Site Updates and Upcoming Changes (June 2015)

Happy Monday, everyone! 😉

I’ve worked on some more site updates since the main overhaul 3 weeks ago. In addition, some new article ideas have been percolating – ideas that excite me, but have caused me to reconsider aspects of my blogging schedule. So, I wanted to let you know what’s new, what may be changing, and what may be on the way.

As always, I welcome any questions, suggestions,or other feedback you have. Feel free to post them in the Comments section at the end of this article.

New and Updated Pages

  • Book Review Indexes: Zephyr @ CyberNag had a great suggestion for adding an index of book reviews so visitors could easily find reviews they were interested in reading. You’ll now find a Book Reviews tab in the Main Menu above, with links to review indexes organized alphabetically by author, genre, and title.
  • About / Bio: Many readers liked the idea of adding  facts about myself on the About page. So, under the main bio, you’ll now find a section about some of my favorite things, including favorite writers, books, music, etc.
  • FAQs: Elizabeth Rawls recently asked why I decided to write about Faeries for The Keeper’s Curse. Since that question comes up often, I added an FAQs page you can access here or under the About tab in the Main Menu. This page only houses a few questions right now, but you’ll learn a little bit about what kinds of fantasy stories I write, what inspired me to write TKC, and – *drum roll* – how Faeries became part of the story. 😉
  • Sidebar: I’m playing around with some new widget choices for the sidebar. What do you think? Anything you think I should add?

Upcoming Format Change for Recent Reads

This was a tough decision, especially since a lot of readers (myself included) seem to enjoy the in-depth reviews I’ve done for Recent Reads. However, I’m reading at a much faster rate this year, which means more books to potentially review. And, reading faster + lengthy reviews… Well, it means more time is spent on writing reviews. Couple this fact with new ideas I’m itching to explore, and my blogging schedule is now on the verge of becoming unsustainable.

*MEEP*

So, as awesome as they are, the long reviews have to go – but Recent Reads in general won’t disappear.

Starting today, Recent Reads will appear during the first week of each new month, meaning that “Recent Reads: June 2015” will post between July 1st and 7th. It will feature all of the books I finished that month, a paragraph and rating for each, and the next three or so books I plan on reading. My hope is that this format and monthly frequency (as opposed to whenever I finish reading a book) will free up time to write other articles. The Book Review Indexes will still be maintained as well.

What do you think? Again, I’m aware that I’m changing or taking away something that readers enjoy, and I hope you’ll understand why.

A “Character Evolution” Series

Which brings me to one of the “new somethings” that’s a-brewing. 😀

One of my priorities as a writer is to create stories where the protagonist(s) change or evolve as a result of their journey through the plot. Maybe they learn something or aren’t the same person they are in Chapter 1. Because of this focus, I’m considering launching a monthly column here about character evolution.

First things first: Would you (especially if you’re a writer) be interested in reading a Character Evolution column? As neat as the idea seems, I’ll only go ahead with it if there’s enough interest in it.

Second, if I go ahead with a Character Evolution column, what would you like to see discussed? Would you benefit from generic craft-based posts or “character studies” featuring a protagonist from a published novel? Or, maybe a mix of the two would work best?

Upcoming Blogoversary Celebration?

Apparently this site’s 6th birthday is in July. (?!?!) I’ve never celebrated a blogoversary before… but this year, I want to. Not necessarily for myself, but for you, my visitors and readers. In many ways, you’ve helped make this site what it is today, and I can’t express how grateful I am. 🙂

So, how could I celebrate the blogoversary in a way that shows this appreciation? Maybe a giveaway? I’m not sure what I’d give away, though, since I don’t have a book or swag to speak of yet… Maybe a sneak preview of my custom tea line for The Keeper’s Curse? Or maybe an article of some kind?

I have a better idea: What would you like to see for a blogoversary celebration, if we have one here?

18 thoughts on “Site Updates and Upcoming Changes (June 2015)

  1. Wow six years! That’s great. My blogoversary is also in July and this is my fourth blogoversary. I don’t usually celebrate but maybe this year? I wish I had a good suggestion but the thing I always gravitate toward is a giveaway of some kind. I love the idea of your new changes:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tammy! Your blogoversary is coming up soon, too? 😀 Looking forward to seeing how you choose to celebrate!

      Yeah, a giveaway sounds like a great idea… but I still don’t really know what I’d do. :/ I’ll have to wait and see what the others say…

      Like

  2. I am kind of obsessed with character change and evolution, so I’d definitely be interested! I think it’s one of the hardest things to write when writing a “genre” story, i.e. a novel with a demanding external plot. It’s easy for the character’s internal journey to fade away when there’s so much other stuff going on.

    So yes, I’m interested!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agreed! Like you were saying about genre fiction, a character’s arc can get lost (or be ignored completely) because of the external conflict, world-building, etc. And we as readers – and writers – might love all of that, but we can’t lose sight of what’s happening to the protagonist. That idea in itself (character arcs in genre fiction) could be an article all on its own. Hmmmmm….

    Thanks, Heather! 🙂

    Like

  4. The indexes are a great idea! I should get around to doing that too.
    Yay, I’m going to go read the FAQ and Bio now! 😀
    I do have one suggestion, if you could move the Recent Posts widget up higher that would save time searching around for it. It’s fine if you don’t, but just a thought.
    Recent Reads, I am sad to hear that. :_( But I also understand your reasons. That’s great you’ve been able to read through books faster though.
    Craft-based posts and character studies, I can’t decide between the two, so maybe both? Both options have benefits. I like being able to see how it plays out in a real novel, but craft posts are also helpful for personal use.
    Wow this site is 6 years old?! Congrats!! I think mine will be 1 year old in August. 🙂 I don’t know much about blogoversaries so not sure I’m much help there. But a giveaway of samples of tea based on The Keeper’s Curse would be awesome! (IMO 🙂 ). You could have character interviews, or bring in people to guest post for the celebration, or host a party/event on facebook that’s TKC related? I would still like the tea samples though 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good suggestion, Elizabeth. Originally I was thinking I should highlight the social media items more, but maybe not… I’ve changed the order in the sidebar. Let me know what you think. And thanks for understanding about the change in Recent Reads.

      How about a mix of both, then? I should probably start with a few craft-based posts, with the first one being “Why is a character arc important?” If I’m going to do a series on this, I should define WHY it’s so significant in the first place, right?

      I like the character interview idea! That’s a real possibility. Maybe I’d first post something to get questions from readers, then include the interview on the day of. 😉 A giveaway sounds great too, but I might wait until after my July / August vacation to run it.

      Funny you mentioned guest posts. I’m planning to “open” the site to those in August. I just need to figure out my policy on guest posts, and then (like with the giveaway) wait until after my vacation to announce it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • The sidebar looks nice! Does the Facebook link have an image to go with it? I like how organized everything looks.
        All those sound like good ideas to me! 🙂
        Fun, where are you vacationing?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmmmm. When I look at the Facebook widget, I see a “preview” of the page itself, with the timeline banner and whatnot. Just a guess, but maybe it’s your browser? Try refreshing it if you don’t see it.

        As for the vacation… you’ll find out via blog post on Friday. It’s literary-related, and I’m SO excited. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, it must be my browser then, it’s been weird with other blog widgets too, lol. Literary-related? Ohhhh! I think I’m jealous already, and I don’t even know of what yet, but that it’s literary-related! 😀 I’m going to go read it now!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It kind of boggles my mind that it’s been 6 years. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long…

      I agree, change is good once in a while. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! 😉

      Like

  5. Pingback: Submit Your Questions for Eva’s Character Interview! | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  6. Pingback: Time Flies!: June 2015 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  7. Pingback: Recent Reads: June 2015 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  8. Congratulations on completing six years blogging 🙂 And thank you so much for creating the Book Reviews section as I had requested you to. However, the decision to reduce the length of your recent reads is sad though perfectly understandable. There is only so much you can do with the time you have to do them, right? I veto any giveaways for the blogaversary, for obvious reasons 😀

    I love your blog and everything you write, so would you mind terribly if I don’t offer any suggestions? I kinda like to get surprised, you see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! Most book review sites have at least one index for their reviews. I couldn’t decide which version I wanted more (by author, genre, or book title). So I did the “logical” thing and went with all three. *lol*

      Yeah… I knew the idea of shortening the book reviews would disappoint some readers. I still feel sad about it, too. But the new format is already working out pretty well. The real challenge is limiting how much I should say! *lol again*

      Thanks again for stopping by, Zephyr. 🙂

      Like

  9. Pingback: A Blogoversary Character Interview with Eva of “The Keeper’s Curse” | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  10. Pingback: Recent Reads: July 2015 (Plus, I’m Back from #WDC15!) | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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