Just in case anyone is wondering, I just passed my 3 month anniversary as a Dark Divas reviewer. Because I've been trying to maintain some sort of balance between lengths, genres, publishers, and authors whose names I recognize and those I don't, I have some data. Wanna see?
In the last 3 months I've reviewed 28 books and have 4 more out pending review. I could probably look at more but I have a life outside reading, and I read a lot of stuff that isn't m/m. Of those 28, 6 have yet to post but I did the work and want the credit. Keep in mind that either the publisher has to request a review through Dark Divas or someone has to either ask or otherwise attract my attention. Even as a reviewer I still buy books.
2 Amber Quill
1 JMS Press
1 Loose Id
3 Silver Publishing
2 Storm Moon Press
1 Untreed Reads
The reviews pending skews this a little, there are some publishers there that don't appear here, and one big one that looks underrepresented has something pending. That's why I keep a list.
1 per author, except for Carole Cummings, and I defy anyone to read Aisling and not want more of this author's words; it's justifiable duplication and you can't tell me otherwise. IMO it's a pretty good mix of some known names, sort-of known names, and trying to get known names.
The shortest was 13 pages, the longest was 457. The average is 139. The only thing you can really conclude is that I'll read anything.
2 short story anthologies
1 science fiction
So I'll read almost anything. BDSM is conspicuous by its absence. My preference, no apologies.
2 rated under 3
5 rated 3
3 rated 3.5
9 rated 4
1 rated 4.5
8 rated 5 (Only 1 got a recommended read on Dark Divas to go with it.)
This isn't a bell curve and I don't care. I’m not grading term papers, I'm reading books that I get to choose, or sometimes that I am asked to look at. I don't ever pick up a book that I expect to dislike. The low ratings broke my heart to have to write reviews, and if it was just me on my own, I'd have bailed on the books and not rated. Life's short. There's value in a DNF review if it's articulate, but if it's my DNF review, it has to say just about as much as a regular review. So I might as well finish the book.
How do I choose? I get titles and blurbs, and can see what a particular publisher has offered to Dark Divas. Sometimes I get offered a book directly. I read blurbs like a menu in a strange restaurant, and if there's an excerpt of something that looks interesting, I read that too before I make up my mind. I'm trying to not go "ooh there's the new one from *Big Name Author* must read!!!!" but I admit to having a couple favorites.
Authors can attract my attention outside of the review list. Sometimes it’s a blog post on an interesting topic. Sometimes it's an insightful comment on a board or a loop. Doing Thousand Word Thursday posts attracts my attention, and occasionally gives the author something to publish. :D
28 isn't enough information to make some really firm claims on, so I'll take another look at this whole thing in 3 months or 6 months, but I'm seeing a couple of trends. Maybe. When I have more reviews to compare, I'll talk about the trends then.
I haven't been tagging by publisher, but it wouldn't be a big deal to go back and add that. Does anyone think this would add to the usefulness of the site to be able to sort that way?