I can't believe I've written more than 500 posts since I started blogging on Strikingly in February of 2018!
549, to be exact.
The number snuck up on me. I meant to write this when I reached 500 posts (hence the image), but this is what happens when you post consistently three times a week for a little more than three years.
Most of my posts are book reviews of MG and YA books -- for a total of 537 book reviews, according to my Goodreads. I've got a bunch more planned for this year! Such good reading to get excited about!
I often post multiple book reviews in a single blog post. A fair number of my blog posts are writing tips / contests and book recommendations for teachers, as well.
Blog Post Breakdown by Category
YA Books -- 34 posts. Clearly, I don't read enough YA.
Holiday Picks -- 76 posts. That's 25 reviews each December, for three years. Not bad.
Writing -- 156 posts, including this one.
MG Books -- 245 posts. Keep in mind, there are many posts with multiple book reviews in one post.
Teachers -- 88 posts. These I try to only post books with truly excellent teaching materials, so that accounts for the low number.
Now, this list totals to 599 posts, but some of these are repeats -- posts placed in more than one category (MG / YA / Teachers, mostly). Fifty (50) are cross-posted in more than one category, so it actually comes out to 549 (I counted ;-).
Who Visits and Reads?
I'm stunned to see I've had 2.2K "users" to this blog. That flat line for all of 2018 and the first three months of 2019 represents the fact that I didn't know Google Analytics existed before 2019, when I signed up the site for tracking.
And it comes as no surprise that by far, the most-viewed posts are my four Back-to-School book recommendation posts for teachers.
A close second are posts about alpha readers, beta readers and critique partner feedback.
The question I get most frequently is why blog about books, if I want to write books? When I first started writing fiction, I realized I needed to do a lot more reading of the literature in the audience I wanted to write for -- middle grade. I suffered from Novice Writing Mistake #5: Not Reading Enough! Hence, this blog was born.
Later, as I grew as a writer, I read specifically to develop my writing skills, looking for and finding mentor texts to take apart, analyze and emulate. I've read to find comparables to my stories for queries. I've read to get a feel for what the market is publishing.
Blogging book reviews has given me a glimpse into how to write book blurbs, that inside-the-jacket copy describing a book and hopefully hooking the reader to turn to the first page.
I've learned how important reviews are to books and authors. I've seen books I love go OP in a scant two years due to too few reviews and sales. I've watched other books I thought were "meh," writing-wise, skyrocket to success from excellent marketing by their publishing houses and by capitalizing on current publishing trends. In short, I'm learning the book biz.
Blogging has also taught me the importance of reading and reviewing more than just recently published children's literature. Older works are equally important, to see what's been done before and consider how I can change it, update it, use it as inspiration or a starting point and then deviate from it. It's important to acknowledge old biases in writing, and reading old and new literature has shown me how to teach older works, in contrast with newer books, and how those can be valuable teaching moments.
The blog has also pushed me to write about my writing process, my efforts to further my writing craft, revise, edit, enter manuscript mentoring contests and report on my experiences -- all of which have been great, so far.
I've met some awesome authors, self-published and traditional or now both (increasingly common, as publishing houses drop authors), who I'll support and review their works as long as they keep publishing.
I can't wait to see what I learn from my next 500 posts!
I've already written the next 55 blog posts (I know, right?!) and I'm super excited to share those reviews / reads with you as the year progresses.
Let's read, learn and grow as writers, together!