It’s a Blogo-Birthday!

And what’s that, you might very well ask?

On April 4, 2011 this blog was born. The first version was Escape Reality, Read Fiction! Courtesy of The Wayback Machine, here’s what it looked like, back in the early days of…last year. (My own birthday is tomorrow, so blogo-birthday)

Escape Reality, Read Fiction! is still on the masthead, but now it’s under the bar. For anyone who wonders where that phrase came from, like so much wisdom, I got it off a t-shirt–which doesn’t make it any less true. I firmly believe that you can escape reality for very large periods of time by reading fiction. And that’s a good thing!

I’m equally firmly of the opinion that you can’t judge a book by its movie. Also from a t-shirt. There’s some great stuff on t-shirts, if you look for it. Especially if you like pithy.

So, about last year. April 4 was a Monday. My first post was published that day, after a weekend of Galen and I setting things up. There was one absolutely paralyzing bit about selecting a WordPress theme from the zillion and one options I still have nightmares about.

I knew I would write about books. Not a big surprise. I expected to be writing more on the, I guess you would say meta-level, about the business of books, or the business of libraries, rather than book reviews.

I never expected it would be quite so easy to get books to review. I thought I’d be reviewing from my already large TBR stacks. Instead, the TBR stacks are getting bigger by the day, but mainly in the virtual sense. I get most of my review copies in ebook form, with the exception of conference ARCs.

A year means it’s time to reflect a little bit. That’s why there have been a few changes in the last month.  I’ve added features to bring in more traffic. I’ve discovered that writing the blog, even every day, isn’t the hardest part. Getting people to come and read it, the promotion, that’s the more difficult bit. At least for me. As the saying goes, YMMV.

So in addition to regular features like Ebook Review Central, it’s time for Reading Reality to participate in a couple of memes like In My Mailbox and On My Wishlist. On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand turned into a meme itself this past weekend. I’m also participating in some blog tours and blog hops, like the Where’s That Bunny? hop hosted by Reading Romances this week.  (By the way, Nat at Reading Romances designed the Blogo-Birthday graphic. Thanks, Nat!)

But I want to make sure that the loyal readers of Reading Reality keep reading. So, as I start my second year, I want to hear from you. What do you look for in a blog? What keeps you following? Comments please!

This is a Blogoversary Celebration, so of course there is a giveaway!

Here are the steps to enter the drawing for a USD$15 Amazon Gift Card. This giveaway will be open until 12:01 a.m. the morning of April 8, 2012. I will announce the winner on April 9th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

63 thoughts on “It’s a Blogo-Birthday!

  1. For me it’s review but not only for new releases and interview

    thanks you for the giveaway and happy blogoversary and Happy Birthday too^^

  2. Book reviews keep me coming back to a good blog. Specifically, if they review more than the latest free book from a book tour.

    1. I’ve always mixed my reviews up. Oh, that sounded different in my head. I review books from everywhere is what I meant. I’m getting some from tours, but I get books from so many sources.
      I hope that you enjoy the range of books reviewed! And that it keeps you coming back for more.

  3. Happy Blogoversary!!!

    I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago (I think I followed a link from another blog) and I’m really enjoying it!!!

    I guess I look for a mix of current and interesting book reviews. They don’t have to all be new releases b/c I love it when a blog spotlights an author I haven’t read before and they have a backlist to dive into. The content has be relevant too. I like the different “memes” but it’s nice to have thoughtful, non spoiler book reviews as the main content. On a personal note, I also like when a blog has an e-mail subscription option. I visit too many blogs to keep track of and I’m not really loving the RSS feeds, so having an e-mail really simplifies it and definitely brings me back.

    1. Hi Erin,
      It’s so good to hear some someone else who email subscribes to stuff. I confess, I do it too!
      Isn’t it great to find an author with enough books under their belt that you can just wallow for a while? Michele Sagara’s “Cast in” series was like that for me. I had them, I just hadn’t read them, and oh, wow!
      Thanks for the suggestions and thanks becoming a follower!

  4. I like interaction with the followers. I am a new follower and so far, I like your blog. I like to read reviews that don’t have spoilers in them. I also like some random posts about life. They are always fun to read.
    Happy Birthday to you and your blog! 😉
    And, Thank you for the giveaway.

    1. Tina,
      Thanks for following, and thanks so much for your recent comments!
      I do my best not to put spoilers in my reviews before the ratings, but under the rating, there might be a little bit. Sometimes it’s hard to explain why I felt a particular way about a book without saying what caused the feeling.
      As a reader who doesn’t want spoilers, how does that work for you?
      Thanks so much for coming to my party!

      1. I understand what you are saying. I don’t write reviews, so I could only imagine. I am okay with some as long as they are not big. I usually start reading a review and if I feel they are telling me too much, I skip to the end. 🙂

  5. Happy blog and real life birthday! What keeps me checking out a blog? It starts with content, but usually morphs into a shared interest, a semi-personal connection (as personal as it can get online!). I love that you’re a librarian! I love libraries! When I was young, a library was my main way to get books to read. Didn’t have a lot of money to buy. From libraries I fed my love of reading, so libraries are my uber soft spot. Congrats on a great year and many thanks for highlighting so many unknown or overlooked publishers and books. 🙂

    1. And SFR writer, in your case, meets SFR reader in my case. Hello, connection!
      So many people get their love of reading from libraries, it’s one of the things that makes them such terrific places to be (and work)
      Thanks for your comments, and thanks so much for coming to my party.

  6. Happy blogoversary!

    I mostly follow blogs for their unique, funny, or useful features. For example, if they give publishing news, info about authors and new releases, funny links and videos, or whatever creative, interesting content that makes the blog stand out.

  7. happy birthday 🙂
    I like reading book reviews , enjoy excerpts and links back to the author / and or publisher

  8. Well, I usually read reviews and excerpts on blogs – it has happened many times that I read a book just because i saw its cover on a blog or read a review about it, and it became of my favorite reads 🙂

    And I also like when email subscription is available on a blog, because this way I don’t have to look up every page, which would take a lot of time, I only have to look through my new emails and open the links that I’m interested in 🙂

    And happy blogoversary! 🙂

  9. Reviews on blogs are one way I add to my wishlist, too! I see the cover, and read that SBTB or All Things Urban Fantasy (I get both their email) thinks a book is made of win, and pop it goes on my wishlist.
    My wishlist grows by leaps and bounds this way, but that’s what it’s for!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  10. Happy blogoversary!!!

    I like reading reviews and excerpts! They help sway my decisions to buy or not as well as add to my TBR pile. I also like seeing In My Mailbox.

    1. Hi Emily!
      We all seem to have a Towering TBR stack, don’t we? I’ve got an excerpt coming next Tuesday for a book that I know people have been looking forward to.
      I’m glad to see people say excerpts, I’ve been wondering about that! And I’ve been amazed, and gratified, by the response to IMM. In My Mailbox is astonishing!
      Thanks so much for coming to my party!

  11. I like author interviews and guest posts — but I’ve found NOTHING gets a book in my shopping cart faster than a well-done character interview!

    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

    1. Character interviews. I’ll keep that in mind the next time that’s an option. I’ve read them, but always wondered what other people thought. It’s good to know.
      Very glad to have you as a guest at the party!

  12. I was reading blogs way before I started my own. Now don’t get me wrong I love book giveaways, but I really love finding out about unknown books or rather lesser known books. And I love fun guest posts and character interviews too!!

    1. Nikki, so that explains why you’ve become the SF tour leader for BTS! It’s all about exploring strange new worlds?
      I’m enjoying being on the journey with you.

    1. Jo, thanks for stopping by! I know you’re finding reviews of books you like, because keep adding to each other’s TBR stacks. Now is that the good news, or the bad news?
      It’s so good to find fellow book lovers with the same tastes!

  13. Honest reviews keep me coming back. If it’s not a sincere – good and bad – review, then I look elsewhere. I also try to look for bloggers with similar interests and book likes but not just one genre.

  14. Happy Blogoversary! I love reviews, of course, but also enjoy blogitorials / opinion pieces that get a conversation going.

    1. Blogitorial, mmm. Lisa, you come up with the best words! Did you see the 3-star review hop last week? That was kind of a big round of blogitorials all over the place.
      Thanks for coming to my party!

      1. Yes, that’s the kind of thing I like, a variety of perspectives,something that makes you think and/or opens you up to seeing things differently.

  15. I love a blog that has interviews, reviews of various genres, not just one as I notice that my tastes are changing and growing, and great reader/author/blogger interaction. I like connecting with others that enjoy the same things I do.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

    1. Mel, I hope you come back! I cover LOTS of genres here. I hope you’ll find books that you like.
      Some days, I think I’m on a “see books” diet. I see books and I want to read them. So many books, so little time!

    1. i enjoy blogs that are visually appealing but not too cluttered with graphics and text. my reading taste is pretty eclectic so i’m always on the lookout for new books and authors. i enjoy reading reviews that are honest and personal to the reader. they shouldn’t have spoilers though! aside from these, i look at the links to other bloggers and check out the comments section. i always learn something new and interesting – whether i agree with it or not. c”,)

  16. I’m not sure about features, but I mostly look for blogs that have good reviews, that I at least sort of agree with. And giveaways! I love giveaways. Pretty layouts aren’t too bad either 🙂

  17. Happy Birthday! 🙂

    Book reviews, author interviews and interaction with other followers will keep me coming back. 🙂

  18. I like the reviews, and overall personal feeling and commitment to the blog. I also like the giveaways.

  19. Happy Birthday!!! I mainly look for the books that are being reviewed and authors interviewed that reflect my tastes. I like learning more about my favorite authors and meeting new ones.

  20. probably the reviews and I like it when the blog throws in something unusual once in a while. Like a children’s book or some off the wall thing. I also love cover art so a blog has to have a nice big pic of the covers 🙂 congrats on the blogday!

    1. Sharon, thanks for coming to my party! Did you see Mike Mullin’s book “8, the previously untold story of the previously unknown 8th dwarf”? I reviewed it because it was so much fun! It’s like the old fractured fairy-tales. It’s a children’s story, but there’s that sly sense of story “told on top” for grownups.
      So funny and so good!

  21. I read reviews to see if I want to purchase the book. If you have time, I think being a reviewer would be exciting. So many books out there.

  22. I look for informative book reviews; things that aren’t seen in the blurb, etc. Favorite quotes are also nice, gives us a sample of the author’s writing style. Other than that: Interviews, guest posts, givaways…. The usual fun! 🙂

  23. Hi Marlene

    What on earth is ‘erotic clockpunk’? Is it like Raggametal Cyberbilly Crossover?



  24. Congratulations Marlene, here’s to many more years of blogging and fun and informative posts! 😀

    Definitely reviews, posts about reading taste, personal experience (how the reader-blogger discovered an author/series/genre, etc.) I also like favourite quotes, fun posts 🙂

    Thank you for the fantastic giveaway! 😀

  25. Happy Anniversary! I look for a mixture of reviews, interviews, guest blogs and misc. fun that shows the blogger’s personality. I like a variety of genres too:)

  26. Congratulations & thank you!!

    I look for reviews & author interviews – giveaways are a bonus of course.

  27. Warmest felicitations on you blogovesary and Happy Birthday as well!
    Congratulations on your first year and may each subsequent one be filled with wonderful books!
    Best regards,
    Victoria Vane

  28. Happy birthday 😉 Both to you and your blog.
    I look for a lot of different reviews, and not only new relases – because it makes every blog has the same books reviewed… And it can get boring. 😀

  29. I like a variety of books being reviewed, reviewers who seem to have the same tastes in books, a blog with author interviews, giveaways, etc.

  30. Happy birthday!! I like the giveaways on the blogs and the little details I learn about authors who come to visit and I especially like reading excerpts.

  31. Happy Blogiversary!!!

    For me it’s how someone reacts to a book. There’s also the connection that can be made when you and the blogger start talking about books that soon leads to other conversations…it makes it really worthwhile to visit others!

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