RANDOMS: Happy New Year and the Pure Textuality 2012 Highlight Reel
Happy New Year to all of our readers!!! I am a day late in getting this posted but thanks to the nasty cold that is going around, I didn’t do much of anything this weekend. So here we are!
Looking back at 2012, Pure Textuality has seen some highs and some lows but one thing is certain – this year has FLOWN by!!! Let’s take a peek at some of the highlights!
(LINKS TO EVERYTHING WE TALK ABOUT IN THIS
POST CAN BE FOUND AT THE END OF THE POST)
Pure Textuality’s 2012 opened with a big announcement: Bloggers Wanted! When we started out this year, the site consisted of a one man crew – me (Jena). As things started to get busier, I realized a very important truth. You cannot run a successful and active book blog all by yourself. So I reached out the feelers and struck gold. A few have come and gone but the team I have remaining is stellar.
Ginny was the first one on board with me and before long, ended up becoming my business partner here at PT. We started talking via email, eventually met in person for dinner and have become great friends since. She’s a never-ending source of entertainment for me and the woman reads like a DEMON. Her knowledge of fiction is vast and for some reason, she remembers almost every detail of every book she’s ever read – good and bad. This last little fact about her makes her one of the best reviewers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and she turned out to be one of the greatest additions I have ever had on the site. She, like me, also happens to be an indie author and we both published for the first time this year (we’ll get into that more later).
Shortly after Ginny, I acquired one of the best teams I could have ever asked for.
Dolly is one of our Urban Fantasy junkies. She’s also a lover of the indie author sect and has brought with her interviews with some great indies out there (Connie Suttle, LJ DeLeon, etc).
Heather is a friend of mine from our other mutual love – shoes. When she realized how much I love to read, she hopped right on board and started reviewing for me. Before long, she even started her own book blog – Soleful Reader – where she posts tandem reviews with PT. Although she started out as my die hard romance reader, she’s recently branched out more into the paranormal romance and horror areas of the stacks – eventually turning me onto the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones (which I LOVE!!!!).
Beth is probably the most eclectic voice here on PT. She’s one of those folks that reads a little of this and a little of that. She’s found some great books that I probably wouldn’t have even looked at twice if I hadn’t read her reviews.
Alicia is another one whose taste varies. Not one for explicit material, she brings a refreshing taste of the cleaner side of bookish life reviewing books you wouldn’t mind your younger readers getting into.
Amy came to us by way of True Blood. She and I met on Twitter a few years ago when I started watching True Blood. A faithful soldier in the Team Eric army, we bonded over a love of all things Sookie and one day she decided to join our team!
Charity is another Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Paranormal Romance reader here at PT. She’s also an aspiring indie author as well.
Tynisha is our more spicy reader. She’s loves her Paranormal Romance and her reviews have a tendency to fog up your glasses.
Kendra is our event correspondent. She has been all over the place this year, at different conventions, and once she gets back from a convention, she writes up a piece to tell us all about it. Kendra is also a published author.
Eryn came to us by way of Amber Lynn Natusch and she too has a wide range of reading choices. Just when I think I have her “style” nailed down, she surprises me.
Robert is our serious reader. Big on mystery and thriller.
Matt is an indie author that we worked with a while back and he decided to join the team for reviews. He writes fantasy of a more epic variety but his reading choices thus far have been straight urban fantasy.
Phineas is Ginny’s husband and a brand new reviewer here at PT. Once in a while, you’ll see a tandem review between the two of them.
CC and Lorna are our two newest members on the team. Both are rocking a serious jones for urban fantasy and paranormal/paranormal romance. Their reading choices are right up the same alley as my own!
That’s the team right now. We have had some others that have come and gone but these are the folks that are left after the dust was done settling. As I said above, I couldn’t ask for a better team. Thank you all for making Pure Textuality a success in 2012!
Numbers, numbers, numbers. As I stated at the beginning of this post, the biggest lesson I learned is that you just can’t do it alone if you want to have a successful book blog. I won’t say anymore, I will just let the numbers speak for themselves….
2011 (By Myself)
38 Book Reviews
1 FanFic Review
3 Author Interviews
9 Author Guest Posts
2012 (With Our New Fabulous Team)
430 Book Reviews
4 FanFic Reviews
15 Author Interviews
14 Author Guest Posts
AUTHOR INTERVIEWS AND BLOG TOURS
This year was the year of the interviews and blog tours for PT! It had its bumps but we ended up getting to interview some GREAT authors! The snags were certainly big ones though. One in particular was really disappointing.
When I set out creating PT, one thing I listed as a goal was to interview my Big 5 – Stephen King, Anne Rice, George RR Martin, Particia Briggs and Charlaine Harris. Well, in 2012, I got interview acceptance confirmations from 2 of them, Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris. The day Anne Rice agreed to do my interview, I was all grins. This was a HUGE step for me and really a dream come true. I had been a life long fan and getting the opportunity to pick her brain was beyond amazing.
When I asked for the opportunity to interview her, it was at the same time as requesting an ARC of The Wolf Gift. The plan we agreed upon was she would send me the much anticipated title so I could review it and then we would do the interview. The interview would be conducted via email so she could answer at her leisure. However, we had a plan to have the interview posted a week after the review. The review (a stellar one, in fact) came and went and I never heard from her again. After a total of 5 follow up emails (2 to her alone and 3 to her and her publicist), I gave up. At that point, and after having a long string of emails back and forth with her, I find it very hard to believe that my email ended up in her spam folder.
The author that ranks among the names I have respected most in my life totally let me down. It was a highly disappointing experience and as a result, I will never review another title of hers again. That may sound petty but here’s the truth of it: I wouldn’t feel the way I do about her if I had received at least an email saying that due to scheduling or whatever, she just wasn’t going to have time for the interview. Instead, I was blatantly ignored and the way it felt to me was that she agreed to do the interview for the sake of getting the review and that’s it. That may not be what she intended but since she blew me off rather than having the respect and courtesy to just drop me a line even if she couldn’t do the interview, then I am left to my own theories for the reasoning. Much respect has been lost. To top it off, I LOVED The Wolf Gift. It really was too bad that I never saw the answers to my questions.
The Anne Rice experience did have its benefits. It gave me the guts to approach other authors I wouldn’t have otherwise have had the guts to go after. Next up, I hit up Charlaine Harris. And again, she agreed (via her publicist). I did my review of Deadlocked and sent my questions off. And got no response….
Sent follow up email…..and still no response….
I was really starting to feel like the jilted lover. Desperate for some kind of explanation but left with nothing.
So, once again, I gave up and wrote it off as a repeat of the Anne Rice incident. I wrote it off and left it at that.
About eight weeks after I initially sent the interview questions, I got a frantic email from one of the two publicists I had been dealing with for the CH interview. Somehow, my email to her had ended up in her spam mail and she had attached the completed answers. It was awesome to see the answers come back in the end. It was a bit of a one-sided interview in that the answers were all very short and cut off but at least she answered.
Then there was the opposite end of the spectrum!
This year I got to interview another absolute favorite author of mine – Jeaniene Frost. She was cool, open, funny and charming. Her answers were thought out and not canned comments. This was probably my favorite interview of the year!
The other big highlight for all you urban fantasy junkies was the day we were chosen as one of the stops on a limited five-stop blog tour with Ilona Andrews for Gunmetal Magic! The tour was the husband and wife writing teams Top 6 Favorite Kate Daniels moments and we had the pleasure of hosting Moment #3. To this day, that was our busiest traffic day and we got to hear from a lot of Ilona Andrews fans out there in the world.
The most recent big highlights was Ginny’s interview with Nico Rosso this year. It was smart and a LOT of fun! Nothing is better than interviewing an author who really enjoys it!
We did many more author interviews this year that were major highlights: Darynda Jones, Amber Lynn Natusch, Connie Suttle and Dannika Dark, just to name a few.
As most of you know, a hand full of us here at PT are also aspiring or published authors. Ginny Lurcock (who also writes under the pen name Lola Rayne) published her first book this year. The Monster Within, the first installment in her Mounting Darkness series, is a mix of urban fantasy and erotic romance. She also has Bad Blood, her first work under the pen name Ginny Lurcock coming out on February 5th!
I published my first piece this past October as well. Burning, the short story prequel to my upcoming Demon Legacy series, was published on October 2nd and I am almost finished writing the first book in the series. I haven’t set a solid release date yet but I am aiming for mid-late February.
We are very proud of all the writers we have on staff and encourage our readers to check them out. Some of their stuff has even been reviewed here on the site. You can find info on any of our authors we have on staff by going to the banners shown on the right hand side of the website under the heading ‘OUR INDIE AUTHORS’.
INDIE AUTHOR SERVICES
Another big move we made this year was to kick off the indie author services brand of Pure Textuality. After seeing the ridiculous prices that some places charge for services that are very easy to perform and really don’t take a lot of time, Ginny and I discussed opening up services to other indies like us who may not have the cash flow to pay out huge sums of money for their marketing needs. We started off with blog tour organization and we branched out from there. We now offer the following:
Blog Tour Organization – starting at $10.00
Advertising – starting at $15.00
Artwork (Cover Art and Web Needs) – starting at $20.00
Content Editing – $15/hour with a minimum of $30.00
Print and Ebook Formatting – starting at $25.00
The point to offering these services is to give aspiring indies the opportunity to publish good quality work the first time through, allowing them to follow their dreams without being a millionaire first.
PURE TEXTUALITY’S GOALS FOR 2013
We are hoping to see more big things with the new year! We are planning to approach more authors we love with interview requests. Some of the authors on that wish list are Ilona Andrews, Moira Rogers, Darynda Jones (again), Ilona Andrews, Amber Benson (again), Tina Folsom, Ilona Andrews, Karen Marie Moning, Kevin Smith (been chasing this one for a while now), Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Richelle Mead, Ilona Andrews, Sarra Cannon, Suzanne Johnson (again)……did I mention that I REALLY want to interview Ilona Andrews?????
Another goal for 2013 is to get more big name blog tours. We LOVED taking part in the Ilona Andrews tour. It was so much fun connecting with other readers who love their writing as much as we do! And man, they came from ALL OVER! It was a lot of fun and we are really hoping to participate in more of these for the authors that we love.
The biggest goal of 2013 is just to keep going. Everyone here loves what we do here at Pure Textuality. We all came together purely out of a love of reading and weird stalker-like tendency toward authors. Ok, that’s not true. Please don’t issue any restraining orders. We love to read. We live for stories because they make us dream. 2013 has a FAT catalog of highly anticipated titles coming and here are a few of the ones I am looking forward to:
February 12th – The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead
February 26th - The Golden Age of Death (the 5th and FINAL Calliope Reaper-Jones book) by Amber Benson
March 5th – Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs
March 26th - Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) by Jeaniene Frost
May 7th - Dead Ever After (the 13th and FINAL Sookie Book) by Charlaine Harris
July 9th - Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson #5) by Darynda Jones
July 30th - Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews
So what book(s) are you most looking forward to in 2013???
LINKS TO THE CONTENT MENTIONED IN THIS PIECE