Well, thank Cthulhu that’s over.
Speaking broadly, of course.
Because, in terms of Sci-Fi & Scary, it’s actually been a good year. We hit numbers I didn’t think we had a chance of hitting. 60,000+ hits this year being the biggest one. That number made my jaw drop. I know there are sites out there that do a lot better, but for a niche site that reviews only science fiction and horror? I’m quite happy with that!
We started working with a few movie PR companies. I think this was the most surprising thing. I was happy with the fact that people were sending us free books to read. To have movie studios sending us free movies to watch? Oh yes, please and thank you! We’ve done our best to embrace this new aspect with open arms. (Not too open, though, because we’re both insanely picky about what we actually want to watch.) So, thank you to October Coast Media, Justin Cook PR, and Katrina Wan PR. Working with you has made this year unique!
We’ve expanded our crew a little bit. J.B. Rockwell joins us every month for a Bad Movie Review and Recap which always leaves me in stitches! And Gracie’s son is hopefully going to join us for a Young Adult review every month or so. But we’re still looking for more people. Gracie and I happily do the bulk of things, but we both realize that diversity is a good thing. So, if you’re a part time blogger that wants the benefits of book blogging without the hassle of maintaining a site, you might consider joining us!
We’re still feeling things out, in terms of what works best for the site. Appearance (Like the new colors?), Structure, and so on. We’re also trying to relax a bit. I worried a lot about the numbers this year, which is part of the reason I pushed us to do 2 posts a day as much as possible. In 2018, we’re going to actually cut back a little bit so that we can relax a wee bit. Yes, our numbers might actually go down a little bit, but I’ll be a little less stressed, so it’ll be worth it.
One of our goals for the new year is to develop a stronger relationship with small presses like Severed Press, Crystal Lake, and Cemetery Gates. They all put out good work, and we want to spend more of our time and energy showcasing the stuff that they put out.
We will continue to be a site that does not charge for reviews. You give us your words, we tell the world what we think about your words. That’s as far as it goes. (Though you may see occasional ads for books on the site starting soon. Don’t worry, though, it’ll never get to the point where the page barely loads because of all of the stupid ads.)
And, obviously, this is also wrapping up GracieKat’s first full year with the site. It’s been great fun watching her bloom as she got more comfortable with what she was doing. I know she’s got some plans for what she wants to accomplish on site in 2018, but I’ll let her tell you more about that.
GracieKat: I have to admit that when I started here last year I was scared stiff. I hadn’t been blogging for very long and I didn’t even know what half of the buttons on the toolbar did (I’m very paranoid about clicking the wrong thing and deleting the entire site or something). Lilyn has been very patient with me and it’s been a great year. Not least of which was not only finding an awesome partner in Lilyn but also a good friend.
The Horrors! posts have ended for the year and starting January the fifth we’ll be rolling out A Focus on the Frightful in its place. A Focus on the Frightful will be reviews on movies, books along with whatever my rabid chipmunk brain produces. In the first post on Friday I’l be explaining a bit more in detail what will be going on so be sure to stop by!
For the coming year I’m going to be working on our YouTube channel that will run in conjunction with the site. I was hoping to launch it by the first of the year but there have been delays with the equipment. That being said, we’re going to try to go for a Sunday video laying out what’s coming up in the week, readings and (possibly) reviews. If all goes well with those I have some other ideas that I’m working on as well so stay tuned. I’m also looking into game streaming (horror games, of course!) but that will be a little farther down the road.
A Shout Out to Our Fellow Reviewers!
We aren’t the most sociable of people. Both of us would much rather read than actually do things that involve talking to people. However, through the site, we’ve made some bookish friends we would have never met otherwise. So, in no particular order of importance, because we like all of them, here are some reviewer-people we’re thankful for spending the year with!
(and I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten several folks, but it is late and I am tired. Please forgive me. No snubs intended!)
Meggy from Chocolate’n’Waffles
Brian from Brian’s Book Blog
Adrian – The Grim Reader
Jessica – who always recommends YA and MG books to us! – from Storytime in the Stacks
Laura from FUOnlyKnew
Brian Bixby from Sillyverse
and last but not least – Grab the Lapels!
On a Personal Note
2017 was…. well, 2017 was.
In terms of reading, I managed to read less than I did last year (what I wanted!). I read 336 books, for a total of 66, 369 pages!
In regards to other stuff…
Most people know I had to put a halt to accepting books for review a few months ago because of my Monster’s deteriorating health. Things have somewhat improved since then, so I’m going to start officially accepting things for review again soon, but it’s going to be on a much more limited basis than I was before. I just don’t know when things are going to go sideways with Monster again.
We found out the results of the heart cath and the bronchoscopy, and it wasn’t great. The surgery that we had before she started Kinder to open her airway has ultimately failed and, as her pulmonologist put it, her left airway is “a slit” now. Her PAH numbers were good, though. For the most part, we’ve found a new normal, which includes more medication, generally treating her like she has Cystic Fibrosis whenever she’s sick, and just taking things a bit slower. We treasure the heck out of the good days, but that’s never been something we’ve had a problem doing.
We know we have Monster now. We also know there’s no guarantees we’re going to have her a week from now. That’s life when your child has a chronic, life-threatening illness. We’ve been in this reality since she was a wee one.