We have made it two full years. Yet Fantasy Review Barn is still not the largest review site on the net. Clearly something has gone wrong in the master plan. For my blogoversery I only ask that you repeatedly bug each and every one of your friends, acquaintances, and twitter contacts until they are following The Barn in one way or another. That really shouldn’t be too much to ask, should it?
It was a year of a lot of changes in the blog. Reviews slowed down a bit as Pauline and Ana worked on their own stuff (such as putting out a book!) and I slowly embraced my role as lead player over this little experiment. After experimenting with a few list style posts I decided to make it official and start my own weekly feature. I don’t know if I ever expected Tough Travelling to become a meme but I hoped a few people would follow on the journey. It has been successful beyond any hope I had though; to date twenty three other blogs have joined in at one point or another. Given it is a very genre specific meme I have to consider this a complete success. So my first thank you goes to everyone who has joined me on that particularly journey; I hope it has reaped rewards for you as it has for me.
But despite me taking a more vocal role this blog remains a joint effort. Every month Pauline’s end of year post on self-published gems starts showing back up in the stats as someone posts it to yet another forum. And until a few highly anticipated releases in the fall the most popular post on the site by far was this one from Ana; a series not even available in the language the review was written in blew up the site for about a month. I still can’t imagine going at this on my own. So my second set of thanks goes to my wonderful blogging partners. I am still thrilled to be working with both of you and I appreciate everything you both have put into this blog.
The biggest change this blog has gone through though is becoming more than just a fringe outlier; traffic moved well past any hopes I had and sometimes I look at our stats in awe (yes I look at them because I am a competitive person). I can’t say thank you enough to every single person who takes the time to read this blog. Thank you for every retweet, forum link or reddit hitch; and any other stealth ways people have helped us grow. In our third year I hope to work our way onto the big kid table; I hope to do a few more interviews if I have questions I want answered, invite guest posts from people who have something to say, all while continuing to provide a mix of reviews that hopefully lead people to good books.
If I started listing bloggers who deserve a shoutout it would take all day but I think y’all know who you are. Every comment received is a gem and they make me smile when a feel the phone buzz during the long work day from an e-mail received. The community is really what makes blogging rewarding after a while and I doubt I would still be putting reviews into the world had I not joined the larger sff network that exists.
Finally, and most importantly, thank you to my wife for putting up with my strange little hobby.
On to year three!