Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Year in "Review"

Well, BookLinker is now officially a one-year old!

On the off chance anyone is interested, here are some BookLinker benchmarks:

- In the last year, BookLinker has reviewed 38 books, not quite the "one book per week" I was aiming at, but not bad considering....I've read probably three times as many.

- BookLinker has received 2418 unique visitors in the past year. It's not Instapundit, but I'm pleased! My busiest single day was courtesy of Jerry Pournelle (the sci-fi writer) who kindly linked a book recommendation I dropped him and sent me 45 people in one day. Most days I average 6 visitors and, while I am happy to have the 6, I wouldn't mind increasing that traffic a tad, so if you blog, and you happen by the site and like what you see, I'd be pleased for a link and some mention (translation: Please send me some traffic, link to me - please, please, I'm beggin' ya...).

- Despite the malarky at the start of the page concerning the funding of my early retirement, my role as an Amazon associate works out to considerably less than minimum wage. In the past year, I've cleared $6.37 in Amazon commissions ($4.35 of which came in my whirlwind "Christmas rush" recently - that was two sales). Consider that each review generally takes about an hour to write and another hour (sometimes longer) to develop the subject links, and you are looking at probably about 85 hours worth of labor (not counting reading time), for a return of roughly $0.075 per hour. At this rate, I will be able to afford a 612 Scaglietti in another 43,000 years. I can hardly wait!

- A couple of people have commented to me that I tend to review too many non-fiction (in particular nautical-related history). Well, as I warned you at the start, you are stuck with my particular reading tastes and lately it has been inclined towards the non-fiction arena, mainly due to the relative dearth of fiction that has been appealing to me in the past year. Tough on you, but who knows, try reading some of the books or throw me some suggestions via email or the comments system. I love feedback and unfortunately recieve it very limited amounts...Maybe I should throw up some intense political debates on this site instead....Naw!

- Someone else noted that I seem to love all the books I read. Actually, no I don't. I do, however, tend to review the books I like best, so negative reviews just don't happen - they get filtered out by my own energy and enthusiasm. Unlike newspaper or "real" book reviewers, I'm doing this out of choice not (as you can see from the above sums) for the princely wages that blogging provides. This frees me from the onerous task of reviewing books I despise or dislike...except when I choose to.

- One of the single best comments I received during the year was actually from Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club, which I reviewed. He commented via email "Thanks so much for the nice write-up of my novel on your website. I really appreciate such thoughtful and well-written comments. By the way, great site!", praise that almost made me blush.... Garrett Soden, author of Falling, also emailed some great site feedback and was kind enough to bring the site to the attention of Howard Owens who also very kindly threw up a link (thanks Howard!).

Damn nice of 'em to notice.

In closing, I just wanted to say thanks to all BookLinker readers for your many visits (and for the $6.37). I hope you continue to drop by, link to us and tell all your friends. Maybe in 2004 I can clear the $10 minimum necessary for Amazon to actually mail me a check!

Thanks! Keep on blogging!

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