Welcome to the new home of the Writer Beware blog!
After many years on the Blogger platform, we have finally transitioned to WordPress, which offers much greater flexibility in terms of design, control, and ease of use.
We also have a new, easy to remember web address: writerbeware.blog.
I’ve been dissatisfied with Blogger for a while now. I’m not a web developer, but I’m not helpless, either; I maintain the Writer Beware website on the SFWA site, and I built and maintain two additional websites, my own and another for an organization my husband is part of. But every time I thought about moving to a new platform, the size of the challenge just seemed too daunting. How would I transfer hundreds of posts, not to mention the thousands of comments and images that go with them? What about all the non-working inbound links the move would create? Links wouldn’t be a problem if I just started fresh on a brand-new WordPress site–but then the blog would exist on two platforms, with two different web addresses. And what about WB’s thousands of followers and subscribers?
The turning point came last summer, when the only email subscription widget supported by Blogger discontinued service. If people couldn’t subscribe to the WB blog, there was just no reason to remain on Blogger. But the amount of time and research involved in moving made me want to lie down and go to sleep (you may know that Writer Beware is a volunteer effort: I do this in my off hours).
Enter the Automattic Team, which helps noteworthy and/or interesting people and projects with development, design, hosting services, and more. In an amazing bit of synchronicity, they contacted me around the same time that my subscription service disappeared, with an offer to not only build a new WordPress website for the WB blog, but to port all posts, comments, and subscribers to the new site and re-direct all Blogger links. In other words…to do all of the stuff I’d been dreading–and create a better and more functional site than I could have on my own.
After many months of design consults and bug fixes, this is the result. Not just a clean new look and way more administrative control for me, but a better subscription service and a much more robust search function (another peeve I had with Blogger, whose search options suck). I’m deeply grateful to the Automattic Team for their hard work, and for their support of Writer Beware.
The one thing I’m sad to lose is our old web address: accrispin.blogspot.com. It’s a legacy (one of many) of the late Ann Crispin, Writer Beware’s co-founder and my dear friend. Ann started the blog in 2005, originally intending it to be her personal blog; but after she invited me to join her, it quickly became all Writer Beware, all the time. Looking back at those posts reminds me how much fun Ann and I had in those early days, and how profoundly her energy, fearlessness, and dedication shaped what Writer Beware has become. We’re leaving behind a URL, but Ann is still present in everything we do.
If you’ve come here from a link on social media, please have a look around our new home and tell me what you think! If you’re a subscriber, this is the first newsletter that has landed in your Inbox since last summer. I hope you’ll continue to subscribe–and for those of you who are new to Writer Beware, I hope you’ll consider signing up via the form below this post.
Don’t forget that the blog is just one component of the many-headed beast that is Writer Beware. There’s also our website, which provides a wide range of information, cautions, and resources to help writers educate and protect themselves; our Facebook page, which links to items of writerly interest and provides a forum for discussion; my Twitter feed, where I regularly post updates, warnings, and industry news; and our email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can contact us–in confidence–with reports, complaints, and questions.
Finally, a huge THANK YOU to all the writers, agents, editors, and others who’ve shared complaints and documentation over the years and helped us build our database; to all the people who send me tips and information; to everyone who spreads the word about Writer Beware (and writing scams in general); and to our fans, followers, and subscribers. We couldn’t do it without you, and we are grateful for your support.