I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for four years. It offers me a fantastic outlet to discuss my writing journey, talk about books I love, and on occasion share a deeper story from my life. I love taking a look back each year to see how others have interacted with my blog. This year–particularly in the past few months–it’s a bit bittersweet because of the post that has brought the most visitors to my blog. But at the same time, I’m glad that post has impacted so many who loved my friend.
On to the statistics I love. (I totally could play with spreadsheets all day.) But stick it out to the end because I just returned from the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Spring Conference (more on that later this week!), and I have two signed books to give away from authors I was privileged to meet there.
Top 10 Posts/Pages in the Past Year
10. MMGM: YOU’RE INVITED by Jen Malone & Gail Nall – Oh, I loved this book, so I’m glad people are still coming to read about it! Also, I met Jen in person this weekend, and she’s absolutely delightful.
9. What I’ve Learned in Four Years of Querying – Every year I learn something more about the querying process. Assuming I haven’t found an agent before I reach five years, look for the next one in July!
8. MMGM: ONCE UPON THE END by James Riley – Another awesome book. I read it on my own and then read the whole series out loud to my kids. Go read it!
7. 5 Signs You Should (or Shouldn’t) Be Tweeting Tomorrow – An updated version of another post you will see even higher on this list. This post is targeted specifically to writers considering pitching during Brenda Drake’s quarterly #PitMad on Twitter.
6. Before the Draft: Outlining in Scrivener – An older post, but it’s linked to on a Scrivener board somewhere.
5. About – Thanks for reading about me!
4. A Glimpse at My Agent Spreadsheet: Middle Grade Books I’ve Read – The post that started my page listing middle grade and young adult books agents represent.
3. 5 Signs You Should (or Shouldn’t) Be Submitting/Tweeting Tomorrow – The original post from No. 7, this one included #PitMad and another contest from Authoress, On the Block.
2. MG/YA Agents & Their Books – Aside from what I’m reading, my most updated page. Whenever I finish a book, I check the acknowledgements for the agent and add the book to this page, maintaining a resource for writers who want to read up on agents’ books before querying.
1. Remembering a Friend Lost Too Soon: Ashley Gammon – In January, my friend and former colleague Ashley passed away unexpectedly. I wrote this post as my own tribute to her, but I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of Ashley’s other friends who have reached out to me and said it meant so much to them as well. The statistics for this post are so high it’s likely to stay on my stats for many years, but I’m ok with that because it will keep Ashley’s memory strong.
Top 10 Posts/Pages of All Time
Many of these are the same, but humor me.
10. Series Recommendation: DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth – Maybe because of the movies? I see a lot of searches for DIVERGENT come through.
There’s actually a tie for No. 9. How random is it that there are two posts with the exact same number of hits? It makes the mathematical corner of my brain light up with giddiness. Both are repeats from last year, just down a couple of spots.
9. Why It’s So Hard to Get Your First Novel Published
9. MMGM: WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME Trailer Reveal, Interview and Giveaway!
7. MMGM: THE UNWANTEDS: ISLAND OF SILENCE
5. MMGM: SAMMY KEYES AND THE HOTEL THIEF
4. Before the Draft: Outlining in Scrivener
3. A Glimpse at My Agent Spreadsheet: Middle Grade Books I’ve Read
2. MG/YA Agents & Their Books
1. Remembering a Friend Lost Too Soon: Ashley Gammon
Top 5 Searches of the Past Year
We’re not going to count the 797 unknown searches as No. 1, although I really want to know what they were! I’m sure the known searches are a representative sample.
5. Searches for me! Or maybe not for me. I’m thinking the person who searched for “michelle mason, lost love of my life, where are you?” probably wasn’t looking for me–particularly since that’s my married name–but it still made me laugh.
4. Writing/Querying – I didn’t have quite as many writing/querying searches that led to my blog this year, so I’m going to think about that for the coming year. I’m not sure if that’s because I had less content or the searches weren’t finding me.
3. Agents who represent middle grade/young adult books – Interestingly, the most common search was for middle grade agents. I’m not surprised by this as it’s why I started the list in the first place–because I struggled to find a good list of MG books with the agents who represented them. Many searchers also landed on my blog by searching for specific agents.
2. Searches about Ashley – Many people were seeking answers about Ashley’s death in the weeks following it–and still are. I don’t have all of the answers, but if you end up at this post because she’s mentioned here, feel free to reach out.
1. Books I’ve reviewed – As always, by far the most people end up at my blog by searching for a book I’ve reviewed. Although you can probably tell from the list of popular posts above, I thought I’d highlight a few of the most searched:
- Divergent series by Veronica Roth
- THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND by Kasie West
- Half Upon A Time series by James Riley (most searched)
- The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
- PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen (totally homework questions)
- SAMMY KEYES AND THE HOTEL THIEF by Wendelin Van Draanen (also specific questions and the second most searched)
- The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann
So that wraps up my statistics from the past year. Is there anything else you’d like to see more of in the coming year? I’m always open to suggestions!
On to the giveaway! So, in January of 2015 I posted about the 2015 debuts I couldn’t wait to read, including MONSTROUS by MarcyKate Connolly. It’s a gorgeous middle grade now out in paperback (plus MarcyKate’s next book, RAVENOUS, is in hardback), and I have a signed copy. We’ve been chatting on Twitter for years, and she’s so lovely in person. But that’s not all! Also included in the giveaway is a signed paperback of THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Trisha Leaver. I was lucky enough to be included in a dinner group with Trisha and had several discussions with her. I’m excited about her other projects, too, but since I had already gushed about this book on the blog, I wanted to share it with one of you. So, to enter the giveaway for these two books, click on the link below. North America only, please.
Click here to enter to win signed paperbacks of MONSTROUS and THE SECRETS WE KEEP