Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Well, I guess it’s obvious that I needed some time off. I don’t know what did it, but a couple of weeks ago I just needed to take a break. Part of the issue had to do with the economic mess the country is in right now. My husband works for one of the companies that has been affected by the Wall Street meltdown and that has meant late nights at work for him which translates into less free time for me. I thought the majority of the drama was done with by the end of last week. At least it seemed like the market had hit its capitulation point (perhaps I jumped to that conclusion prematurely). But then it seems there is always some other drama ready to jump into the mix. I was ready by Sunday night to start a new post and get blogging again when my husband gets a phone call from a business associate. It was one of those slightly gossipy phone calls about a mutual acquaintance who was arrested last Friday (by the FBI no less!). And taken by itself that would be no big deal, but…. The guy is a client of my husband. That may not seem like a problem to most people but the thing is that my husband works in the finance industry and when his clients do nefarious deeds there is always the danger that they used ill gotten gains when they invest their money; which immediately sends my husband into oh s*** mode. For obvious reasons I can’t get into specifics. But let me just say this, the client is potentially involved in mortgage fraud and that is one heck of a hot potato issue right now. I think this guy is going to be in some big big trouble. Fortunately it doesn’t appear, so far, that my husband will end up in the cross-hairs of the investigation. My husband is very careful and doesn’t do anything sketchy in the course of doing business and I doubt we’ll hear anything about it other than what we see in the newspapers. But it’s scary, you know? The thing that makes me mad is that this guy appears to have done some very bad things with no regard to how it may affect anyone else. He has a wife and three kids, a business that employs (employed?) lots of people and people, like my husband, who did tangential business with him and may have to defend their reputation just because they knew the guy. Jerk. Anyway, that added a little bit of stress over the last few days. And I’ve already been musing over making some changes in my blogging habits. When I started to book reviews I had basically experimented with how I set that up. I had hoped that by creating a separate page for my book reviews I would be able to keep up a steady flow of posts by having contributors post reviews and doing giveaways. But it appears that I was overly optimistic. I mean no disrespect to my contributors, especially those who have regularly done reviews, but I’m afraid the number of books that get reviewed vs. the number of books I mail out to potential contributors has not been good. Probably 10-1. So I’m mailing out a lot of books, and paying a lot of shipping, for very little return. And it affects the relationship I have with the publishers who send me books. I mean, I wouldn’t keep sending me books if I didn’t see them end up as reviews either. So what to do? The first thing I think I need to do is reintegrate my book reviews with my main sci-fi site. I’m not getting enough reviews up to justify a separate site and I don’t have the time or the inclination to try to keep posting to two sites on a daily basis (or even an every-other-day basis). I have read several books over the last couple of weeks so I plan to put those reviews up on the review site before I do a merge just so I don’t overwhelm my main site with a bunch of reviews. But after that I’m going down to one sci-fi site and that’s it. I expect I’ll reduce the number of books I send out to contributor reviewers though I will still do giveaways —those will just be confined to one site. I’m also going to prioritize the books I review. I have many books sent to me directly from the author and those will be the first books to get reviews. After that I’ll just see where my mood takes me. But I’m going to dial down the review part of my posting and go back to what I enjoy most—musing about sci-fi and fantasy subjects. I was lucky enough to get an offer recently to contribute to a sci-fi magazine site and I’m interested to see where that goes. They’re going to use some posts I’ve already put up on my main site but the idea is that I will author other articles and reviews in the future. I doubt that will take too much time from regular blogging but I like the idea of doing something different now and then. Anyway. I hope you’ll bear with me while I change things up over the next week or so and don’t go too far away. I’m still here….