What to do about the First Sale day?
For the past few years, nearly every Monday we have featured a First Sale letter from different authors. These blog posts told the stories of authors “first sale”, generally to a big six traditional publisher. As we came to a close last year, I began to think about this space, the authors who are featured, and what it is really offering to the readers.
Even though each author told a different story, I began to feel a certain sameness about the series and wondered if it wasn’t getting stale. In November, I stopped accepting new blog posts (I still have a few in the hopper for upcoming releases). What I did like about this space was that it was for authors to talk about themselves and their books on a blog that usually doesn’t have that type of feature. It was promotional, of course, but it wasn’t too in your face and for the most part, it didn’t sound promotional.
Probably the biggest drawback is that it unfairly featured big six traditional publishing even though the blog has always been a supporter of alternative forms of publishing. With the rise of self publishing, coop publishing, digital publishing, and everything in between, it seems outmoded to continue to support a feature that leaves out a great portion of our community.
Now statistically speaking, there has been no visible decline of visitors on Mondays (maybe you all skip Monday morning and come back in the afternoon or maybe you love First Sale stories and are going to tell me so in the comments). This blog is about delivering good content to readers and sometimes that means things need to be changed.
I’ve enjoyed the occassional author essay like the one Julia Spencer Fleming wrote a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn’t mind more essays by authors about concepts, tropes, ideas in their books. Another thought is something like John Scalzi’s Big Idea. I really can’t do interviews on Monday morning UNLESS it is a templated interview and by that we have a set of six questions or so about the book that each author follows. The reason is that I feel an interview is no good unless the interviewer has read the book. Alyson H’s interviews are awesome for just that reason – she reads the book and has insightful and knowledgeable questions.
I’ve not come up with anything awesome so I put the question to you all. What would you like to see here Monday mornings? Maybe you don’t want to hear from authors at all. Maybe you love the First Sale. Maybe you want something totally different. I’m totally open. Inundate me with suggestions.