Recently Jen had a good post on why she doesn’t post so many opinion posts and while reading it, it reminded me that I haven’t done an opinion piece in months here. The thing is opinion pieces bring the most readers and interaction. It’s hard to get a bunch of interaction on reviews and I’m so busy I don’t comment on many blogs (tho I do read them) so I don’t get many comments or views. It’s quid pro quo and totally understandable yet an area I just suck at. I’ll never be a famous blogger *sobs quietly in the corner*
Anyway Jen’s post got me thinking and I realized a couple of things. First I’m very busy and my personal life has kind of taken over (damn boys) while that’s all well and good I’m still reading a lot and all over the place. I’ve branched out a lot more than in the past and I’m reading more mainstream than I was say a year or two or even three ago. I’ve always read mainstream fiction in a variety of genres but I clearly needed a break so it’d be fresh again.
Sometimes I think that about this m/m or gay erotic romance genre. I feel like I’m reading the same stories but the quality just goes down with each new random name I’ve never heard of. I’m definitely less likely to pick up a new author these days as I feel I’ve been burned too many times by bad editing, horrible plots, and boring writing. That’s sadly how I feel and I don’t particularly like it. So I don’t want to read those books, review those books, or hell talk about why the genre has taken a nose dive because there are still amazing and wonderful stories to read (mostly by authors I do know).
But how does this relate to whether I post opinion pieces you’re asking? Well I’m asking that too but really it does because the same phenomenon is happening with those posts as with books. There seems to be the same issues recycled over and over again with perhaps not even more interesting points of view or comments. I think many issues benefit from a revisiting and I plan to check in on a few to see where the consensus stands but for the most part many of the main issues are still there and feel tired.
Or is that just me?
So I’m curious populace.. are you tired?
Are you tired of the genre? The endless blogs? The same arguments?
Do you feel the same excitement with the stories and if not, what should we do to kick start interest in our little happy genre?
10 thoughts on “Rambling on a Friday”
Are you tired of the genre? No, But I’ve not been around it that long. I read mysteries/police stories for 15 years before I got tired of it. It’s only been 3 years for m/m. Figure I have a ways to go.
The endless blogs? I don’t even try to follow every blog out there. No interest in it. I follow less than 25 book related blogs, and some of those are author blogs who rarely post *coughSeanKennedycough* On average, I see about 25 posts crop up on my reader every day and that includes my non-book friends and some picture blogs which only require drooling. I only follow people I “know”, usually people I’ve gotten to know on other blogs as posters, and then I start following them. I don’t follow the big blogs like Dear Author, Smart Ass Chicks (or whatever it’s called). I don’t know them so I don’t really care about what they have to say. I also follow very few author blogs. Again, they are authors now I consider to be friends, not just strangers I admire from afar. So unless I know you? I’m unlikely to follow you.
The same arguments? I stay out of that bullshit as a rule. The blogs I follow tend not to get caught up in the big controversies. Yes, if someone posts and “ZOMG READ THIS” link on Twitter I will, but I never comment and I just let it go over my head. A personal statement from someone I know? Then I’m interested, because you’re a friend I care about what’s bugging you and it’s a barometer to how matched we are in our opinions on certain issues. I’m very good at just going about my business and ignoring the chaos around me. It’s a skill.
Do you feel the same excitement with the stories and if not, what should we do to kick start interest in our little happy genre? I still find lots of books I want to read. It’s not an issue for me and I’m always willing to try something new. But I’m not that hard to please. As long as it wasn’t AWFUL, I don’t mind an okay book. Maybe because I read so many shots I can justify spending 25 min. on an “okay” story, whereas 500 pages of okayness might piss me off. So no helpful hints, sorry.
Great answers thank you Tam! I especially appreciate you took the time to comment since I know you’re pretty busy like everyone else. I would agree that I don’t mind reading an okay story but I’m finding most of what I read “okay” rather than amazing or wonderful. I don’t know if that’s a feature of the books themselves as being ok or if somehow as a reader I’m not fully appreciating them. I’m not sure.. but I will say I’m being more careful in the books I do choose to read of late.
Additionally I think the blogs are interesting but I just don’t have time to follow them all. I follow the ones that offer some insight or something entertaining but those I also get emails with new posts, making it incredibly easy to follow. I also tend not to comment because I read the post in email so I’d have to open the blog, sign in, and actually type out a comment (oh the horror). I like our little genre and don’t think I’m sick of it yet but I was surprised I hit a slump (or minislump) so soon. Like you, I read m/f romance for almost 9 years before even starting to tire. So I should have much longer in m/m to go!
I’m glad my post got you thinking, Kassa :).
The thing for me is that I’m not tired of the m/m genre, although I do find myself mixing it up a little more than I used to with fantasy books. There are a lot of good books out there but, like you, I find myself less inclined to try a new author than I used to because some of the new authors haven’t been great. It’s a shame really because I used to love trying new authors. Some of my auto buy authors started off being new and I tried them just to see whether I would like them. I’m also a little overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of new m/m books being produced.
I think my reluctance to post commentary blog posts stemmed from what you have said here about everything already been said and done many, many times. I don’t want to seem unoriginal so I don’t bother to post on topics that frequently appear. Having said that, I want to revisit some of my previous comment posts because my feelings have changed since I wrote some of them and I want to explore why that is. I just need the time and energy to get to it :).
I have to admit that I’m a bit hopeless at following the blogs. I have a few that I turn up at regularly, and many more on my reader that I do read. Like you, I don’t think I’m going to be a famous blogger because I do not have the time to devote to building up a huge following. I know that my blog has a lot of people who either follow me or have me on their reader and that makes me feel like I’m making a contribution. I’m just grateful that there are people out there who want to read my blog :).
In terms of what we can do to kick start interest in m/m. I think that there’s a lot of interest already. Some m/m sites have huge stats which shows that people are reading and interested. New readers come to m/m all the time and I remember how excited I was when I started reading m/m. Now I’m a jaded old hussy I still find gems in my reading, enough that I think I’ll stick with it for now :).
Great post, Kassa!
haha we old jaded hussys need to stick together! I think the general consensus I’m hearing from people in general (not just who commented) is that the genre is somewhat over-saturated with content and it’s hard to choose. I am very cautious and leery about trying new authors as well and that makes me sad. After all I never would love the authors I do now if I hadn’t taken a shot in the dark sometimes.
I think the blog-sphere goes through these phases where it’s super active and others when it’s more of a lull. Just as the landscape changes with popular bloggers, popular authors, sites, etc and so on. I really rely on Goodreads more than any single blog to help me decide on books – one stop comparison! But I do read and keep up with blogs. Just like everyone else I rarely comment. It’s somewhat sad that # of comments seems to predict success of a blog and whether you’re contributing. I prefer to think we’re contributing anyway 😀
In terms of M/M I think it’s got a ton of interest right now and a big readership. It seems small with the same reviewers and readers but the silent majority is probably much bigger. I think I miss that old excitement at picking up an m/m book and being so excited. Now I just hope I like it… perhaps a break is in order. Not sure..
Tired of the genre? No. But I *am* tired of publishers – both the “big names” and the little, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants-ers – who’ve jumped on the m/m bandwagon and are pubbing as much m/m as they can – regardless of quality or content – in an attempt to cash in on the surge in m/m popularity.
I, too, have become almost painfully picky when it comes to trying new authors. I tend to haunt the blogs of my long-time favorites (though I only comment regularly on one or two) and try out the authors *they* love. I’ve found a couple of amazing “new” authors that way. But, honestly? I don’t have the time, money or patience to wade through the mediocre (or, God forbid, the *pitiful*) to find the new-to-me gems. It’s quite a conundrum.
Adding insult to injury, even the really exceptional authors often fall into the trap of quantity over quality. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to email someone and say *slow down, build your story, I’ll be here waiting for you even if you take your time.*
I’d love to see publishers go back to the days of only pubbing the really good stuff. You know, the stuff with sympathetic, dynamic characters to go along with the hot, hot sex. The stuff with plots that are realistic (even if they’re set in a galaxy far, far away, the story-arc can be realistic).
I’d love to see that, but I think it’ll be a while before it happens.
You hit the nail on the head right there! I think the advent of instant publication (or so it seems with ebooks) pressures authors to publish faster and faster. I know several authors have commented that they feel as though they’ll become invisible if they don’t have a new book out every other month. Any longer and it’s like they’re forgotten.
I understand that fear to an extent with the quick “oh shiny” type attitudes of the internet yet I totally agree with you. I’ll still follow authors that take a few months or god forbid a year to publish a story. In fact I may even appreciate it more since if I feel too overwhelmed by an author publishing more and more and more I tend to give up because I can’t keep up. It’s a double edged sword.
I think publishers and authors need to slow down – or I wish they would – and stop thinking they have to publish so quickly for either cash or recognition. I understand that’s likely not going to happen but I’m with you and would love to see it.
In the meantime like you I rely on a few readers to recommend stories and pray I don’t miss out on those really great books.
I can’t speak for you, but lately I can’t think of a damn thing to say. I’m more likely to talk about my cats and what I bought at the grocery store than anything about publishing or m/m.
Some of it for me is an unwillingness to stake a flag on a topic. I don’t want to blog about characterization or process because it WILL cause someone to say “that’s not true” and I don’t feel like arguing. Even to say “of course, that was just my opinion” won’t be enough.
Probably I’m projecting from the shitpit that is our national everything. Everyone is arguing everywhere and having dumbass opinions about things they know nothing about, and just by listening to it all I’ve lost my taste for it. All I want to do lately is read, write, and look at dirty pictures or LOLcats. I just feel ragged with the world in general. Any invitation for more input other than, “oh, what a cute cat” or “NICE ass” is more than I can take.
Sometimes I wish I had a more general blog than just book related topics. I could tell some really funny “slice of life” type stories but that’s not really what this blog is about. It’s books so I try hard to stay focused on that topic and like you said, I’m kind of at a loss of what to say.
I agree with you about the debates because it seems like you can’t say anything about anything lately w/o getting into it and frankly a nice ass is a nice ass and I can’t say anything bad about that. I do so love tumblr.
I’ve only been reading m/m for two years, but as the sheer volume of new stories increases, it’s become a bit disheartening. So much of it is dreck, even from publishers that should know better (based on a recent “5 Minute Read” from MLR Press). *sigh*
See I feel the same way. The genre has kind of exploded so it’s difficult to see the trees for all the weeds sometimes. That’s not to say there are not quality stories or even worthwhile “ok” stories but I fear trying to find them.