Thursday, November 9, 2017

The One Where Wendy Kills Another Blog

First, yes - I know this blog has been a dead zone of late.  I've been neck deep in relocating the Bat Cave for the past month and moving day was last weekend.  I love the new place but everything is still in too much disarray for my liking (in a nutshell, less storage space means finding "creative" solutions) and it's making me squirrely.  I'm hoping that it will all be settled by this weekend though because I have big plans to lie in a prone position and drink adult beverages to celebrate.

I'm out of sorts anyway.  Not reading.  Buried neck deep in moving.  Busy, busy, busy at the The Day Job.   So I wasn't really prepared for the e-mail that landed in my in-box like a wee mini bomb going off.  There's still no official statement, but staff has shared the news on Twitter so at this point I think it's fair game to blog about.

Heroes & Heartbreakers is closing.  Well...pivoting (and let me tell you how much I LOATHE that term).  None of this is gospel, but my impression is that Macmillan will be kicking things over to St. Martin's marketing team and the focus will move towards the newsletter and social media accounts.  What this means for those of us who've provided content for H&H over the years, I'm not sure.  Most likely that 1) I'm out of a "job" 2) Will need to back-up my published posts and 3) That I've managed to kill yet another group blog (by my count, this is #4).

And yes of course I'm making this All. About. Me. 

I'm sad.  One, because I feel a bit blindsided (totally didn't see this coming) and two, because I have been with H&H from the beginning.  It was such early days that the blog didn't even have a name or a host.  Megan Frampton (former H&H editorial director) asked me to write some posts on spec for something she was calling "Project X."  Eventually the idea found a home at Macmillan and H&H was born.  That was 2011.

Now it's 2017, the world is on fire, blogs continue to go the way of the Dodo, and Wendy is sad.  I loved writing for H&H and I loved them as a group blog - mostly because you could literally find everything there.  Books, movies, TV, self-published, traditionally published, romance sub genres and related commentary of all stripes.  There have been other well-done group blogs in Romancelandia, but H&H was the one that got it the most right (in my opinion) with the variety of voices and depth of content.  And now it's closing.

What does this mean for Wendy?  Well, besides trying to finish settling the Bat Cave this weekend and eating my feelings?  I'm not sure yet.  Most of my H&H work were one-off posts that can find a home here, leaving the only lingering question of my Unusual Historicals column.  I will likely continue it, probably on this blog (which is actually where it originated to begin with) - although losing the wider H&H audience getting their eyeballs on those books pains me more than you know.  "Unique" historicals is a hill I will die on folks!

My best wishes to the excellent staff at H&H who I have adored working with over the years, and my fellow bloggers who churned out such amazing content these past six years.  Change happens, and yes I'll roll with it, but that doesn't mean I can't whine about it for a little while first.


Amber said...

I'm sad, too. I have a few posts from way back when on that site as well. Although I didn't stay with it, and I can barely keep my own blog updated monthly these days, the loss of that space hurts. I'm so sorry they're pulling the plug. I still believe people like and read blogs. Social media just doesn't serve the same function. :(

Nikki said...

But Wendy, I don't understand. Mainly because I don't know how things work. What do you mean when you say it is moving toward the newsletter and social media? Will the blog no longer be available? There will only be a newsletter and a presence on sm? And yes, I saw your post on Twitter, so I jumped over here to ask questions.

Wendy said...

Nikki: I'm not entirely sure so don't take this as gospel. It sounds like the blog will go away but they're keeping the newsletter and the social media accounts. The social media I can wrap my mind around, but the newsletter currently funnels people to the blog content - so that's going to have to be "reimagined."

We haven't really been given a solid time table on how long the blog will stay up. H&H's current editorial staff have a last day of November 21 - so new blog content will likely cease right around that time.

willaful said...

I know, I'm so sad. Where will I ship Jack and Miss Fisher? What will I do with all my wacky theme ideas? I was just getting back into writing... :-(

Lori said...

Well, this stinks. I've gotten a lot of my book news from H&H over the years. I don't do social media, so whatever they do there isn't going to be accessible to me. I'm really going to miss them.

Nikki said...

So basically, it just sucks. :(

Jess said...

I'm super sad about H&H; I love your Unique Historicals column and all the stuff that happens over there.

That said...have you ever thought about applying to be a Book Riot contributor?

azteclady said...

I am glad you are bringing your content here, and that you are continuing the Unusual Historicals column, but damn! This news does suck.

Wendy said...

One other thing I thought about this weekend - with the newsletter and social media moving over to St. Martin's Marketing, what does this mean for H&H's current publisher inclusivity practice? Will they continue to talk about books from other publishers (and self-published)? Or will it morph into all Macmillan published title all the time? Guess we'll find out!

Jess: I hadn't entertained the idea of shooting towards Book Riot - mostly because my opinion pieces are few and far between these days. At this point I'll likely take some time and shoot to find my reading mojo (which has been dismal for the past month-plus because of moving), and continue to kick around a few ideas I've had simmering on the back burner for a while.

willaful said...

I considered Book Riot, but at the time they were looking for someone, I was at a particularly low ebb, writing-wise and it sounded like too much of a commitment. Probably still does. It was great the way I could write as much or as little as I wanted for H&H. :-(

Bona Caballero said...

It's a sad thing. Another web dedicated to romance novels that goes south.
You say that the focus will move towards the newsletter and social media accounts. But I don't get it. I'm a romance reader, therefore I guess I'm the public for their products. I tend to buy books that I see reviewed in blogs. I'm subscribed to very few newsletters and I use social media for other things different to romance novels. And neither the newsletters nor the social media prompt me to buy romance novels. So I don't understand this move. Maybe I'm a strange reader, I don't know, I thought everybody was like me. And perhaps they are not.

Wendy said...

Willaful: That was what so great about H&H - you could literally submit as much or as little as you wanted. And I hear you on the low ebb. I go back through my archives and think, "Dang, I used to write a lot of opinion pieces and general blog posts and what the heck happened?

Bona: I tend to like social media more for chatting with fellow readers/bloggers - not so much for absorbing promo. And newsletters? It's just one more thing buried in my e-mail. I did subscribe to the H&H newsletter and will stay with it through the transition to see where it goes - but if they're killing the blog the newsletter is going to have to have a totally different look to it. Right now it's basically steering folks back to the blog to read the content.