Happy New Year

fireworksHappy New Year everyone…here’s hoping we all have a great 2017. I usually have already done up a couple of posts looking back at the previous year and ahead to the coming one, but I guess there isn’t any rush.

I am toying with the idea of refreshing the blog a bit, maybe a bit of a design/color change, that sort of thing. Is there anything you would like to see updated, or changed/added/removed? I am very happy that I merged all of the author pages into the main blog a few months back, it has made maintaining things much easier, but there is always room for improvement. Let me know if anything has been bugging you, or could be easier to navigate. I have been even thinking of changing the color scheme to black and gold, but we will see.

How was your 2016? Any exciting changes, good or bad? Are you happy with how the year played out, or do you have a ton of resolutions for 2017?

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27 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Emily says:

    I honestly never thought about it until you asked so I can’t say it’s something that’s been bugging me, but I’m thinking of a couple things I’d love to see now. Both would be on the monthly new release pages. It’d actually be additions rather than a changes because the current layout is great as it is. First addition has to do with the release dates. Right now, the date is listed and then the titles/authors/synopsis are listed afterwards. Let’s say I find a book I’m interested in, maybe the 4th for that particular date. By the time I’ve read all 4 summaries so far, I’ve forgotten what the date was, and then have to scroll back up to find it again because it’s not listed with each book. If I find multiple books, I’m doing that multiple times. If the release date was listed with each book, that would solve that problem. But, I have a really bad memory, so I could be the only one who has that issue. And that’s only when I’m looking for new stuff and actually reading every single summary. Usually, I’m trying to scan to make sure I’m not missing something from a favorite author, which brings me to the next addition. I would love to see some kind of quick reference. Like maybe, at the top of the page, a list of the authors that have new releases that month. That way, if I’m not looking for anything new, I could take a quick 30 second peek and know if I even need to read the entire page. I have about 15 authors/series that I always read every new release. So, if I was in a hurry, I could pull up the page, check the list at the top for my favs, and say “oh, Nalini Singh has a release this month. I need to check that out.” Or if no authors on my list have releases for that month, close the page and be on my way in a few seconds.

    So, the first addition would be the release date listed with each book, so if I’m reading the entire page looking for something new, I don’t have to keep scrolling up and back down the page as I go, when I forget the date. And the second addition would a list of authors at the top that have new releases that month for a quick reference. No titles or dates; that would be later in the page like you already have it. The additions aren’t really necessary, just a little more user friendly for forgetful people and people in a hurry.

    • Iain says:

      Emily beat me to it… was going to say the author pages could use a table of contents, and maybe then if you find a book by an author you like and want to read the blurb you could click on it and it would move you down the page right to where the blurb is…

      Not sure how necessary the dating every release would be if you could see all the books and their release dates at the top at a glance, though… but yea, I too tend to forget some of the things I’ve skimmed by the time I get to the bottom of the monthly release pages

      • kaleigha says:

        I would love the link to the blurb in the table of contents, and I even tried something similar before. The problem is when release dates shift, you have to re-edit all the linking info in the editor, too. I will play around with it and see how much code it involves since it has been so long since I removed it.

    • kaleigha says:

      You know, those ideas actually tie in with a couple of things that have been bugging me, as well, but I thought it was just me. When I update the release dates every month, I do a manual check against Amazon’s listings, and after the first few I forget what day I am on and have to scroll back up and see the correct date, then scroll back down for the next listing. Individual date listings, maybe in smaller print than the main date headings, could work. And it would save me time in the long run, too.

      As for the top reference, I might have a work-around. I find it redundant lately to have both a yearly summary then 12 monthly ones. I don’t use the yearly one at all, personally. Merging the two could work – a top section that lists author/title, no blurb or cover art, then the page as it is now with blurb, art, and links to purchase at Amazon and series list. It might be more info at the top than you need, but at least you only have to scan a quick list. I will work on it and see how it looks, but it should work out pretty well.

      • Emily says:

        I was going to comment on your mention of the black and gold color scheme, too, but figured I’d already used up my 2 cents worth of imput. lol. But I do really like that idea, too. It’d be really well suited for the genres you cover. I like your solutions, too. I’ve never read the yearly summaries so merging those two sounds good to me. All the info in one place, I guess. Makes sense. I look forward to seeing if it works out. If not, it’s still awesome the way it is. Your site is my go-to for Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. Do you know if anyone does something similar for Contemporary Romance? I didn’t used to read it much but I’ve actually picked up a few new authors in the past couple of years. I always sign up for author newsletters when I find one I like, but some authors are better than others at getting that info out. And it’s just easier to have everything in one place. You need a couple of clones for other genres now that I’m branching out. lol.

        • kaleigha says:

          Nope, bring the suggestions on. I tend to overthink things, so sometimes a new voice helps. I haven’t found any blogs that handle other genres like I do here, but it would be interesting. Other readers here have asked me if I could branch out and handle contemporary romance, but I was too chicken to dive into another whole branch.

          • Emily says:

            I can’t imagine how much work goes into this site already without adding new genres. If you were going to take on something like that, it would become a full time job. Which, if you got paid for advertising on the site, it would be a pretty cool gig. I wish I could remember which author recommended your site. They were talking about character guides so it couldn’t have been Kenyon, even though my brain keeps pointing me there. She does her own, and you haven’t done Dark Hunter or League yet, so that just doesn’t make sense. That leaves either Singh or Feehan, cause I know it was one of those three. Man, that’s gonna bug me. But my point is, if you’ve got authors like that telling people about your site, there’s definitely career potential. I wouldn’t expand to other genres without getting paid for it, though. Plus, I kinda like that you focus on a couple specific genres. Especially since PR and UF are my favs. You just need clones. Ooh, or host “Be Like Kaleigha” classes so someone else can do it. Okay, I quit. Commenting right after waking up is like commenting after a few drinks. Never a good idea.

            • pals20 says:

              Both Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews have recommended this site for the character guides. I remember having a huge grin because hey my fav authors recommending something that I was already doing.

              • kaleigha says:

                Weird as it sounds, it sort of freaked me out. I do e-mail authors when I do a guide, and hope since it is all done they won’t mind and tell me to take it down. But when they acknowledge it it still feels strange. Darynda Jones checked it out the Charley Davidson one and left a nice comment, and said she would be using it as a reference herself.

            • kaleigha says:

              Yeah, I don’t think I could swing it at this point. Especially since I don’t read them much myself, so it really would be like work rather than my OCD tendencies demanding I do this to keep myself organized.

          • pals20 says:

            Makes sense. I like the exclusivity too…

            Contemporary is insanely massive now. There’s sub-tags I end up using like suspense, action, comedy, and so on because just saying contemporary is no longer enough. If you take up another genre, this will probably become a full time job for you. lol…

            • kaleigha says:

              I think what would be ideal would be for me to find another victim to start up a mirror blog focused on contemporary, then pair the blogs up. Like one for contemporary, one for young adult, one for historical. Same basic design but different color schemes, that sort of thing. It would be ideal.

              • Emily says:

                Another victim. Hahaha! That’d be pretty cool though. You’d probably need a few victims, though. I hadn’t thought of all the “tags” that go long with Contemporary these days. It actually sounds like fun, but I definitely don’t read enough of it to have a lot of knowledge of the genre. If I ever got the urge to be productive, I’d take on your Dark Hunter and League character guides. I’ve read both series so many times that it’s just ridiculous at this point. lol

                • kaleigha says:

                  Yeah, and it is (pardon the language) a bitch to get started. It probably took me three months to get everything set up before I even opened the blog up. I started with all of the authors I read, then moved on to finding out about all of the authors they recommended, then went through all of the “also bought” lists on amazon for all of my authors…it was endless.

                  The good news is that PhoenxiFyre is working on guides for both the Dark-Hunters and the Legion series, so they actually will be a thing. I don’t envy her keeping track of all of those, either.

                  • Emily says:

                    Me either. Even as many times as I’ve read them, I still have moments where I’m thinking, “who is this guy.” Especially with The League, which is weird since there’s at least half as many books.

                    • kaleigha says:

                      What threw me about the League was the generation thing, the jumping in time. I am more of a liner kinda gal, I guess, but I get confused easily. When I was reading the Dark-Hunters, I kept thinking “am I supposed to know this dude?”

                    • pals20 says:

                      “am I supposed to know this dude?” That is the same reaction I have when I come across a new name. Makes me feel vaguely guilty, btw.

                      (for some reason, I couldn’t reply to Kaleigha’s comment. I think we may have maxed out on replies to a single comment. LOL)

  2. azteclady says:

    Just a note to wish you a joyful, healthy, and prosperous 2017–and to thank you for all the work you do on your blog. It’s a wonderful reference for readers.

  3. Shira says:

    Your monthly release page is my go-to site, too. I wouldn’t know what to do without it. So, a big THANK YOU, and I hope you’ll have a great year.

  4. pals20 says:

    First – a huge thank you for the BOTM, New Releases, and New Series alert blogs. Your blog and the Fictfact release calendar are my go-to locations to get my author info. Yours more so because our choices are so very similar so I know what excites you will excite me too. 🙂

    My only request would be to ask if you can list out the re-releases separately from the new releases. A lot of times I get excited about seeing an author’s name and after reading the blurb, realize that I have already read the book. Cue the sadface. Anyway, its just my pet peeve. It’s not a deal-breaker if you don’t make this change. Cheers!!

    • kaleigha says:

      No problem…always glad to hear someone else gets some use out of them, honestly. The paperback re-release things has always been weird for me. I never used to list them at all, only original releases, but then someone pointed out that it didn’t work because not everyone bought hardcovers, for example, but waited for the re-release in mass market. So I added them, but started listing “paperback re-release” or “hardcover re-release” at the beginning of the blurb. I could keep doing that, but when I start adding the quick reference at the top of each month I could separate it into new releases, re-releases, and novellas, maybe?

      • Emily says:

        I’ve done that with novellas taken from anthologies, too. I kind of thought the point of anthologies was for a few authors to support each other; like the more popular authors endorsing new or less known authors. That flies out the window when they go and release it separately later on. Weird. Anyway, your solution of a note of re-releases and novellas in the quick reference sounds good to me. That’s actually better, since sometimes that might be the only thing people have time to look at.

        • kaleigha says:

          Yeah, and if I keep the “paperback re-release” note at the beginning of the blurb in the main section, it would have both covered.

  5. Emily says:

    Been there. It is sad. I mean, it is obvious that it’s a re-release once you read the title, and see it’s noted that way. But a warning that you’re headed into re-release territory would be cool. Like, instead of putting them in the usual list under the specific date, wait until all those have been listed and have a completely different section for re-releases. It’d probably be less work in the end. You could take out the blurb and everything. Just make a heading of re-releases with a quick list of titles and dates, maybe with a link to wherever the synopsis is already listed, or something similar, like Amazon. Sounds easier, don’t know if it actually would be.

    • kaleigha says:

      I find it to be even more so when it is a digital re-release of a story already put out in an anthology or something, with the story title rather than the book title and new cover art. I had that happen just recently Alexandra Ivy putting a couple of her Guardians of Eternity stories out on her own – I thought they were all new. I was bummed.

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