Today exciting things have happened, I have announced my new blog name on Instagram, my new logo is having the finishing touches put to it, and changes will be coming on the 1st March!!
Wait, what changes, this has been your home for years?? True, but lets roll back a bit, right to the start so I can give a full explanation as to why I have decided to change. When I started blogging 3 years ago, it was something I did for others, not for myself (wow it feels good to finally be honest about that) as a reaction to what I was hearing in the Indie Community at the time. Back then my world was heavily ensconced in Facebook (not healthy) involved with a group offering help and support to Indie authors just starting out. The group was 95% contemporary romance authors and the other 5% were frustrated at the lack of opportunity to promote their works on the platform. This was back in the heyday of Street Teams and pimping contests. Whilst a lot of blogs said they were multi genre, they were romance heavy because that’s what was mainly being written. Facebook blogs aren’t blogging in the traditional sense, so my view was skewed from the very beginning. I wanted to provide somewhere that was obviously not for contemporary romance authors and readers, so the dystopian, sci-fi and fantasy authors I had been talking with had a place to go. Initially I wanted Apocalyptic Playground, but that was already taken, so I then had to expand. I was excited to start this although I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I kind of liked that it was something that was just me. I set up a blogger site and twitter account alongside of my facebook page and I have to say it was a shaky start. Immediately I was bombarded by contemporary romance street teams who were pretty horrible to me for being genre specific and I have to admit I did want to quit. Initially authors were on board with my attempts to do something different but I admit that my love waned and I became just another promotional wagon…..
2 years ago, I had a breakdown.
I turned my back on the community, which at the time I felt had taken so much from me, and focused on reading for fun rather than for reviews. I was surprised that my love for reviews was rekindled quite quickly and I rediscovered the world of traditional publishing. I put all my new found time into building my brand and I was lifted by nominations for blogging awards from those who I thought had forgotten me. I finally felt like I knew what I was doing but that my name, that was picked for the benefit of others, no longer represented what I was doing. Even feeling this I continued to invest time in it. But, every time I posted a review for another YA fantasy book I felt that it didn’t reflect my name and kind of left me feeling guilty for not posting enough dystopia, like I was having to justify my name through my content. When I discovered bookstagram 18 months ago this really cemented my feelings that things weren’t right, but by that point I had come too far with it, hadn’t I? More than ever I felt that my content didn’t match my name.
I talked with friends, my husband, and also used Instagram’s handy poll feature to get a feel for things. Whilst many felt that my name was great, it was a unanimous decision that it didn’t reflect my content at all. For a while now my most popular posts on Instagram have been my Friday night books and wine pictures, what can I say, I have a stressful muggle job and of a weekend I like a glass of wine or 3. From those posts I quickly found my new name; Paperbacks and Pinot. It’s a name that is all about me as a reader, it reflects my content and allows me guilt free deviation from a set genre.
I will miss Post-Apocalyptic Playground though, we’ve been through a lot together. I will be sad that I can’t refer to the family as Mr Playground, Little Miss Playground and the Smallest Playground Dweller any more but if I don’t do it now I’ll procrastinate and then another year will go by. I am a little worried about connecting a love of YA books with alcohol, but then there will always be something with any name. I’ve also wound down the review team, I’m so grateful to Katrina, Beverly and Fleur for all their fantastic reviews, but the time just isn’t there for me to maintain it and moving forward I just want to be able to do my own thing at my own pace. There will be guest reviews from them as they complete series they have already started with me.
I really hope that you all like the new name, I’m so grateful that the companies I rep for have been lovely and supportive and that the very talented Molly Phipps from We Got You Covered, found time to fit in a logo design for me. It’s perfect and I love it, I’ll share it all with you when the final tweaks have been done. If you’re still reading thank you for sticking with it and I hope you continue to stop by when things change on 1st March.