1) Network Solutions held my domain name captive from mid-January until the end of March in the hopes I would pay them to renew. Given the unnecessary cost they attach to a simple web forwarding account, I refused to buckle. I just waited them out.
2) During this down period I had time to reassess the submission guidelines of the site. More often than not I was receiving requests for review from people who had written books meant for middle grade schoolchildren. Given my own kids age, I chose to turn these authors down. I came to realize that I needed new guidelines to clarify just what types of books I would actually enjoy reading with my boy and girl...
As a result of these two issues, I decided a brand name tweak was in order. Kid Book Ratings will now also go by the name "1111 words." I chose this term because it perfectly encapsulates the maximum length I am willing to review while simultaneously giving it a short, catchy name. Originally, I was shooting for 1000 words or less, but steered clear of it after realizing that this year's Caldecott winner had a slightly larger word count than that.
Of course, I don't want to completely kill the momentum I have gained over the last four years by starting from scratch. As such, I will keep the Kid Book Ratings catalog and Twitter handle in tact. In essence, the site you have to come to count on for honest reviews and insight into smaller publishing houses will remain the same. It just gained a new nickname!
So parents and authors alike: get ready to jump back on board when the first new review comes later this week!!