The end isn't near; it's here.
After more than two years of vetting and posting, I am done.
So, why I am ending it?
There are approximately 34 reasons that I thought of. Though I'll discuss the primary ones here.
To begin with, this blog became something completely other than what I had originally intended. If you look at my original posts (and the survey I conducted ages ago), the majority of visitors were readers. It was supposed to open the eyes of the reading community to untouched, unfound, and unknown books. It didn't take long (say 7 - 8 months) for it to become a literary hideout. And I gotta tell you, the weakest group of individuals to target for reading is writers. They're (we're) already broke, and having (yet another) incestuous place to read about books is as useful as . . . whatever, it's not useful.
Along with this, it is clear to see that POD (with a few exceptions) is a useful tool to gain some ground in the book world (hopefully to build an audience to more than your immediate family)--but only so that you can ultimately get an agent and publisher to produce/release your book (and others) in the traditional way. No one knows this more than I, for that was the sole purpose of the Needle Awards. However, it is simply not a compelling reason to stay up late every night.
But mostly, I am simply burned out. I mean, have you ever looked at my stats? C'mon, 1,600 books in a year? And some literary agencies don't get 5,000 queries in a year. It's too much work for one person. Frankly, it's just too much work, period. It has been a super experiment, and perhaps the greatest result of it is the list of 65 books on the right-hand side that might never have seen the light of day.
The last two years have been incredibly fun--and incredibly exhausting. Not just from this blog, but in general: I released two books, went on two (small) book tours, wrote two more books, lost two loved family members, suffered a miscarriage, switched day jobs, moved to a new home, and somehow managed to get the flu--twice. I had actually considered at one point (and had mentioned on this blog) that I was going to kick things up a bit. This wasn't what I meant. I just finally realized I need to make a change--and this is the thing that has to go.
The folks I have met through here (agents, editors, publishing pros, writers) have been the absolute best, and I certainly do not regret any of the time and effort I have spent here. But . . . I'm afraid the time has come for POD-Dy Mouth Industrial Clothing and Fine Baked Goods to close its doors. For good.
So, please know I appreciate your emails and well-wishing, but I will probably not be responding. I get over 500 emails a day already and I simply cannot go through them to find the ones worth responding to. I am certainly leaving at the peak of the blog's attention, on pace to hit 2,000,000 hits this year. Seems like a strange time to bag it, though I do hope everyone understands.
I will do this, though: As I come across top books that really move me (POD or commercial or otherwise) I'd be happy to send out an email on a completely irregular schedule giving you a heads-up. (Again, no submissions.) If you want, send me an email with "Put me on the list" in the subject line and nothing else, that way I can sort my inbox and find everyone at once.
But no matter what, please keep writing--and keep trying to get published. This is a marathon effort and nothing happens overnight. If you get rejected, don't take it personally. And if you get published, don't take that personally either. This is a business first and foremost, though it is filled with some of the greatest people, folks who are both business savvy and art influenced. It's a great mix, actually.
And, like all stories, there should be an acknowledgments section, so here is mine. Believe me when I say these folks are the absolute tops:
Collins, Natalie R.
Crider, Michael R.
I'm overlooking many a person--including all of the authors of the books I reviewed--cool folks, one and all. Also including some of the agents and editors who received the Needle Award results that are not coming to mind because, you know . . . it's fried.
So, again . . . please enjoy the books I've unearthed--and remember to give self-published books a try. You just never know.