Cybermage Closing the Book on 2010

A year has gone by since I started blogging for real. It was the thrill of success when I got a few hundred readers on my Best Science Fiction Books of 2009 post that got me started. Cybermage is now past a thousand posts and I have learned a lot this year, not least that I still got a lot more to learn.

Here are some of the things learned and achieved in 2010.

  • I have read 155 books and written 125 book reviews (there will be a top list in a separate post later). See 2010 book Index for more details.
  • Promoting your blog works. I am not using twitter or facebook as much as I ought to but it works. There are also a bunch of referrer sites out there that can give amazing amounts of traffic which I learned a day in March this year when a photo of Felicia Day brought in a couple of thousand hits in a day. That was more Felicia’s doing than mine but a question for suggestions boosted Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 20 to more than 4000 unique page views. I have had about 5000 unique visitors per week since this summer.
  • Writing something every day has showed me that it is possible to produce 500 to 1500 words a day beside my day job. But I need to pace myself better, quality over quantity. Some of the stuff I wrote this year is tempting to go back and rewrite. I have not decided if I should do that or not. Some advice I got says don’t go back and rewrite, write new stuff but it is still tempting. Getting into the habit of writing is a stepping stone in a dream of becoming a writer of some sort (don’t we all?).
  • I am still trying to learn the ins and outs of the publishing industry. It would be wonderful to live in London or New York close to all the action but alas, I live far away in a foreign country which makes it harder to get review copies. Ebooks don’t know any distance though. One of my aims for next year will be to review more upcoming science fiction and fantasy, anything to promote the books I love.
  • I like article series myself and my series on Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction has been great fun to research and write. It has 130 characters, an index over authors and characters. It also has a  timeline for when the characters where created. Another index is for tracking of unread females. The afterword covers the traditional and oh so subjective top lists in different categories. This is probably the work this year that has gotten most publicity. I am especially proud of the mention in Genreville. Magemanda over at Floor to Ceiling Books also started a similar even better series about Formidable Female Protagonists in Fantasy.
  • I love spoilers and news about upcoming novels so something I learned this year was that there is much to be learned from author’s, publisher’s and agent’s home pages and from some more than others. Tracking down new cover art is also fun. I collect and publish covers and titles of books to come on the Almanac of forthcoming SF Books. You have also been able to read my book recommendations twice a month in more detail.
  • Another semi regular series started this year is State of Books with the latest gossip about books in the making. This is something i hope to continue next year.
  • I have become a reviewer on Temple Library Review this year. Thanks to Harry Markov a very productive blogger, aspiring writer and full time student. Murf61hagelrat and Alec are our partners in crime there. I cover the scifi beat and Harry is generous to let me use the same posts here which I usually do a month or two later.
  • I read and voted on all books and stories in the Hugo Awards. If London wins the bid for 2014 I will be there.
  • My love for news and spoilers also goes on to TV where I have indulged in research and gossip to write regular Pilot and Development Watch posts and a whole bunch of episode reviews/recaps.

It has been an interesting and informative year.

Next year? I try to promise as little as possible.

In 2011 I will …

  • Read 120 books or more because that is what I love
  • Loose a few kilos
  • Make fewer posts but of higher quality
  • Review more upcoming science fiction and fantasy
  • Put more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads
  • Write a short story

I also hope to continue guest reviewing and maybe explore writing a bit outside my comfort zone.