Armchair BEA Development of a Blog

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Short, Sweet, and Snappy started just under a year ago as a way of offering something few others did: short story reviews. When I began my writing career a little over two years ago, I did so with a short story called Consequences, published by Pocket Novel Publishing. Given what I knew about publishing at the time, I set about getting some reviews. Except that I ran into a problem: everyone wanted novels.

Full length stories, 50,000 words or more. But Consequences was only 5,000 words, a fraction of the word count most people set as their minimum. Hard as I tried, one thing I couldn’t find was anyone who wanted to review or was even willing to review short stories. Blog after blog stated in their review terms that they did not review short stories.

Why? I thought. They’re quick and easy to read, don’t need a huge amount by way of reviews, and if you find yourself without much time for reading one month, then they are a great way of keeping the blog going without having to put as much time in as reading novels.

Of course, things didn’t start straight away, and for a long time I wondered whether I would even have the time to run a review blog. However, I set a date, got it set up, and started the blog on August 1st 2012.

It began as purely a review blog. The occasional guest post from authors, and more reviews than you can shake your ereader at. I downloaded dozens of free short stories from the internet to start my reviews going, and then waited patiently for requests to come in. They did, and still are doing, and day by day, the blog is growing.

Short, Sweet, and Snappy changed again in recent months when I incorporated my personal writing blog with the review blog. This change happened because of two things: the first being that in the months running up to my novel releases, I am swamped. The second being that the blog that came with my website is a bit naff.

So to combat both of these problems—a lack of time and the need for a better, brighter writing blog—I merged the two, so now this blog is a combination of both reviews and writing. It is working well so far, and I hope to keep it going for years to come.

As for moving forward, I am hoping to have a few more giveaways, lots more reviews, and a few more bits and pieces regarding guest posts and my own writing. I have been toying with the idea of a book of the month feature and maybe a flash fiction section, but those are off in the future and yet to be determined.

But for now, I am plodding along quite happily, posting away, and having fun. After all, that’s what this whole thing is about, right? Fun!



Filed under Guest post, Michelle Birbeck

30 responses to “Armchair BEA Development of a Blog

  1. That’s really awesome that you focus on short stories. I don’t read them very much, but a good short story is wonderful and much more accessible than a novel. I’ll have to get some short story suggestions from your reviews!

  2. Yep, blog because you think it’s fun! Unfortunately, I’m like most of the readers that you mentioned – I’m into full-length novels instead of short stories. For some reason, I feel like short stories are just too… short? Anyway, Heidi over at Bunbury in the Stacks has a feature called Salute Your Shorts:

  3. Very cool on the idea for your blog! Reminds me of how much I love them…thinking I need to make time to start reading them again.

  4. I haven’t read many short stories! I’ve been meaning to try some!

  5. I haven’t seen too many blogs that review short stories! How cool!

    And you’re right, it’s all about being happy and having fun!

  6. chrisbookarama

    The best way to blog is by keeping it fun!

  7. Great post. I love how your blog changes along with your creative needs and time. My blog has gone through quite a change in the past year, but it’s my blog so i can do that! Hope you have a great ABEA Week! New follower here. Here’s my Blogger development and favorite books by genre post if you’d like to stop by.

  8. Yep! I blog for fun too! Its my favorite thing to do, beside read of course. I like how you focus on short stories. I recently loved a novella and wondered if I should review it because its a short story, but i reviewed it anyway because it was a wonderful story I would want anyone to read.
    It is surprising how short stories are not read more often, I guess I just like reading longer work.

  9. I love how you saw a need and you stepped in to fulfill it. Personally I don’t know why anyone would not want to read short stories. Granted, I don’t typically seek them out, but typically when approached by an author of a short story/prequel/novella, I actually jump on those because like you said, it’s an easy way to keep the blog going and movie without getting myself bogged down. Great post and good luck!

    • I read them because they are short. I can read one in a few minutes or ten minutes. It fills a small gap, and they are especially good if you’ve not got a long attention span!

  10. Oh, wow. I never really thought about the lack of short story reviews out there, but you’re totally right. Every so often I’ll write about a short story, but I’m never sure how to go about it. Do I review collections or individual stories or collections broken down into individual stories and should an individual story review be as long as a book review? I’ll have to check out your blog for some ideas!!

  11. Really like the idea of short story reviews. It’s a shame they’re not more popular–there are short stories I’ve read & hated, but as an idea, I really like the concept of a short story.

  12. annettesbookspot

    Interesting concept for your blog. I’m pretty picky about my short stories — I mostly like full length (and YA.) Thanks for visiting. Nice to meet you.

  13. You’re so right. Fun is the key. If there’s no fun for you, there’s no fun for anyone else. Keep plodding along. You’re doing a lovely job!

  14. Wow, I loved hearing the story of how you got started blogging. As much as I love short stories, I only read short story collections – but I don’t have or use an eReader, and I don”t read short stories online. But I think it’s a fantastic idea for a niche, and as a short story lover, I’m so glad I discovered your blog 🙂

  15. I’ve reviewed short stories, but it’s easiest to review several at once. It’s hard to write a whole post about one – especially since I don’t like to give things away.

  16. I think Steph over at BellasBookshelves has been doing something called Short Stories for Breakfast. You should check it out. She’s on twitter too @bellasbookshelf.


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