people who keep stopping by despite the lack of new content. You’ll finally have something fresh to check out!

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