Monday, January 28, 2013

My One-Year Blogoversary

Wow. One year. I've officially been blogging for one year. I can't believe it. One year ago today, filled with book love and desperate to share, I sat down at my computer and made myself a webpage. I honestly didn't know if anyone would bother to read anything I wrote.

I hoped they would, but I didn't know for sure.

For what felt like the longest time, I was alone on the blog. I would get a handful of views per day, and that was all. My very first comment was on my eighth post, a love letter I wrote to Megan Whalen Turner in response to a YA Highway prompt. The only reason the commenter even found the post was because I had talked about it on Sounis, an MWT fansite.

I'd like to say that Bookshelvers Anonymous exploded from there, but it didn't. I retired back into quiet anonymity but kept plugging away on Goodreads and other places. With the exception of key events such as giveaways, I've only ever enjoyed a quiet, steady build, and I like it that way.

Steady builds feel stable and solid, and with steady numbers, it's been easier to meet all of you. I've had fun looking back through the early comments and finding names that would become more and more familiar (and dear) to me over time. My lovely friend Ems from In Which Ems Reviews Books popped up waaaay back in April, as did Asheley from Into the Hall of Books. Linny, Emaginette, and Ms. Margo Berendsen were all wonderful at keeping up my spirits with their frequent comments. Even if no one else read what I wrote, I knew they would, and comment to boot!

I wish I had the space and time to mention everyone whom I've met and formed relationships with thanks to this blog. However, 1) we don't have the space, 2) I'd be sure to forget someone and kick myself for it later, and 3) I'm sure there are some of you out there who have lurked for months and simply never posted, which doesn't make your contribution any less valuable in the least. (I don't know why, though. I'm quite pleasant to socialize with.)

I've also gotten to know many delightful authors within the publishing industry. Some (like Dot Hutchinson and L.S. Murphy) I enjoyed long before I knew they were writers. Others I glommed onto as I squealed over their books. Three authors especially deserve my praise and admiration. A.C. Gaughen, Robin LaFevers, and Elizabeth Wein were my first author interviews. I was scared out of my mind when I approached each of them, but they were all professional, polite, and kindly to this baby blogger. Also, their books rocked my socks. Is it any wonder I champion them at every opportunity?

As far as industry professionals go, I haven't met a publicist, intern, agent, or editor who has been anything less than professional and cordial. St. Martin's Press deserves a special tip of the hat for sending me my very first review copy (a finished product, no less!), though at the time my numbers were less than sparkling and my blog had yet to prove itself.

I thought about doing a stats rundown for the sake of posterity, but after my big Numbers Game post, I don't feel the need. Here's all you need to know. At the start of 2012, I had written zero posts, reviewed zero books, and knew zero of you. As of today, I have published 195 posts, reviewed 50 books (and read far more!), and now know ALL OF YOU. I'd count that as an unqualified win, wouldn't you?

So thank you all for an amazing year. I can't wait to see what kind of crazy, wonderful fun the coming year brings.

And what's a blogoversary without a giveaway? Here's what you need to know.
  • The giveaway is international. That's right, INTERNATIONAL. All the love to you abroad folks!
  • There will be one winner.
  • The winner may choose up to $25 worth of books.
  • The $25 must cover shipping (and tax, if you're ordering from a place that charges tax).
  • The winner may order books from anywhere.
  • The books ordered can be in any format (hardback, paperback, ebook, audiobook, even preorders!).
  • The winner must be 13 or older.
  • The winner must respond to my notification email within 48 hours or lose the prize.
  • Once responding, the winner and I will agree on an additional deadline by which the winner will have to list all books he/she wishes and where he/she wants them from.
  • Cheaters will be drop-kicked.
The reason I'm letting you all order from anywhere is I think craftiness should be rewarded. If you want to splurge on bargain books and get a box of 10 books, go ahead! If you're hungering after a collector's edition book that comes in just under $25, be my guest.

For those within the continental US, I would suggest checking The Book Depository and Amazon first. TBD doesn't charge for shipping, and I have an Amazon Prime account, so no shipping charges there either. International followers, TBD is your best friend. Shipping will really eat up your funds. 

Other great options included Book Closeouts, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and Indigo. I'm sure I've forgotten great sites, so feel free to chime in in the comments.

Here is just a tiny, tiny sampling of the books I've found under $25, but basically any book you can think of can be found SOMEWHERE under $25.

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