2014 Bookwi.se Year in Review

Last night I read my post on my 2014 plans for Bookwi.se. I am not sure I accomplished any of them except for posting less. I posted a full 1/3 less posts in 2014 than 2013. And I still probably posted too much with 917 posts. But the good news is that my traffic is basically the same (down just a couple percentage points) with 1/3 less posts (and that does not include the increase in RSS and email subscriptions.)

And I am pleased that my book reviews are getting more traffic as a percent of the total traffic. I know I could read different books that would drive more traffic. New books, especially books of authors that will help drive traffic to my reviews, get a ton more traffic than reading older books. But I want to make decisions on my book reading based on interest, importance and quality, not traffic.

I know that you as a reader probably don’t care, but this year was financially better as well. I was able to have advertisers all year long and only rarely had an unfilled advertising spot. My Amazon referral income is stable even with less posts about free and/or sale kindle books. And I was able to give a token $5 a review to all the contributors.

This is still not a money making project. With advertising and referral income (before expenses) I am averaging just under $2 a post. But I doing something I enjoy and I hope readers get some benefit from it.

Below are the most read reviews of the year. 

Discovering Your Heart with the Flag Page Test by Mark Gungor

This is a 2011 post that has good search traffic and is constantly read. I find it odd that this has been leaps and bounds my most read book review. But I will take it.

Sex, Mom and God by Frank Schaeffer

This is another book that has consistent search traffic, but less suitable searches. The book is good but most searchers are not actually looking for a review of the book. The book itself is a good memoir about Frank Schaeffer and his relationship to his mom and how that altered some of the ways he thought about sex. Some he thought were good and some he has turned away from as he aged.

Unbroken: A Movie Review

This is the second newest post on the list. It is not a book review but a movie review. I was able to go to an advance screening and while I think the movie was technically well done, I think it missed the essential message of grace and forgiveness that was at the heart of the popularity of the book.

What Wives Wish their Husbands Knew about Sex: A Guide for Christian Men

I reposted this book earlier in the year because it was briefly free on kindle, but most of the traffic is from pinterest. I get a good bit of pinterest traffic, but as you will see below, it is mostly for the young adult book reviews. This book is by four counselors and psychologists and I think mostly pretty good. There is an occational ‘Christians can have mind blowing sex’ problem, but most of the book is really good.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

This was the first of Rainbow Rowell’s books that I read. While it is the most well known, I think it is my third favorite, but it is still very good. This and Fangirl are my two most popular pins on Pinterest and they are consistently read reviews.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I go back and forth between Fangirl and The Attachements being my favorite Rowell’s books. But I really enjoyed both. There are great characters and light romance in each of the books. But overwhelmingly it is just good stories that make me really happy to recommend all of Rowell’s books.

The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John Walton

This is a book that I am absolutely thrilled made the most read reviews list. Walton has a new book coming out soon on Genesis 2 and 3, which I think was a big hole in this initial book. But the big take away from the book is that you can take scripture seriously and not be a 7 day creationist. Walton doesn’t embrace evolution either, but takes a position that the first chapter of Genesis is not about the physical creation but about placing God above all other Gods and dedicating the earth as his temple. Pretty much everyone that I am aware of seems to have given real weight to this position even if they are not fully on board with it.

Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior

The world needs more good biography and I am glad that this has received such positive attention. It is the only 2014 book review on the list and it made my list of my favorite books of 2014.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I still have not seen the movie (although it is on my list of things to do this week.) But this was a great book and I am glad that it (and John Green) continue to get good attention.

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