Happy 1 year to me!! 😀 I thought I’d share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned as well as the next steps I’ve got planned!
I first got the idea to start a blog after being approached by someone on Goodreads to be a part of a blog tour for an author I really enjoyed. Since I didn’t have my own blog, I contributed a guest post but it got me thinking – what if I did have my own blog? That really set the wheels in motion, and I began looking at others’ blogs for inspiration and brainstorming names, as well as reading articles of all the dos and don’ts in starting this project.
I’ve been reviewing books for a long time. In grade school, we got agendas that had a section for “current read” so I’ve been keeping track of what I’ve read since then. Then in middle school I learned about Goodreads and ever since, I religiously update my Read shelf. At some point, I happened upon LibraryThing, which is a site that has book giveaways in return for reviews. It was actually after reviewing one of those books that I got that message to join the blog tour, and very soon after this blog came to be!
FYI, a little backstory on the name, Spines in a Line: it’s actually inspired by my favourite musician, Sara Bareilles. In her song, 1000 Times, one of the lyrics is “a hundred and five little blades in a line”. I was pretty much constantly listening to her songs on YouTube at that time, so I’d have a number of her lyrics always running through my end. This one stood out and when I had to think of a blog name, it was pretty easy to adapt this to a book context.
I actually created this blog two years ago, setting up all my social media accounts and creating my visuals, but my first review didn’t go up until April 29th, 2016! I did some research in that gap period but there’s so much I wasn’t expecting. Some of the advice I’ve seen more recently is to visit others’ blogs and comment often, something I did not do for the first several months so this was a slow-growing project. I also initially planned to join in all the weekly memes but I’ve maybe participated in two in total over this past year.
My main goal was to post once a week. I decided on a Friday schedule, and I’m satisfied that even when I’ve been busy I have yet to miss a Friday post. Of course, when I got more requests (NetGalley overload and emails from authors suddenly popping up last October), I had to expand to two or even three posts a week. I know many bloggers post every day but that was never in my plans so three felt a little crazy at first, though I was trying to get reviews out as quickly as I could. Also, when I began this blog I was in summer break but I had to return to school in September. Much of that first summer was stocking up on reads so that I could schedule posts for my busy months.
While I haven’t been able to participate in other memes, I have created some of my own features for this blog. My favourite has definitely been #MusicMondays. I first got the idea when I saw a tweet from the Bookshop Band asking for reviews of their latest album. I reached out and they said yes! Since then, I’ve had a lot of fun thinking of ways that music and reading can inspire each other.
I also very recently began hosting Ask the Author chats. While the turnout wasn’t great, I feel like I learned a lot more about Twitter and had fun talking with these authors. Unfortunately, this will need to be put on the back burner in the coming months, which brings me to my future plans…
In exciting news, I’ve been accepted to grad school! When I started this blog, I was still in the research stage of these programs but now it’s real! Beginning in September, I’ll be heading to Toronto for the Master of Information program (and I’m much closer to being a librarian!).
This means, however, that I’ll have less time for this blog. I’m not planning on leaving by any means, and I’ll probably still check in often on my social media sites (in the sidebar), but my posts won’t be as frequent. I’m hoping to post at least once a month but school will obviously need to come first. Some good news though: this will likely mean that my posts are more discussion-based rather than reviews, so I’ll be able to have more of a conversation format with you.
These changes won’t begin until August/September so I’ll still be filling your feeds until then! And I’ll also be participating in some readathons before then, which brings me to my final news.
Today is Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon and I’ll be doing my best to put in as many hours as I can! It’s already started of course and you can follow my progress on Twitter, but here is my TBR for the day:
My only real goal is to finish American Gods as it’s due at the library today! The others on my list as more to break up the day, and I’m really looking forward to Kitty French’s one. The first book in the series was a great read for laughs and a little romance and I’m sure this one will be as enjoyable as the first!
Thank you for sticking with me this far, both throughout this year and with this very long post! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback! Any features you’ve really enjoyed on my blog? Or any that you have suggestions for?
Plus, if you’re taking part in the readathon today, let me know where you’re posting so I can cheer you on!
Thanks everyone and here’s to the next year!