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Call of the Stars (Zenkoti Fables, Episode 1) by Petra Landon

Update

On My Kindle Update, image of Lexi with Kindle

If you've stopped by here recently, you've seen some of the changes we've made to the blog. Some of the changes are immediately noticeable, like the new template, and some of them aren't. In this post, I plan on walking you through some of these changes and let you know why we made them.

Template

I guess the best place to start would be with the most obvious change, the template. In previous posts, we shared images at the bottom of the posts and those were the same images we shared on social media. This particular template originally caught my eye because the thumbnails on the blog's homepage closely resemble the images we created for social media. 

After playing with the theme for a bit, we realized how the horizontal layout makes it easier to glance at my recent reviews on the homepage plus, the featured post element allows visitors to see my latest review. We streamlined the sidebar (it should appear if you click the "hamburger stack" icon) to de-clutter the blog while still allowing visitors to visit me on social media, subscribe to my newsletter, find books in relevant genres, check out links to Lexi's blog and "Furever Friends," and access my old reviews. The drop-down menu is gone and has been replaced with a simpler menu bar. 

A couple of really cool features also affect how you comment on posts and share posts on social media! If you click the "SHARE" link, it will pull up a list of social media sites so you can share a specific post on social media. This feature also works on the blog's homepage, so you do not have to navigate back to the post. If you click on "COMMENT" from the homepage, it will automagically navigate you to the "comment" section of the post you wish to comment on.  

Last, but not least, we changed the accent colors from a dark berry color to different shades of teal.

Pages

You may not have noticed this, but we increased the font size from 16px to 18px in individual posts and pages to help with readability. I believe the snippets shown on the homepage are 16px because we really wanted the focus to be on the books' titles and covers.

We've updated all of my pages: the "About" page has updated bios for me and Lexi, and the Privacy Policy has been updated to reflect that none of the links on the blog are affiliate links. The "Contact" page... well, we're still working on trying to make the form appear larger since it looks very tiny on that page. It's not our top priority, but we'll figure it out.

Missing Pages

If you've visited the blog before, it's likely that you have noticed a couple of forms, "Review Requests" and "Featured Title Requests," are not appearing. This is intentional. I wanted to grow On My Kindle into a PR-type agency for indie authors; however, between having to work, going to weekly appointments to treat PTSD, and writing on the blog, I really had no time for myself and I became overwhelmed. It didn't help when some folks in the indie author community, mostly authors new to On My Kindle, were becoming increasingly pushy, insistent, and disrespectful. 

Seriously. 

Every single time I said that I was not accepting review requests from new authors, I was contacted by several authors who haven't worked with us in the past via the contact form regarding review requests. If I shared that I was running a special on featured title posts, more authors would hit up my contact form to request reviews or a promotional post.

It got to the point where I almost shut down the blog and walked away. Instead, I stepped away and re-evaluated my situation. I realized that my dream of using the blog to branch out into other areas of the self-publishing industry needed to be put on the back-burner so I could take care of myself and Lexi. 

We ultimately decided that I needed to go back to my roots, writing book reviews. Nothing more, nothing less. You will not see promotional posts and "filler" on this blog, just book reviews and "Marvelous Monday" posts about my TBR list and Lexi. 

The Review Policy has been simplified and updated to avoid any misunderstandings.

Posts

At one point in the re-evaluation process, we did consider moving to a different blog host. Actually, we thought we'd made a decision and migrated posts over to the different host. During the migration process, we managed to lose all of the promotional posts that were on the blog, with the exception of two or three Marvelous Monday posts. Fortunately, we were going to perform the migration in sections and only lost a few of the reviews I'd written for Bookplex.

To keep up-to-date with how consumers read reviews, we've decided that I need to make my reviews a bit shorter; focusing on what I liked or disliked about the book, rather than summarizing the contents and determining if the plot contains elements that are standard for a genre. 

Personally, I like the changes to the blog. I'm hoping that by going back to just writing book reviews, I can have the time I need for myself and Lexi so I can continue to help more readers discover even more indie authors.