This past week, I’ve not been returning emails in a timely fashion. I’ve ignored commenters on the website. I’ve been weak about adding “news” to the “news section.” In essence, I’ve been a bad blogger. But I am not the only one. Look around the blogosphere and there are some blogs that have been suspiciously silent. This time, it really is a conspiracy!You see, back in February, there was some discussion about the fact that the internet really failed to provide a good centralized location for information. There are any number of reader blogs and review sites, but none of them provide a comprehensive list of upcoming romances.
I always like to know what is “next” and so do many other readers. But finding out what is next and what next is about is a real challenge. In fact, it seems that we spend more time looking for books than reading them.
With the help of several other bloggers, we are launching a new venture called Romantic Advances. Who all is involved?
The plan is for this site to be a comprehensive database of all upcoming romance books and books with cross over appeal. The site will have covers (because we love covers) and blurbs (because the covers don’t always tell the story) and hopefully, excerpts (because that is what really sells a book).
The site is in beta right now so there are bugs and weird looking pages and mis marked categories and so forth. But we wanted to open our doors and let you all take a peak to let us know what you like and don’t like. I particularly like to hear about what you don’t like so we can improve.
The plan is to have five front book features that are hand picked by myself and Sybil with input from the team of bloggers. These front five will change every two weeks. You can browse by date, categories, and publisher. There is this really ugly “tag cloud search” which allows you to do multi term searching (like all books in June 2007 from Berkley). It’s probably the most effective but least nice looking page on the site.
Authors can submit a book using a form. The goal is for no book to be left behind but because this is reader maintained site at this point, we had to create an arbitrary cutoff and to make it easy for us, we are using RWA authorized publishers as our limit. Until, and unless, we are capable of handling all the other publishers, we had to make a tough decision and this is the one we made. I know that this excludes a number of talented authors, but I hope you can understand that our resources can only stretch so far. But, as I said, suggestions are always welcome.
I think that is about it. There are alot of features we hope to add and each day (time permitting) means that its one step closer to being out of beta. Our goal is to be a “final” site by RWA so we can talk it up in Dallas to whomever will listen. Or maybe we will be in beta perpetually.
We’ve had great feedback so far that this is a source that is a long time coming in romance. I hope so. I hate to think that all the stuff I’ve learned about conditional if statements would be for naught.
Mad props have to be given to Jennie and her twin who came up with the awesome logo.
Oh, and why is Meljean Brook's book, Demon Moon, all over the site? It's not because she paid for it, but it's because we like her book. And she answers my emails. It’s Devon and my “pick of the week” which is a page which will be added . . . soon.
Currently, we have over 197 entries in our database with 90 listed for June. Looking for something to read. Head over and nose around. You might find a gem, or five, that you’ve never heard of. That’s us. Romantic Advances. The book pimps. Building your TBR Mountain. . . one book at a time.