Yes! Rinn Reads is one year old today! It feels like a lot of us set our blogs up around this time. I thought I’d write a little about what has happened in the past year, and at the end I have a giveaway to thank my lovely followers.
I started the blog shortly after graduating from university. I’d been reviewing a little bit on Goodreads but I wanted my own platform for it, and after university seemed like a good time to start. My first few reviews were just copied straight from Goodreads: some are very short and basic, others a bit longer but my style has completely changed since then.
When I first started, I hadn’t visited many other book blogs. I started showcasing the books I got each week (my Weekly Roundup feature) but now I know that many other blogs do this, under various names, with Stacking the Shelves the most popular.
It didn’t take me long to discover Netgalley and Edelweiss. And whilst they’re both amazing and so useful, I’m really rubbish at keeping up to date with them. Case in point:
One of my most popular posts, and also one of my favourites, was made early on in my book blogging career. I posted about the amount of books my family owns. Looking back on that post made me wonder how many books I’ve obtained since I started book blogging. This is how many:
That’s a combination of bought, won, gifted and sent by the publisher/author. Then another seventy plus ebooks. And I’ve got the first two Dragon Age books on the way, plus my current read: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. My poor to-read list, you shall never be conquered…
I learnt about Feature & Follow pretty early on, which helped me find some fellow bloggers and also gain some followers. I think I found all the bloggers I follow most frequently through there, so I have Parajunkee to thank for that!
My first author interview was with Stuart Wilson, and since then I have interviewed Marianne Curley, Rebekah Campbell and most recently, Katherine Roberts.
In October last year I was lucky enough to work at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, and I blogged about that a bit. I saw/met lots of authors and other famous people, and worked with some really great people. It was an experience I certainly won’t forget and I’m sad that I can’t work there this year – but I will definitely be going to some events! I’m hoping to go and see Mary Beard, Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and Sarah J. Maas. Last year I met Christopher Eccleston and I actually could not speak. I had NO idea what to say to him so I just sort of stood there like this:
I’ve gone through quite a few designs for this blog in the past. They’ve all been blue. Guess my favourite colour? I was never really happy with any of them until now, so this one will probably be here to stay (at least… for a while…). I’ve had some ‘fun’ with Blogger – formatting is awful on here and sometimes things look fine in the preview or on the edit page, but as soon as they’re published there’s text everywhere and wonky pictures and… aah, it’s a love/hate relationship. I’m thinking about switching to WordPress but I’ll wait until after November for that decision.
Over the past year, the variety of content on my blog has grown. I do discussion posts, post about the sci-fi and fantasy book group I made in June, did a guest post on my favourite books of 2012 for a local Waterstones blog and received some kind words from Penguin Portfolio.
And then, just a matter of weeks ago, I had this little idea. A month dedicated to one of my favourite genres: science fiction. The idea has grown and grown, and I now have over thirty bloggers joining in, as well as a number of authors and publishers. I’ve been thrilled with the responses and I really think the event is going to be big!
I’ve discovered some amazing books and series since I started blogging. The most recent addition to my favourites is Graceling by Kristin Cashore – I don’t think I would have instantly picked it up without the reviews and recommendations of my blogger friends, which just goes to show how wonderful this community is for widening your tastes. But not just that. I’ve met some fantastic people in the blogging community, sites that I visit most days, people who I eagerly get recommendations from (because my to-read list just isn’t long enough). It’s so, so wonderful to have a group of people so utterly passionate about books. I’ve also recently discovered several bibliophiles who are also gamers, which is even more awesome!
Anything I wish I’d changed when I started? I wish I’d come up with a more interesting rating system than stars. And that I maybe spent a little more time thinking up an original blog name, but I just wanted to get started on the website at the time!
So if you are reading this, thank you. If you’re a regular reader, then thank you again! I’m so proud of this little website, and love working on it. Although I’ve had some periods where I haven’t posted much for a few weeks, I’ve never felt more determined about it than I have for the past few months.
And now for the giveaway! I’m going to give away a book of your choice, worth up to £10, and open to any country that the Book Depository ships to!