At 12.01 AM EST January 2, 2014 reviewsbyjessewave will close in its current form and reopen 2 or 3 weeks later as an archive site. I could use clichéd terms like “gone fishing” or “the end of the road”, but I will spare you that. 🙂
Things change, and that’s a good thing. Millions of you have made countless changes in your lives due to personal circumstances, and tomorrow morning I’m shutting down something that has been in my life for almost 6 years. Many of you emailed me to say how much you will miss us and I appreciate your kind words, but there are other blogs that currently review M/M books so you will still be able to check them out before you buy. In the meantime, while he is setting up the archive site, Christian will provide access to the last week of reviews and posts through a stripped-down version of the site during the transition; you will be able to read these posts, but you won’t be able to comment.
I will miss our community of readers as I regard many of you as online friends. I probably am in your lives and “see” you more often than my RL life friends on occasion (I really need to get a life) 🙂 which is a testament to how highly I regard you. Some of you have asked me what I will be doing with my copious free time. :hurrah: One thing you can be sure of is that I won’t be setting up another review site. :hysterics: I’ll be doing fun stuff such as ogling hot men on the streets of Toronto and maybe photographing a few of them (is that against the law? 😆 ) Seriously, I’ll be taking a break, reading some of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of books in my TBR, watching tons of movies that I bought over the years and never had a chance to see, and probably doing a bit more travelling. In addition to continuing to financially support a few organizations that help homeless GBLTQ youth I shall also be working with a couple of them.
People ask me all the time what’s the secret of our popularity. There really is no secret – this community of readers evolved because we had an interest in a relatively new genre of romance books, and we had many shared experiences through our discussions on the site as we recommended books to each other. I never thought that a blog I set up because I wanted to review books that I read would become the most popular M/M review site in North America, going by the numbers. Of course this is not the most popular review site because het romance rules the literary world, while M/M probably has only a minuscule percentage of its numbers (someone should do a study about that, but it won’t be me). 😮 😮 In any event I hope that this site helped my favourite romance genre enhance its profile and numbers in some small way.
I’m very proud of our record and original ideas on what a review site should be. If you visit this site regularly you know them, and many other sites have copied a few of our ideas, like our Friday Guys 🙂 which have been around almost as long as this site has been in existence. How dare they? :grumble: One thing no one will be able to accuse me of is being a copy cat. OK, so I stole a few (maybe more than a few) pictures of hot menz from various blogs. 😆
I’m also proud of the fact that we promoted as many gay movies as we could by reviewing them here, and I hope you will continue to support them in the future.
On a serious note, although this was primarily a review site for M/M books and later, movies, I wanted readers to keep in mind that gay men are ordinary people like the rest of us, except for the fact that they are discriminated against more than most of us. I know what it’s like to be discriminated against so I empathize more than most. I hope that the articles we wrote helped in a very small way to change your views about this segment of our society and gave a few of you a new perspective on the issues surrounding coming out, teen suicides, teen homelessness as a consequence of being kicked out of their homes by parents because they were gay, and the lack of employment opportunities afforded GBLTQ people.
Now on to my long list of “thank yous” starting with ….
1. You, the millions of M/M readers in over 200 countries. Without you, this site would have long disappeared but you came and stayed, first as a trickle and then in unbelievable numbers. Thank you all for supporting us and making this site a resource for readers and authors.
2. Our reviewers: I was smart enough to get the best of the best to review here and together we built the reputation of this site as one that valued quality and didn’t flinch from writing negative reviews for books that deserved them, and over the years many of you have helped readers choose that perfect M/M romance though your insightful and incisive reviews. Thanks again for your dedication and hard work and unflinching attention to detail without losing sight of the big picture. You did this out of your love for an emerging genre that still has a long way to go. You have always been honest in your reviews and have shown the same eloquence and integrity in writing 5 star as well as 1 star reviews, and you stuck by your principles despite criticisms and brickbats.
3. My partners. Christian and Aunt Lynn are the backbone of this site and their technical knowledge, expertise, and financial investment (in our later years of operation) allowed the site to continue without seeking advertising revenues. They have done everything I asked of them and more. What can I say? They’re awesome.
4. M/M authors. Despite our differences at times you have been incredibly supportive and generous since I started this site in 2008. You have written countless articles and have also donated thousands of books so that readers could enjoy them free of charge. We started the Santa Authors “free” book initiative together way back in 2008 when you responded in unbelievable numbers to my appeal for books for your readers, and you continued this generosity every year until last week when this annual free book initiative ended. You are the best. Huge thanks also to Aunt Lynn who spearheaded this project in its later years until it ended. To those authors who criticized me because of my M/M only policy, as I said on many occasions, I wanted a site that would review the kind of romance books I read. Authors write what they want and review sites should review what they want.
5. M/M publishers. Thank you for donating thousands of books over the years as “:free” books on the site for readers. On the review side, most of you have stuck with us despite some less than favourable reviews, while others were offended by our honesty and decided to withdraw their books. C’est la vie. To those publishers who stuck around, THANK YOU for being smart enough to recognize that in the publishing business bad reviews generate sales (at times even more than positive ones). 😆
The decision to close the site has not been an easy one as you can imagine, and I indicated my reasons in this post – Goodbye and thank you for a great ride. There’s nothing to add. The purpose of today’s post is to thank all of you once again who contributed to our success.
One last note. I wish that some day re-sellers like Amazon and ARe will no longer categorize all M/M romances as erotica (they are not), but the publishers do this too. Such a change would expand the reach and targeted demographics of the genre. Despite my rants and criticisms over the years I love this genre and I hope it continues to thrive, and that a few decades from now M/M romance will have enough clout and numbers to compete on a level playing field with het romance.
What will I miss most? All the fun we had in the early days when I wrote crazy fun posts on revealing and delicate topics that I loved to explore with you. :censorship: check out my fun post later today that I hope will help cheer you up this winter. 😆
Thank you for the memories. I will cherish them and hope that some of you will send me book recommendations occasionally when/if you come across a book you think I will like.