What’s this? A personal post from the Grim Reader?!
August has been a funny old month. I turned 39 at the start of it and then got sick. I can honestly count the number of days I’ve had off work sick in the past 10 years on both hands, so when I was hit with a sinus infection a few weeks back, I didn’t handle not being able to shake it off quickly very well at all. I’m still stuck with it now, it’s been nearly 3 weeks.
Having the time away from work has allowed me to reflect a lot on life as a blogger. I started this blog in 2015. I made some mistakes early on in my blogging career, mostly pandering to authors and publishers to the point where I believe my integrity started to wilt. When I first started out I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with the blog. I wanted to give indie publishers and authors a platform for their work to be amplified. To some degree, I believe I have. I’ve had my ups and downs, moments when I felt like throwing in the towel, but then I’d receive a nice DM or an email of thanks from somebody and however timely that may now seem, it allowed me to refocus and get back in the saddle.
It was pretty slow going at first, but particularly during the last 18 months, I have seen things move in a very positive direction with regard to subscriptions and regular visits. I began to incorporate a few album reviews to the site and when the band/label shared the review my hits went through the roof! I recently got a very nice email from an American subscriber, also a metal fan. She came across one of my album reviews on Twitter and visited the blog. She informed me that she has since purchased several books on my recommendation. This warms my cold, black heart, it’s why I started this thing in the first place.
I’m proud of what I’ve achieved however insignificant that may seem to you. For every subscriber or reader that picks up a book or album after reading one of my reviews, I call that a win. I like to think that I’ve never lost sight of my vision and despite some early misjudgments I feel my word is honest, whether you agree with it or not. I’m okay for people to disagree with me, life would be kinda dull if we all liked the same stuff, right?
I pay $130 for my blog every year (I just renewed my subscription), I put in a huge amount of time reading books, writing up reviews, creating GIFs, promoting the blog as well as all the other promotion of other blogs that I do through social media. I’ve never been in this for me. I’m not here to boost my ego, to increase my Instagram following or to generate followers via other social media forms. I only really accept .mobi files for review, I support indie authors and publishers to the point of buying their ebooks from Amazon even though I’ve read and reviewed an early copy. I’m not one of those “Oh, I only accept hardback or paperback.” types. Most indie authors work full-time, some have more than one job and postage can be expensive, especially internationally. Don’t be an asshole, be flexible, ask yourself, do you really want to read the book or is it simply for show on your bookshelf?
Anyway, I rarely do personal blog posts so If you’re still reading this thanks, it’s because of you I’m still around. Take care of yourself and each other. And, most importantly, support your fellow bloggers. There is still plenty to go at for the rest of 2018 so don’t be a stranger…
One last thing, I promise. I want to give a shoutout to some of the fantastic bloggers that have helped me (often unknowingly) on this journey so far.
There are many other blogs, publishers and readers who support my blog, too many to name here so please don’t be upset if you’re not listed. Thanks! Let’s keep reading and rocking!
The Grim Reader. August 2018.