December 22, 2016

2016 Wrap-Up: I Did Little with My Blog, Except I Didn't

Hello my beauties!
Welcome to my last post of the year, where I will wrap my 2016 up (though it would be better to pretend it never happened to begin with LOL). I failed at a lot of things this year, but a selected few did manage to put a smile on my face notwithstanding...

Pt. 1: This Year in Blogging

As of today, I've been blogging for 4 years and a couple of months. With various grades of success LOL.

This is what happened on Offbeat YA during the year, broken down by number of posts, events I took part in, books I reviewed, authors I interacted with and discussion posts I wrote...

a) Numbers

This is my 36th post this year *hangs head in shame*. I managed to produce an average of 3 articles per month, while my goal was to post at least once a week - the same goal I had last year, only I got stuck at 41 posts, which is better than 36 anyway...(...where's a roll-eyes emoji when you need one? well, at least we finally HAVE emojis on Blogger...).
Only 17 of my 2016 posts were reviews (which is still better than the 16 of 2014 and the 9 - I said NINE - of 2015). A handful of them were ARCs or barely-out-of-print books (of the digital variety). Why, with the year I've had (especially the second half), I'm quite proud of having managed to write 17 reviews. Especially since 9 of those books were in PDF form, and I struggle with reading on my PC (of course it's not portable, and the very act of reading on a screen makes me restless).
Oh, about numbers...I managed to win my second and third giveaway this year! The first (in July) offered an ecopy of Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari (aaand I still have to review it, I feel so bad about that!). The second was hosted by The Regal Critiques book blog, and I got to choose a PHYSICAL copy of a horror-and-the-likes book for their Spooky October (I also guest-posted for it!). I chose The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman. Thank you Veronika and Ruzaika!

b) Events and memes

Yes, I'm very aware the video is reversed. Not my fault 😉.

I miserably failed at them 😭. The thing is, I'm not very much inclined to take part in memes and such when they require my weekly attention or are particularly time-consuming, but I do like small/short events/memes. This year, I didn't manage to attend a single one. NO. FRIGGIN'. TIME. As for my own would-be article series, Screen Time, I only managed to produce ONE post: Dear Screenwriters, You Have No Right - about those TV series that get ruined by too many years of running time AND the weird screenwriters' ideas for them...

c) Reviews

These are the books I reviewed this year, broken down by genres/Reading Rooms:

Christopher Pike: Black Knight | Strange Girl.
Afterlife: Deadgirl: Ghostlight by B.C. Johnson (ARC review).
Supernatural: Beyond by Graham McNamee | The Mark of Noba by GL Tomas | Nine Candles of Deepest Black by Matthew S. Cox (ARC review).
Sci-fi: The Mariner King by Robert Schell (new book) | Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman.
Contemporary: This Above All by Lindsey Roth Culli (ARC review) | Contemporary with a Twist: Naming the Stars by Susan Koefod (new book).
Unwalled: Dark Passages by Ilsa J. Bick (series review) | The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma | Prelude to Mayhem by Edward Aubry (new book).
Adult: Unhappenings by Edward Aubry | Windows into Hell by James Wymore et al. (short story anthology - new book).
Also, I posted a couple of Review Morsels installments: the first featuring Nova Ren Suma, Dawn Kurtagich and Ilsa J. Bick, the second featuring Matthew S. Cox, Alison Goodman and Jeri Smith-Ready.

d) Author interactions

Edward Aubry, GL Tomas, Troy H. Gardner

In March, the author of Just a Few Inches, Tara St. Pierre, guest-posted of my blog about her book, plus she treated my readers to an excerpt and a generous giveaway!
In July I interviewed Edward Aubry, author of Unhappenings and Prelude to Mayhem (see Reviews section above). I hold a high opinion of him, because - unlike some writers - he doesn't take criticism personally, and understands the value of honest reviews. Also, he had a few nice things to say about me - which didn't turn me into a biased reviewer, I swear 😉.
In September, my friend Guinevere Tomas (from the GL Tomas writing duo) guest-posted on my blog about intersectionality in books. Whatever you choose to read from my 2016 recap, you'd better not skip her post if you haven't read it already!
Off-blog: in October, I beta-read a YA solo project by Troy H. Gardner, co-author of the Mad World series (in progress). It's a mix of contemporary and supernatural with quirky characters and funny dialogue, and I hope it finds its way to publication - and from there, to stardom - soon! In the meantime, you can read an entertaining YA novel of Troy's on Wattpad!
Again, off-blog: in December, I volunteered to beta-read a TV pilot for a 13-episode series by Allison Rose (author of Tick). Do you know this woman almost sold a Charmed script when she was 19 years old? Good luck to grown-up her with Wilde Girl - I hope the series will make it to our screens soon!

e) Discussion posts

January: Bloggers to Authors: Where Do You Cross the Line?
February: The Age Gap in YA: When Is Young Too Young?
July: Why I Don't Suffer from ARC Envy (I Swear I Don't) (which doesn't sound like a discussion from the title I gave it, but indeed it was meant to be...).
September: Why Ratings Give Me A Headache (Sometimes) (see above...).
All of the above are still open to comments and contributions!
Also, not a discussion post, but if you want to know me better...August: ...In Which I Spill My Secrets.
I meant to write a discussion post about the rise of bookstagrammers/booktubers and the apparent loss of appeal of written reviews (inspired by a couple of comments made by Anila and Tessa on Twitter), but Brin beat me to it. Yay, less work! 😂 Seriously, you should pay her a visit and comment!

Pt. 2: Goals for 2016

Like in my 2015 recap, I would like to say I'll stick with a schedule of a post per week (WHAT is a post per week, really?), but I've already failed this year and the year before, so I know it's not feasible. Unless my life unburdens itself from a number of things...which realistically, I can't see happening. But I'm sticking with this blog because...well, it's my one and only outlet, plus my one and only connection with the rest of the world. Some of you already know I don't have a social life, for...well, let's say, REASONS, and let's leave it at that. My job as a radio host used to bring me joy and to make me feel like I could express myself, until it became a chore (again, REASONS...). Also, I genuinely like to talk about books and recommend good ones and interact with authors who may be less known, but by no means are less worthy. It's the reason why I started blogging (minus the authors part, because never ever would I have dreamt of that), and one of the reasons I'm doing it now (along with the outlet and socialisation part).

Pt. 3: Holidays Hiatus

Well, really, more like my usual couple of weeks off LOL. While I'm waiting for my books (the ones I always order this time of the year) to arrive! What with my birthday and Christmas being close to each other, I always treat myself with a bunch of physical books from this Italian webseller that also sports a rather wide selection of books in English. I'll let you know what I got!

In the end...

I found a Black Santa! Nothing better to make a statement this year...

See you next year! Take care :).


  1. You did GREAT this year. Roby- 3 posts per month when you targeted on 4 is actually quite good!!! Good luck for next year- I'm sure you'll outdo yourself! Also, consider doing more discussion posts- you have quite the flair for them and I love what you come up with!
    Here's to more blog posts, giveaway wins and happiness!

    1. Ah, yes, discussion posts, I love them...I hope to have the time and mind to do more of them in 2017...thank you! And thank you for your unwavering support!

  2. I really appreciate your notes, Roberta! It was a great help, even if you don't realize it. :)

    1. I hope so! Thank you - it was a pleasure :).

  3. That Black Santa was everything! And great post!

    1. Haha, I found it quite by chance, but it was a precious find!

      And thank you girls :).

  4. I think you really did amazing things this year! You may not have posted as often as you wanted to, but who really does? I definitely did not make my goal of posting twice a week either. But that does not mean that the things I did post were not good.
    Plus, you got to work with some amazing authors! Not every blogger gets to do that. It is awesome that your blog is growing, even if you don't think it is.
    Also, you really improved with social media. I really love all of the tweets you have written this year!

    1. LOL, at least we are each other's cheerleader! But really, I want to say "thank you", and I do feel uplifted by your comments and encouragements. Here's hope that mine work the same for you!
      And thank you for validating my tweets - I do get the occasional like, but with such a small trail of followers as mine, it's not easy to be sure if one's attempt at being funny or meaningful has met its purpose...

    2. Your comments always manage to make my day! Even though I don't have the biggest fan base, I know that you will always be listening.
      Also, don't feel bad about tweeting. Twitter is a place to really be yourself on the Internet, regardless of whether or not people like your tweets. I have also found that it is hard to grow Twitter followers and it takes a lot more time than with other social media sites.

    3. Though we are of different ages (well, I'm still not sure how old you are exactly, but I'm positive you're not 50 haha) and rarely read the same books, for some reason I always feel at home on your blog and talking to you. I keep thinking we should really join forces. Too bad we both love our own blog too much, because we would be a great dynamic duo! :D

  5. I'm late! Well, I read it on time but just now getting back to commenting. lol

    Happy New Year Roberta and I think you are way too hard on yourself when it comes to blogging! (but most of us are) You have great content and cover things that most blogs overlook.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. That's why I'm not popular LOL. But it was my original aim, so I can't complain ;).

      Thank you and happy 2017 to you too!

  6. Happy 4th blogversary. Never beat yourself up over how many posts you did or didn't write. Think rather that your followers had 36 chances to get to know you and connect with you. 🌻

    1. Haha, you know how to make one see one's glass half full. Thank you!

  7. Happy New Year! It doesn't matter if you fail in any mission as long as you don't give up on reading!

    1. I won't! I have been reading since I was 4, so I'm not likely to stop anytime soon ;).

      Happy New Year to you too!

  8. I think keeping a blog and posting as much as you did in 2016 is amazing! So much time and effort put in and stil having a life outside of the blog takes so much dedication and you've done it for 4 years plus. Congrats!

    1. Thank you! I feel validated by comments like yours :).

  9. Your blog is your place, so you only have to worry about pleasing yourself here. Of course, it's always good to have goals, but I'd say post as much as you can and don't stress about it. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  10. Maintaining a blog can be hard work, and it looks like you've done so much with yours! :D I hope you'll continue to enjoy blogging in the next year!

    1. If the amount of work one did on one's blog is measured against the time one actually had to tend to it, maybe I have LOL. Thank you, and yes, I plan on enjoying blogging in the next year AND for a long time!

  11. Congrats on a good year! I know it can be difficult to balance life and a blog but you're doing an amazing job. Best of luck this new year :)

  12. Congrats on wrapping-up your 4th year of blogging. 36th posts isn't horrible, and it just gives you something to improve on in 2017. :)

    1. Haha, let's put it this way ;). Thank you!


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