Bookish Banter: Should Stats Dictate Your Posts?

We all know that I am an analytical kind of person that thinks in charts and data. I love looking at information to identify patterns and ways that I can improve. I think that is a big reason that I prefer running to other sports: you can easily track your progress (pace) and ways to improve (proper hydration, run in a tailwind). So it surprised literally nobody last week when I talked about all the lessons that I learned from diving deep into my blog’s statistics.

Even though I think it is incredibly important to normalize conversations about statistics within the book blogging community, I also feel strongly that we shouldn’t let statistics rule our lives. I know what you are saying, “sure, that’s easy for you to say, Kal!” and I hear you. But that is why I wanted to follow up last week’s post with this discussion on whether or not we should let the posts we make be dictated by our statistics. The short answer is no, but of course I have more to say than just that!

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Stats Transparency Post & Lessons Learned from One Year of Blogging

Last fall when Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads wrote her own Stats Transparency Post, I was inspired. When it comes to blogging, it seems that statistics is a dirty word, and no one really talks about them as a result. (The one exception I am aware of is Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader, who posts her stats every month.)

Friends, I have been working on this post for almost five months and finally have enough courage to will press the publish button. I didn’t realize how personal this post would be until I sat down to write it. And I am really nervous. I don’t want this post to come across as bragging or like I am shoving success in everyone’s faces (and I actually had a nightmare about this recently). It’s okay if you do not want to read this post, and no one should feel obligated to do so. This is merely here as a resource if you want it.

I think it is important to normalize talking about statistics within our blogging niche, as well as remove the stigma surrounding sharing statistics, and agree with what Vicky put in her post:

But ultimately, I believe that the book community is a community in need of a lot more transparency. For authors and publishers, I know this is a lot more difficult, but for bloggers–we control our platforms. Not anyone else. In the end, my blog is my blog and I can give insight to other bloggers by sharing this information (even if it feels so awkward).

The side effect of no one really talking about their blog’s statistics is that we build up unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a “successful book blogger,” and feel bad for not reaching those benchmarks we create in our mind based on those assumptions. Data pulled by Pages Unbound last year shows that 60 out of 103 respondents to their survey indicated that their average daily page views is 0-50. This is why I think it is crucial that we talk about this, because unlike other blogging niches our audience is other bloggers. So it is important that we normalize these conversations and discuss ways that we can meaningfully support one another in the community. Everyone’s blogging journey is different and statistics do not measure a blogger’s worth. 

I know how very fortunate I am to have the platform that I do and how anomalous it is within the community. In looking at my own data, I have some insights on how my platform grew and I want to share it with the community. I genuinely love the book blogging community and enjoy sharing tips and resources to help others, and in that regard this feels very on brand. I am sorry if this post comes across as bragging, it isn’t my intent but I know that I cannot dictate how people react to this or any post.

This post is full of tables and graphs, and wherever possible I provided the insight I’ve gleaned from the statistics. This post isn’t meant to be a “How to Grow Your Blog” guide, but rather a deep dive into how my blog’s grown over the year and how you can apply similar methodologies to your statistics. But I’ve rambled enough, let’s get to the data! 📊

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Required Reading: My Experience

This month’s topic is about required reading. You can follow along on the discussion by checking #DiscussionAttic and #DAFebruary for our monthly topic on Twitter.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that I recognize that I am not the biggest authority on required reading for high school. I graduated in 2002 and over the last seventeen years (oh my goodness, I feel so old) the publishing landscape and educational system has changed drastically in the United States. I graduated before Common Core and three years before the SATs changed from 1600 to 2400. As such, I am don’t feel comfortable talking about required reading on a wide scale because I’m no longer in the demographic, and I feel that current teens experiences on how required reading should change would be more useful. 

I want to approach this month’s topic from the lens of my own personal experience oh so many moons ago and the lasting effect that it had on my reading habits. So first, a little bit about me!

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Bookish Banter: Sophomore Novel Fear

The past few months have been almost a weird out of body experience to me when it comes to reading. I’ve noticed something about my reading habits over the last couple of months. Something that I have never noticed before.

I’ve found myself crippled by unease & afraid to read sophomore novels

sophomore is in their second year, either in high school or college. In the book world this can mean either the second book in a series or more generally an author’s second published work.

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Bookish Pet Peeves

Bookish pet peeves… we all have them. From overused tropes to literary devices, each of our reading experiences are shaped by our preferences. For me it is insta-love and conflict that could be solved if the characters would only talk to one another. And that got me thinking: what grinds the gears of other readers? So naturally I took to Twitter to find out what your pet peeves are!

I got some really great answers, see what some of my book blogging friends had to say!

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