First, here are today’s stops on the River Road virtual tour.

I’m being interviewed at The Speculative Salontoday, with some really interesting questions. What would I like to see more of in urban fantasy? Check it out and see.
And here’s a treat! I managed to coerce Alex Warin to sit down for an interview at the ExLibris blog today. As many of you know, Alex is often a man of few words. Well, few words you’d want to repeat. But I managed to get a few answers out of him.
Now… I had planned to start the book club back up today, but early responses to the Preternatura survey indicate that this is not something folks want to see.
So while I continue to collect survey responses (PLEASE take it if you haven’t already—it’s near the top of the righthand column and will take less than a minute—it’s also anonymous), I’m putting the book club on hiatus.
In the meantime, I’m looking for ideas for new blog features I can start up after the first of the year to shake things up around here, so post a comment with something you’d like to see more of here or a feature or meme from another blog you always enjoy reading (yeah, I’m not above stealing an idea or two—LOL), and I’ll enter you for a three-book mystery prize pack. Do you like the In My Mailbox or Waiting on Wednesday memes? Other features?
No hoop-jumping today. One entry per person for a comment! I’ll reveal the results of the survey and some changes coming to the blog in this space next Wednesday!

51 thoughts on “NOT THE PRETERNATURA BOOK CLUB (& 3-Book G*veaway)

  1. Oh, sad face, I will miss the Book club. Not a fan of In My Mailbox memes. I do like the Waiting on Wednesday memes [spotlighting upcoming releases].

  2. On the other blogs I read, I skip over the IMM and WoW features…I’m not really interested in what other people are waiting to read, I’m more interested in book reviews when they’ve actually read the book and have opinions to give. If you were to start including reviews of books you’ve read, or guest reviews from other people’s blogs as I assume you writing up reviews would be too time-consuming to be fun or worth it, I would read those!

  3. Yes, I’m not an IMM fan either. WoW seems kind of extraneous since I do the Reader’s Choice lists every Monday, and I’ll definitely keep doing those.

    Galena, “real” reviews is one thing I’m figuring out how to provide. I can’t realistically have a full-time day job, a daily blog, a writing career, and do more than one review a week, but I think the author Q&As are getting stale. So I might need to bring in a reviewer/partner. Just going to have to give this some thought.

  4. I like the posts getting to know authors or bloggers away from their books/blogs. Behind the Blogger or at the desk of the author type posts. I also like looking at other peoples book shelves…but that’s just my curiosity talking! 🙂

  5. One thing I liked the most at Preternatura & Suzanne Johnson sites has been The Annotated chapters of your books. Really enjoy all the photos of New Orleans and data on the food and restaurants. Always looking for information on Debut authors.

  6. I agree with Galena – I tend to skip over IMM and WoW memes on other blogs. I also agree with Roger. I’ve enjoyed the annotated chapters of the books. I think I prefer the Reader’s Choice over the WoW meme, because I get to see at once a lot of genre fiction that’s out that week. You highlight some books that I don’t see on other blogs, which I like.

    And while I’ve participated less in the book club than other features on the blog, I’ve still enjoyed it. I’m probably in the minority, though.

  7. It’s so great to have you on the Speculative Salon blog today, Suzanne. Thanks again for the interview 🙂

    As for new blog content, I’m always looking out for topics that open up discussions about genre and stories (particularly UF and paranormal) from both reader and writer perspectives. Opinion pieces that are thought provoking without being nasty or heavy-handed.
    This would definitely be an instance where guest bloggers would come in handy, LOL.

  8. I agree with the above comments – I also don’t find IMM and WoW posts that interesting. I wouldn’t say no to book reviews, maybe some tips on writing now and then. I like hearing about debut authors too.

  9. I like the idea about debut authors and the behind the scenes also. I definately like the Readers Choice and I like the Auhor Q&A. You could just have book spotlights for authors or have them do a guest post also. I follow alot of blogs and with the amount of reviews to get done I don’t have a lot of time to read everything on the blogs I follow. I almost always stop and read what you have posted on your blog.

  10. Great questions! I tend to skip over the IMM posts as well (just gives me a twinge of jealousy anyway, ha!), but I do look at SOME people’s WOW posts, because I trust their opinions and am interested in what they are looking forward to. That would be the only reason I would say a WOW from you would be good, because I definitely would be interested in knowing what’s coming up that YOU are personally interested in reading when it comes out. I view it as different from the Reader’s Choice posts only because the WOW posts tend to feature books that are several months out, as opposed to what’s coming out that week. (BUT don’t read that as saying I DIS-like the Reader’s Choice, because I totally love it!!)

    I would also like reviews on your site, but completely understand your time constraints! You could start off with guest posts from other bloggers (possibly even just an agreement with a different blogger each week to link to/feature a review on their site that falls within the purview of your blog (genre-wise)– might make the blogger more willing since they wouldn’t have to write an additional post…), and then if that goes well, consider adding a reviewer to be your partner or co-blogger on the site. Just a thought!

    Finally, I completely agree with the other comments – Roger’s comment on annotated chapters, pictures, etc; Ella’s comment about discussion-generating posts; your idea about featuring debut authors, for sure; and Van’s comment about featuring indie authors, who I also love and tend to like to promote.

    Thanks for everything, I love your blog! Got my copy of RIVER ROAD from my library today, WOOHOO!! Oh and I actually squealed when I was at the library yesterday and saw that they had RS/RR bookmarks they were giving out 🙂 The reference librarian whose desk they were on kinda looked at me funny!! I know, I know, it’s just a bookmark, but still… it was exciting to see DJ’s face there 🙂

  11. i loved the book club but it’s also true i didn’t have enough time to try to get the book so i could only follow and discover if i didn’t own the book prior i couldn’t completly share my opinion

    no in my mailbox i prefer the Reader’s choice because i often discover new titles i don’t see anywhere else

    i wouldn’t mind if you shared with us something between a book promo and review but of books you loves, loved that aren’t new release ( once a week would be enough!! don’t worry) because sometimes lots of blogs all features the same new releases and it loose it’s interest. it wasn’t the case here but i would love something of this genre

    i have nothing against debut authors guest post, promo etc

    and i think it’s important to be said: i love your blog already! i will continue to follow you ^^ no worries

  12. You guys are AWESOME. I’m getting some terrific ideas here.

    Sorry I haven’t been able to comment much–we’re having Major Drama at the day job today. But I’m reading all the comments as they come in. I do like the idea of reviewing books that might not be just released, as well as new releases, and a “retro review” day might be fun.

  13. I open and read this every day! And there is always some part of it that catches my attention. Are there things here that I am not interested in? Sure, but that is no reason to stop putting any part of it in here. There are others that like what I don’t. I do like the Readers Choice, it is one of the ways I keep up on most of the latest releases. I think you are doing a great job with this blog!!
    Happy reading and writing*

  14. I participate in three memes on mine (WoW, Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post) and would recommend any of those. I do like the book club though!


  15. Another naysayer to the IMM and shelf stacking posts. I have enjoyed Throwback Thursday / Retro Friday posts, where older releases get a shoutout and I missed them at the time. What-to-read-next polls can be fun too.

  16. I love character interviews as they give a fun behind the scenes look to the books. I also enjoy Teaser Tuesdays as the bloggers usually pick a juicy scene or snippet that can also spark new interest into a book I wasn’t even considering!

    leannessf at gmail dot com

  17. debut author, reader’s choice, book club and review I like to see and no interest with Waiting of wednesday or IMB because make me jealous with they have and I couldn’t lol

    For review, maybe you can make guest reviewer or probably ask any of us to post review from the book we won here 🙂

  18. How about sharing some of your favorite recipes?

    I like character interviews. Not interested in books/things people have received for review/gifts or want people to buy/gift them.

  19. Suzanne, I like On The Smugglers’ Radar feature from The Book Smugglers when they talk about new books and why they would like to read them. It’s like WOW but can be done at any time. I usually do similar post Dreaming of Books once every couple of months. It really helps people with similar taste to notice upcoming releases they might like.

  20. Agree with Bn100 i’m not so very interested with in books/things people have received for review/gifts or want people to buy/gift them. it will make us crazy in jealousy, right.

    i must admit i check your blog everyday any read it, the Readers choice is my favorite! beside the interview with Authors or Debut Authors plus *cough* giveaways 🙂 and i would really like to read more about yourself and your work in here too, well talk about your family, so we can know you better.

  21. Thanks again, everyone! Terrific feedback today. I’m making a list of all the suggestions and will put those with the survey results over the holidays (when I’m off the day job for two weeks–yay!) and see what all I come up with!

  22. I’d like to see debut authors–first works, meet-someone-new kind of column. I also like sharing pictures–you post an interesting picture and ask folks to post a caption. They can be pretty funny.

  23. I love character interviews, as well as author Q&A’s at the end of a review or post where you get to find out quirky traits, fun interesting tidbits about their life or books.

  24. I like book reviews & debut author interviews. The Q&As can be most entertaining & I like to read about what’s coming up next for that author & purchase options as well..

  25. I’d love to see book reviews, I’m interested to see what you think of books you’ve read. I always love seeing In My Mailbox, I like seeing what others are adding to their TBR’s. Featuring debut authors is great too, I love hearing about new authors.

  26. I like the book club. I mostly read it though. I also like new release spotlights and upcoming books features. Along with author interviews and reviews.

  27. Not a huge fan of WoWs because there isn’t really much to comment on except “I’m really looking forward to it too!”. Top Ten Tuesdays on the other hand I enjoy. Every week they’ll have a different topic. Sometime ago it was “top 10 books you’d want with you on a deserted island” and I found it really interesting to read people’s picks and the reasoning.

    Someone probably already mentioned it but some “behind the scenes” stuff is great too. Like feature an artist behind a certain book cover.

  28. I love your blog 🙂 I have not taking the survey yet but will. I already agree with the book club though…that is the only thing that I didn’t participate in..too hard with my schedule. I do like the in my mailbox feature to add…or steal 😉 I’ll just take the…or I’ll end up spilling all the beans here 🙂

  29. author ambush is always fun, so why not make it as character ambush 😉 capture a character from a book, and ask them weird/embarrassing question

  30. oh, can’t wait to see it! hope the make-over gone smoothly and turn out better than now 🙂

    ps, since i’m in a weird mood, i came up with a name for my suggestion. kidnap-a-character. err.. kinda lame huh?

  31. Lol, more than enough opinions already. I like to read what books other people bought though, but the Waiting on Wednesday is totally uninteresting to me.
    The older books review post sounds very good, I do read a mix of old and new books myself, and review those. Posts what an author likes to do when not writing are fun, with pics of where they live and perhaps their office. I do love lots of pics in a blogpost.
    Just as long as you have fun with the blogs Suzanne!

  32. I really like Teaser Tuesdays where people post a couple of sentences from their current read. It gives me a feel of the writing, whether it’s present or past tense, etc..

  33. I think a reviewer partner sounds like a good idea. I like browsing for reviews / what other people think of the book(s) before buying, specially if I found that reviewer reliable in the past.

  34. I don’t like the In My Mailbox meme, sounds like bragging and not really interacting. I would like a feature where you sit down with another author/blogger/reader and just have a chat. Discuss a book/movie/tropes/writing business, etc. to add even more personal touch to the blog 🙂

  35. I actually love a Debut Author challenge where you talk about a book from a debut author. It’s a great way to learn about newbies in the industry!

  36. A feature that I can suggest would be to do some sort of discussion post just about general book topics or other interesting things. I guess it would be similar to the book club that you had before, but general discussion posts are more open to everyone in the sense that participants do not have to read a certain book.

  37. How about a post where you feature your favourite “old” books? (Books that have been forgotten and/or maybe are not that well known.)