The Bibliotaphe Closet Turns One!
My First Bloggoversary!
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
When I first started this blog on this very day last year, I didn’t even know what a blog button or widget was. I tinkered around with WordPress until I finally figured out how to post something online, much less customize blog headers or insert video!
But along the way there were people who encouraged me and propelled me forward in this blogging-Twitter-verse that I otherwise would not have known or stayed with for this long if it wasn’t for their interest and faith in my work:
Lindsey, from Random House of Canada who opened up the world of blogging and bloggers to me by extending a special invitation to The Random House of Canada’s Blog Fest in February in Toronto even though I had only been blogging for a few months. Her continual, gracious yes to my title requests have privileged me with continual access to some of the best books published in the world!
Trish, from House of Anansi who enthusiastically enjoyed one of my reviews and offered me ARCs from House of Anansi’s A-list for review.
Corey, from Goose Lane Editions who remains a great entertainer on Twitter with his hilarious, dark sense of humour and for providing me with access to Goose Lane’s great publications in exchange for reviews.
Emily, from Constable & Robinson who even though she and her publishing house resides all the way in the U.K., takes the time to actively send me invitations to review books and even sent me a lovely catalogue of upcoming releases to choose from! Because of Emily’s generous yes to my book requests, I am privileged to review books from Constable & Robinson until June 2013!
And because it’s my “first” bloggoversary, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at my first year of blogging and celebrate The Bibliotaphe Closet’s number of “firsts” and other fun stats:
First book reviewed and posted on The Bibliotaphe Closet:
Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
First publisher to agree to send me a book or ARC for review:
Random House of Canada
First WordPress blog follower:
dazjames from Camp Fire Confessionals
First blog follower by email:
First personal interview posted on another blog:
First giveaway hosted by The Bibliotaphe Closet:
First Blog Event:
First author to respond to one of my reviews:
First Blog Button:
First signature image:
First signature badge:
Top ranking views by country (since February 25, 2012):
1. United States -34, 205 views
2. Canada – 8,921 views
3. United Kingdom – 4,900 views
4. Philippines – 4,587 views
Top ranking commenters:
1. Laurie C. (@Bay State Reader’s Advisory)
2. Perogyo (@ Perogies & Gyoza)
3. Alyce (@ Home with Books)
4. Christine H. (@The Book Trunk)
Views on my busiest day:
1,038 views on August 22, 2012
Post topic: Book Review: Red House by Mark Haddon
Highest ranking words by word search:
“cherry blossom tree” – 2,616 views
Highest ranking posts by views:
1. Writing Wednesdays: Why Write? – 280 views
2. Asian Heritage Month Blog Event: Japanese Samurai – 176 views
Highlights of my year as a blogger:
1. Receiving my very first SIGNED book for review, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern from Random House of Canada.
2. Attending The Random House of Canada Blog Fest event.
3. Meeting authors Erin Morgenstern, Ami McKay, and former V-jay, Erica Ehm, in person at the RHC Blog Fest.
4. Chatting live with author Esi Edugyan on CBC about her Giller Prize winning novel, Half-Blood Blues.
5. Chatting live with author John Vaillant on CBC about his Canada Reads nominated book, The Tiger.
6. Winning a limited edition signed copy of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami as a winner of the Haruki Murakami contest based on a poem that I wrote in his honour.
7. Learning HTML, video embedding for the first time, and other blogging tips through my participation in the Bloggiesta Ole blog event.
8. Participating in a month-long post event for Asian Heritage Month.
9. Attending my first Word on the Street Festival event in Toronto.
10. Running into my former professor, Susan Swan, author of The Western Light at WOTS.
11. Catching a glimpse of Vincent Lam, author and Giller Prize winner of the book, Bloodletting and Other Miraculous Cures at WOTS signing his latest release, The Headmaster’s Wager.
12. The great fellowship and concern I received from the blogging and Twitter community when my account was attacked by a virus. Thanks to all my faithful followers who didn’t give up on me even when they received annoying SPAM on account of it.
13. Wondering how I’d ever get at least 50 followers on Twitter and then eventually see my followers grow from a humble 15 followers to a whopping 800+ to-date.
14. The laughs and collegial relationships I was able to build through my blog and other social networks like Twitter and Facebook. A special thanks to those who were there for me from the beginning of my blogging and tweeting career:
- Rae Anne Reyes
- Simon M. Brockbank
- Vikram (@vikramroy87)
- Clay Held
- Kristine Ong Muslim
- Nancy Cudis
- Lindsay Gentles
- Chelsea Phlean-Tran
- “Bookosaur” (@Bookosaur)
- “Perogyo” (@perogies_gyoza)
- The “quirky person” behind the tweets at Quirk Books
15. And of course, a continual highlight of my blogging year was and will always be whenever I receive a book package in the mail!
Few of my favourite posts:
- Tote Bag Tuesday. 03.13.2012
- Must- Have Items for the Blogger in You!
- Must-Haves for the Writer: Part One
- NaNoWriMo: No, It’s Not a Weird Animal!
- Short Story: The Postcard
- Making the Headlines in “Mom’s Gazette”
- Did You Hear the Word on the Street? I DID!
- Asian Heritage Month Blog Event
Few of my favourite books and reviews:
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- The Rest Is Silence by Scott Fotheringham
- The Glass Boys by Nicole Lundrigan
- I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits
Few of my controversial posts:
- Film Review: Snow White and the Huntsman
- Book Review: Shop Girl by Steve Martin
- Book Review: Every Day, Every Hour by Natasa Dragnic
- Book Review: Sweet Jesus by Christine Pountney
Total number of posts to-date:
Total number of views to-date:
Overall emotion regarding bloggoversary:
Thanks to every publisher, author, follower, and reader of my blog who has supported me with ARCs, books, comments, and continual encouragement to blog. Your presence in the last year has kept me reading, reviewing, and blogging with a fervour I thought that couldn’t last, but has.
A special thanks to my husband, Esly, who has been my greatest supporter in all things especially my writing, my creative endeavours, (even my foolish habits), and most especially my work for The Bibliotaphe Closet:
If and when no one else believes in me, you are and always have been the most faithful and dedicated person in my corner, listening to every rant, reading every post, comforting in every setback or failure. Thanks for being my number one cheerleader!
Hope you all come back soon. We can’t possibly celebrate my first bloggoversary without a GIVEAWAY!