I beg your pardon. Are you accusing us of a club-fisted David Bowie reference in a shameless attempt to attract traffic and move ourselves up the search results? We’ve never been so insulted in all our life . . . but in the words of one Bilbo Baggins of Hobbiton (via New Zealand): ‘Fair enough.’
However, we assure you, this news is worth the eyeballs! Some changes are coming to the SF Gateway website in terms of the way we draw attention to titles and authors, using our four spotlight fields:
We’ve been updating this on a weekly basis for a while now, and getting a better sense of how effective it is as a way to promote our authors (because that’s why they’re here) and how useful it is to you, the readers (because that’s why you’re here), and we’ve come up with what we think are some exciting changes.
Author of the Week will become Author of the Month. Obviously, this will mean we’re only spotlighting twelve authors per year on the home page rather than fifty-two, but we will continue to promote authors via the blog, ensuring that we’re helping you discover exciting new writers (yes, we’re playing fast and loose with the term ‘new’, here . . .). Ultimately, we think that by having the author highlighted for a month rather than a week, we increase the likelihood of them being seen. But the major reason for making this a monthly feature is that it will enable is to price promote all of the Author of the Month’s books! More details to follow!
New Book of the Week will stay as it is – if it ain’t broke . . .
SF Masterwork of the Week will remain for the moment (although we will run out of Masterworks eventually) but it will change slightly. We probably don’t make as much of a fuss as we should about the Masterworks – it’s a wonderful series and we should be making more noise about it – so we’ll now be featuring new releases each month alongside backlist Masterworks. This will occasionally mean we’ll be highlighting a book in which we don’t have eBook rights – but a great book is a great book no matter what the format.
And now, the most exciting change: we couldn’t help but notice, from conversations on Twitter or on the forum, that we have an engaged and knowledgeable community forming around the SF Gateway. So, rather than have us putting forward our picks every week, we’d like to invite you to submit yours, and change Editors’ Choice to Readers’ Choice. Just send us your chosen SF Gateway eBooks (you can download a searchable spreadsheet by clicking on the alternating panels on the Books landing page) by tweeting us at @SFGateway, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org (with the Subject line: Readers’ Choice) or posting on the Forum or our Facebook page. Please include title, author and no more than 25 words describing the book (as per the examples above), and your choice could be adorning the home page.
We’ll put the books up pretty much in the order in which we receive them, although we reserve the right to tweak that if it clashes with one of the other categories – and anyone sending in multiple books in quick succession should expect to have them spaced out so as to give everyone a fair opportunity. We’ll also be monitoring click-throughs, re-tweets, etc and the book that generates the most activity each month will win its suggester copies of that month’s SF Masterworks books.
We plan to kick off these changes in February, so feel free to start suggesting some books!