Wow is it already July? Half the year has already gone by. That just feels crazy. Well, it’s time for another Month In Review And A Look Ahead, and this one is pretty interesting. To me at least.
June was a pretty spectacular month at Off The TBR and at the same time not much happened. I didn’t post a single book review and I had the best month ever in terms of traffic on the blog along with the single most viewed post I’ve ever had. Now, that isn’t saying much since this little ole blog has only been around since November 2017, but I’m kinda excited about it. Ok…here’s what happened…
Joined Some Memes
I finally joined in on two recurring posts; Follow Friday, and Waiting on Wednesday. When I started the blog I was focused on getting my feet wet with reviews and the occasional post about a book haul or some such, but I was starting to feel a little left out of the weekly memes. I don’t care for all of them but these two are right up my alley…sharing my excitement about upcoming releases, and helping fellow bloggers out with a little acknowledgment and recommendation.
The first Waiting On Wednesday post was for The Grey Bastards, by Jonathan French. It finally released here in the States but I still haven’t bought it so I guess I’m still waiting.
The second was for Ravencry, by Ed McDonald, book two of The Raven’s Mark series. It doesn’t come out till August here so I’m not a slacker on this one.
My first Follow Friday post was for Bethan May Books. Bethan had listed me in a tweet during Wyrd & Wonder and my follows on twitter and the blog went up a bit. I figured I owed her a thank you. I also like her reviews so there’s that.
The second Follow Friday post was for the very first book blog I ever followed, Every Day Should Be Tuesday. I also enjoy the reviews over at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (that’s the whole point of following right?) but what I also look forward to are some of the Throwback Thursday posts and the deep dives on a particular topic in the summer. Check out the page and see what I mean.
A Post About #SPFBO
The single most excited thing to happen on the blog in June, and…well ever, was the post I put up about The 2018 #SPFBO (And Maybe A Self-Pub Fantasy Month). It became the single most viewed post I’ve ever had on the blog and pushed the June numbers up to be the best month ever. I was a little shocked to say the least. What was odd was I kept seeing the numbers from facebook views going up and up and up, and I thought it was a glitch. I’ve never have more than like one view from facebook for any post. But all of a sudden there were over 100 from facebook. Well, it turns out S. C. Flynn of The Hidden Face fame reposted it to Mark Lawrence’s #SPFBO page on facebook and my audience suddenly increased. That hasn’t translated into additional spillover for other posts but hey it made my day.
A Look Forward
So what’s on the slate for July? You’re probably tired of seeing me write about how busy I’ve been the last few months. Well, I think I’m finally seeing some light at the end of that dark tunnel. I shouldn’t have to be working so much on the weekends and the family commitments have eased up a bit (though they will pick up again in the fall as they do). I will be traveling a little next weekend so no posts then, but hopefully the reviews will start appearing again pretty soon.
Here’s what’s on tap…
I’m about halfway through with a review for The Half Killed, by Quenby Olson. It’s a dark and immersive Victorian horror story. I’ll tell you now I’m giving it five stars. I loved it. And that cover is amazing.
I’m currently reading Arm Of The Shinx, book two of The Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft. Once done with it I’ll need to review it as well.
I also read a couple of issues of Apex Magazine in the last couple of months which I’d love to review if I can find the time. Reading more short fiction was one of my goals for the year and each of them had at least one story I really liked. My favorite was “A Witch’s Guide To Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix Harrow in the February issue. You should check it out.
I imagine that will fill up my July posts, but after all of the above are reviewed I’ll have caught up with all the books that were sent to me either by my request or by contact from a publisher/publicist. I’ve been feeling really guilty about getting behind on these and shut down my review requests because of it. I may open it back up again come August or September. I’ve been reading history books as a way to keep from getting further behind on my reviews, but I was really itching to pick up some fantasy again so let’s hope I get caught up quick.
I’m also thinking about starting a Self-Published Fantasy Month in August or September in honor of #SPFBO as my post about it indicated. Notice I didn’t say “host” a self-published fantasy month. I’m not sure I’m ready for doing anything wider than just my blog yet but we’ll see. I do have four books lined up (more than four actually) so I’m good to go whenever I decide to do it. I hesitate to say much more until I’m ready. If you’re interested in participating in a self-pub fantasy month with me let me know.
Other than that I have no real plans for the near future. Other than reading of course. And posting more book reviews. Hope you’ve had a great weekend, and here’s to a wonderful July!