A site visitor to the site who is a library science student asked for some more clarification about the site for a paper she is writing – the following is how I answered her questions:
“…As I said in my “About” page on my blog… I pretty much started this site because I love to read cozy mysteries. I didn’t actually start the site thinking that it would become as big as it has. I started the site with only the authors who I had personally read. However, with time, I got more and more recommendations of authors who other cozy mystery readers thought would be ideal for the site.
Again, as it says on the “About” page… I started making lists of all of the authors I followed. Also, I had one particular friend from the days when I was in online mystery reading groups who had very similar preferences in authors. So, we would “introduce” each other to new authors. The online mystery reading groups that I belonged to would take nominations from the members and then vote on which books we would read every month… so I was introduced to a lot of new authors.
I had (literally) pages and pages of authors who I read, and my husband kept telling me that rather than retype the list each year when I brought it up to date, I should store it on my computer so that I could just “strike out” the books that I had read or add the new books that the author had written during the last year. I did all of this for several years before I actually started the site. My husband thought that since I liked chronological lists of my favorite cozy authors, there were probably people out there who would also like lists of their favorite authors’ chronological lists. And, since I am always on the lookout for new Cozy Mystery authors, I knew that there were others looking for new authors to add to their lists.
As for my “authority”… Several times on the site I have written that I simply love the cozy genre of mysteries. I don’t tout myself as an expert of any sort… I simply like my cozy mysteries, and like to read books in their correct chronological order. I became very frustrated having to pick out all of the books by one author out of the library shelves just so that I could get their chronological publishing dates. (Of course… it doesn’t need saying that I always re-shelved the books in the correct alphabetical order!!!)
Yes, I do believe that I have connected readers to books that they will enjoy. I receive a good deal of mail from site readers, and many of them have told me that they found a new author (or two, or three!) from perusing the site.
I get most of my information from the different authors’ websites, from a wonderful librarian who writes me letters keeping me posted on new books from some of the authors on the site, or new series from some of the authors on the site, and from readers of the site. I am amazed at how many people want the site to be a good site, which is complete with up-to-date information. And, the amount of author recommendations astounds me! I am very lucky for all of the site readers’ input!
Since I always go to the authors websites, I believe that the “validity of any information” is 100%. Of course, since not all authors have websites, I have actually had to contact some of them so that they can provide me with the correct information via emails. And, in some cases, the authors’ websites are organized in such a way that it is difficult to decipher the books’ order… that’s when I hit the internet and Google everything I can.
I have a search feature on the blog part of the website, but haven’t thought about putting one in on the main site. I rely on my husband to fix/upgrade/”computerize” the site and he is so very good about doing all of the actual computer work that I hesitate asking him to have to work through that type of feature. But, I am sure that we will discuss it….”
***Actually, I should not have said 100% accurate… I have received letters from site readers a few times where I have been told that my dates were off by a year or two, and once, I was corrected by a fan of an author who told me that I had “topsy-turvied” two books… But, since I always correct things (after verifying the need) on the site that are brought to my attention, I think that I can safely say that I strive to be 100% accurate.
♦Not in my answers is this: Thank you all for the author recommendations and the comments. This website has grown because of the response of people like you!♦