It’s a new year and I’ve been thinking it’s time to implement a few changes. One big change is to the review policy. It still amazes me whenever I’m offered novels for review. That was never the goal when I first started Literary Escapism, but I’m not going to complain about it either. I love the fact that authors, publishers, publicists and all my fabulous readers want to know what LE thinks about the various novels being released.
However, after four years, and even 3 additional reviewers currently on staff, I’m at a point where I need to implement some hard changes to the current policy. By the time October 1, 2011 had rolled around, I had at least 80 novels sitting on shelves, waiting to be reviewed (not counting the 30 or so novels each reviewer currently had). This was in addition to what has become a massive TBR pile. Needless to say I had a lot of books in my office, and they were starting to get really intimidating. The pressure of getting them reviewed, and in a timely manner, was starting to become too much.
Plus, I really want to avoid burning out my reviewers. Believe it or not, Nikki, Casey and Nicole have done an amazing job whittling down that review queue, but I don’t want them to feel like they have to push aside their own series and books to try and keep up with LE’s demand. I’ve already had to do that and I can tell you my reading has gone way down.
So changes need to be made. I’m hoping the changes are not seen as hard or uncompromising, but I’m hoping the changes will create a more manageable review queue (and thus less stress) and still allow us to keep caught up on our own series.
Literary Escapism is a book review site that features paranormal and fantasy literature. You wouldn’t believe some of the requests I get, but it’s enough that I feel the need to state that. What this means is we’re open to reviewing titles that fall in the fantasy section of your bookstore. This includes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, YA Paranormal/Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction and Steampunk. Pretty much anything that couldn’t actually exist. This doesn’t mean we won’t review Romance, Erotica, Contemporary Literature, etc, but if we do, it’s because we want to read that author or particular novel. We’re going to share whatever we’re reading, but our focus is on the paranormal.
LE is going digital. We’ll no longer be accepting print or finished copies for review minus one exception, but I’ll get to that in a moment. In this day and age, it is not unreasonable to expect to have things digitally available. All of us at LE have ereaders (or soon will) and it just makes it easier to get novels to each other if we can simply email them. Yes, this may turn away authors who don’t want to send a digital copy of their book, but with services like NetGalley, and many of the publishers starting their own versions, getting access isn’t that hard. Plus, from a financial point of view, it just makes economical sense. It costs money to send books to my reviewers and I can’t do it whenever I get a new title in. It can be days, if not weeks, before I can, so having the option of simply forwarding an email and having it instantly in their hands is really nice. Plus, if I have to spend money on shipping, this means I can’t spend it on contests for the site.
But what about that exception you’re wondering. LE will accept print Advance Reader Copies for review if they are sent at least 45 days prior to the titles release date. This will ensure, if I can’t get to the post office right away, I’ll still have time to get the title to either Casey, Nikki or Nicole in time to post a review before it’s publication date. Not to mention, if life happens (Casey is in school, Nikki & I have young children and Nicole has 2 jobs), we’ll have some wiggle room. Considering most publishers have their ARCs done at least 3 months in advance, I’m not anticipating many problems.
This last change isn’t really a change, just becoming permanent. LE will no longer be accepting published novels. Meaning, LE will only be accepting advance reader copies for review. This goes back to the whole idea of not getting buried under a constant stream of review requests. I’m aware this may limit the number we receive, but I’m okay with that. *grin*
So those are the major changes. What does all this mean for LE’s readers? I should hope nothing. Well, you may start seeing more advance reviews, but would that be a bad thing? I’m actually hoping by limiting the number of review requests, the girls and I will be able to read more because we’ll be reading a better ratio of our novels vs review requests, which should mean more reviews. We’ll see how it goes though.
And for those curious, here are LE’s current stats as of 12/31/11: 12,000 unique visitors (180,000+ page views) per month, 3000+ RSS subscribers, 2700+ followers on Facebook and 1900+ followers on Twitter.