What’s up with – and next for – GraveTells & DaVinciKittie
A biiig hello to all my gorgeous readers!
Warning: Wall-o-text imminent!
If you’re a long-time reader of GraveTells, you’ve probably noticed a more sedate pace for 2014 than in my previous years as a review site. Most simply put, life happened and GT had to take a back seat to some other important goings-on… sadly. I mean that, too – the “sad” part. Any of you out there who are review bloggers – or just starting to feel your way into the blogosphere on the other side of the keyboard – know how unrelenting (and, at times, thankless) it can be to keep up a site like this, and maybe you’ve also thought about quitting a time or two. “Someone please tell me again why I’m doing this?”, “If only I could get paid for all this work!”, etc. Running a review site is both a privilege and a responsibility and it absolutely eats up your free time – especially if you also have a demanding day job. After 2 years of going full tilt on GT, I needed a break, so took the last one at a coast and thought it’d make me happier. Took the time to concentrate on the other parts of my life that I’d been neglecting.
Turns out, it didn’t make me happier and I didn’t come to some mystical balance of life, work, and play. Reading has been an integral part of my life since I was old enough to hold a book, and GraveTells has acted as my therapeutic conduit for
peddling my obsession sharing my love with the world. Even if nobody is reading what I write here, I need to publish my thoughts. The truth – that persistent little thorn in my side that I’ve been avoiding for years – is that I want to be involved with publishing in a professional capacity. I don’t think that’s particularly illuminating – probably just about any serious book blogger feels the same – but I guess I’m finally at a point where I actively dread doing something else as my J-O-B. When I think about working with authors and their endless well of creativity, helping them pull the absolute best out of their work, I get excited. That’s something I’d do – and have done – for free. There’s a saying about finding something you love to do so much you’d do it for free, then finding a way to make that into a career, and while wanting to be in publishing – particularly in the romance genre – is no big revelation for me (I’ve known it for a while, regardless of what I admitted to myself), I’ve finally realized that it’s not going to magically happen. I’m going to have to commit and step outside my comfort zone to make this dream a livable reality. The best things in life are not free; they take a lot of courage, dedication, and drive to accomplish.
Sounds great, DVK. What’s next?
Aww, thanks for asking! So sweet. But I was gonna tell you anyway. *wink* Here’s where it gets hard – well, hard for me anyway. Historically, I
sort of suck suck really badly at putting a value on my services and goods. Can’t we all just live in a world without money? What happened to altruism? Sadly, I’m never going to win that war; adapt, I must. In my two decades of being “an adult” (Pfft! As if there’s ever really such a thing!), I’ve taken on a lot of roles, learned a lot of skills. I’m a Jill-of-all-trades, a Renaissance (wo)man and I love that about myself. Makes it damn hard to excel in a corporate capacity though, and working for other people is a constant challenge, what with the always wanting to step outside my defined job responsibilities and trample on help perfectify other people’s work. Huh, that didn’t come out right. I digress…
Through reviewing books for so long – and by reading them with a critical eye for many, many years before this – I know that editing is one of my niches. When I say that, I truly mean the full spectrum, from developmental and content work to copy editing and proofreading. I also know – thanks possibly in part to my lionly astrological affiliation – I love to be an expert (in something, anything really) and sharing that knowledge makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. When I see people succeed through putting to practice some of the skills I’ve helped them gain, well that pretty much makes my year. Subconsciously, I’ve already been doing that through GraveTells. I know some people say that reviews are for readers, not authors, but I write mine with both contingents in mind. Authors are, afterall, readers too, so if they can read between the lines of my reviews and gain some insight for their own work, then hell yeah!
Anyway, back on track. Are you still here? Dang, that’s dedication. And I applaud it! Seriously, thank you for reading on… and on… and on… Writing short passages – possibly not one of my strengths. *grin*
So what’s next? I’m now offering freelance editorial services and I’ll be publishing a series of blog posts just for authors, both aspiring and established. After that… well, I have some ideas of where I’d like to go, but one step at a time, yeah?
So what does this mean for GraveTells?
I will, of course, still be posting reviews, but will be splitting my time between those, occasional promo spots, and my author tutorial series. As a reader, not much will change for you except possibly skipping over the occasional article. If it becomes an issue, I’ll split off the author tutorials into a separate subscription feed, but let’s not go there yet. 😉 Some of the best authors were once voracious readers who didn’t think anyone wanted to read what they had to say, and maybe there are a few of you closeted, aspiring writers out there, just needing someone to feed your confidence and shed a little light on what is unarguably a daunting profession to get started in.
[quote]So what’s next? I’m now offering freelance editorial services and I’ll be publishing a series of blog posts just for authors[/quote]
I also want to take this opportunity – it being a (nearly) brand new year and all – to clean up my GraveTells mission a little. In the past, I’ve taken on books for review without knowing much of anything about them, and part of that process was a commitment to post the review regardless of what I thought of the book. This meant that I inadvertently gave publicity to at least a few books I didn’t feel were ready for public consumption (a few small changes can sometimes make or break a story). To keep from giving false hope – and to help contain the deluge of emails to my poor inbox – I even completely closed down my review request submission page and have been (largely) personally purchasing the books I review. Does that mean I plan to only post positive reviews? Absolutely not. I believe negative reviews – when crafted appropriately – are just as important as glowing ones… moreso, sometimes.
Ultimately, I want GraveTells to be a trusted resource where book enthusiasts come for advice, recommendations, and insight. That means I only post content I personally feel directly contributes to that mission and, yes, some of those reviews may be less than positive. Some of the authors may be big names and others may be completely undiscovered. The difference is that, going forward, when I choose to feature a book (good review or bad), it will be because I think that post has merit on a level beneficial to readers – or authors – in some way. I’ll always be brutally honest – in as polite a way as possible – on my GoodReads reviews, so even if a review doesn’t make it here to GT, you can always follow me there. That said, I really have missed working with the authors who found me through the submission page; I discovered some amazing new
hot heroes to obsess about storylines to get lost in and am looking forward to getting back to my indie roots. So authors, keep an eye on the submission page; I’ll open it back up sometime soon! *wink*
Okay that’s it. You can go about your other (far less rambly) tasks now. *toothy grin* As always, THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH for being a GraveTells supporter and I can’t wait to get back into the groove again with all of you real soon. <3
Wait! How do we find out more about your editing services?
Oh! Thanks for reminding me! I will have more info posted about it shortly, but in the interim, you can email me via my Contact page here and I’ll get back to you ASAP! *Mwuah!*
I wish you all the luck in the world!!
Thank you so much, Lori! <3
I completely understand the “why am I doing this?” question that grumbles in all bloggers minds. Thanks for sticking with it and good luck on your new service line!
Thank you, Sharon!! <3
Freelance Editor? Wowsa! You weren’t kidding about diving into the other side of things. I look forward to seeing the fruit of your new title’s labors. 🙂
Will any of your review team be returning?
Hey Rhi! I’m really looking forward to it too! I’m not sure yet if any of the team will be coming back. Managing a review team is a lot of extra time and energy and I need to concentrate primarily on my personal work. You might see a few familiar names now and then on a review post, but it’ll probably be a while before I dedicate resources to that.
This post is completely awesome. I’m so happy for you!! I know too well about letting the blog slide in favor of life. Missing it and resenting it and loving it all at once. But I think editing and you are a great match, and I’m so happy for you! Any author who hires you on is definitely going to be much better for it in the end. You are intelligent, witty, and very personable, and I wish the best for you!
Aaah! I could totally hug you, Liz! *hug* Consider it virtually done. *wink*
Thanks so much for the well-wishes and kind words!! <3 And feel free to send any authors you know who are looking for some editing services my way, hah. =P