Earlier today, I flipped my wall calendar to July and began setting it up. In the top right corner of every month, I write down any ARCs (advance reader copy) I need to read and review, so I can have them in front of me every day and won’t forget. And as I was writing down the titles of all the books and their pub dates, I thought about how there was a time when receiving ARCs felt like something that was impossible. Working with publishers wasn’t something achievable. Having people follow and read what I thought about books wouldn’t include people from around the world.
Gratitude is the feeling that came forth as I wrote down those book titles. For the online book community. For friends and family who have supported this weird hobby of mine. And for myself, for working so hard for years. Eight years to the day, to be exact.
On July 1, 2013, my first book review went online on my first book blog, Musings of a Booknerd. It was a review of “Legend” by Marie Lu. Dystopian was still all the rage at that time. My blog was located on Tumblr. I initially kept it a secret from friends and family–I just wanted my own space online. And it was definitely my favorite place to spend time at age 17.
It took an entire year before a small publisher took a chance on me and sent me books for review. Granted, they were the books reserved for those with not much reach or an audience, but I was so proud of myself. I grew my blog to 100 followers and was being sent books for free to talk about. It was the dream as far as I was concerned.
I spent four years on Musings of a Booknerd and grew my audience as well as my contacts. And then, in the midst of college and having an actual job that paid me real money to review books, I outgrew having Tumblr be my platform and thus, this space was born. It has evolved into my home base for not only book reviews and bookish things, but lots of other things I care about as well. And from here, I’ve gone on to start a Bookstagram page and a BookTube channel, both of which I absolutely adore.
Now we’re eight years in to this book blogging journey. I work with some of my favorite publishers. ARCs are a normal thing now. People from around the world follow my blog, my bookstagram, and my BookTube and interact with my content. And my friends and family are so, so supportive of this (still weird) hobby of mine.
It’s been a long eight years and it took a lot of hard work to be where I am now, which is a very, very modest blogger/influencer. There is still a lot of growth to be had and a lot I want to accomplish. I’m nowhere near my big goals, but if the past eight years have taught me anything, it’s that anything is possible if I stick with what I love and work hard.
So, here’s to eight years, friends. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, have ever commented, liked, or followed–thank you. Thank you times a million. It’s every single one of those small interactions that have added up to today. Thank you.