Saturday, September 5, 2020

A Decade of Blogging

It was the Spring of 2010, a far happier, more innocent time for us all. Something must have been in the air, because that was the time a bunch of geeky South African book lovers decided to try out this whole book blogging thing. It all happened more or less spontaneously and as luck (or fate) would have it a bunch of us launched our respective book blogs around the same time.  At that time book blogs were a relatively new concept and especially in South Africa the book blogging community was just starting out. Working with publishers was pretty much unheard of and review copies were something reserved for mainstream media outlets.

Worlds In Ink officially launched on 5 September 2010 with a truly horrendous review of Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist. (Trust me. It's bad. The review, not the book. You definitely don't need to go looking for it). When I decided to become a book blogger I didn't quite know what I was letting myself in for. While I'm a voracious reader, writing has never been something that comes naturally to me. Especially with English being my second language expressing myself adequately and coherently can be an agonising process with literal hours spent shifting words around trying to find the perfect phrase. And it never seems good enough. I think that's one of the reasons I've never been a very prolific blogger, but I'd like to think that, at the very least, I've improved immensely since that very first post.

Many of the people who started out at the same time as I did have moved on to other things. Somehow, against all odds, I'm still plugging away at this blogging thing and still enjoying what I do. These past ten years have been a truly amazing journey. I've met some awesome people along the way and forged friendships through this shared love of books. Friendships which would have never been possible otherwise.

And of course the blog wouldn’t even exist without the brilliant publicists and publishers with whom I've had the pleasure to work with over the years. Pan Macmillan SA will forever have a special place in my heart for being the very first publisher willing to take a chance on my little fledgling blog. The wonderful folks at Jonathan Ball Publishers continue to spoil me with a treasure trove of books (actual physical review copies!) on a regular basis and each time a parcel arrives from them I can't help but squee in delight. A huge thank you also has to go to Umuzi, Penguin Random House, Tor UK, Tor, Forge, Hodder, Gollancz, Solaris and Tachyon Press and all the other international publishers who make digital  review copies available to us folks at the tip of Africa. Words aren’t adequate to express my gratitude for all your continued support over the last decade.

I still can't believe that I've been doing this for ten years. A decade seems like an eternity and yet the time just flew past. I hope that I'll be able to do this until I go to the great library in the sky when Mount TBR inevitably crushes me to death. Until then there are books waiting to be read...

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