The Best and Worst of January

So where did January go?  It was all a blur for me, even though I broke my October record (December was a complete write-off) in monthly stats.  I went from 5,421 views in November to 5,616 in January.  Not a huge increase, but at least it’s an increase.

I say that at least it’s an increase because although the month started out strong, traffic has petered off to less than 150 views per day in the past two weeks.  Whether that is from the fact that a lot of schools are having exams right now or the fact that I haven’t been posting as many reviews remains to be seen.  Or maybe it’s because I haven’t had a good rant in a while.  Time will tell, I suppose.

Now let’s look at the most popular articles, shall we?

1. The Hunger Games and Ancient Rome

2. Ascend by Amanda Hocking

3. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

4. Matilda by Roald Dahl

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

Those of you that have been sort of following my “The Best and Worst of” series will recognize numbers 1 and 3-5, but are probably going “Huh?” at #2.  So am I.  In the span of one night, with all of the referrals coming from very few unique visitors from Yahoo Images, I received 294 views on Ascend by Amanda Hocking.  Could it be spam?  I have absolutely no idea.  But I’m certainly not complaining, so let’s look at the first worst of January:

1. Painted Blind by Michelle Hansen

2. Three Great Reasons to Read as a Teenager

3. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

4. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

5.  My Interview with Andrew Levkoff

None of the ‘worst’ articles are really that surprising, except that we have a first: a guest poster’s post is on the list.  Now why Caleb’s lovely article about reading as a teenager is on this list, I’ll never know.  But the rest of the articles?  They aren’t exactly popular books or the kind of things that people stumble upon using popular search terms.  Oh well.

So how was your January (stats-wise or life-wise)?


  1. Carla Hanna

    Your observations correlate with the surge of advertisements I’ve received from indie book marketing groups in January. You and I have commented about how insane it makes both of us for indie authors to pay for good reviews. I have received so many solicitations in the last three weeks. I’m assuming it has something to do with Amazon’s KDP select program. For the holidays, Amazon wanted to sell Kindle Fires and tout the millions of free books it had for users. We authors could agree to the 3-month Kindle exclusive, which allows Free days. Amazon doubled the lender fund to $1.4 million as an enticement. I noticed a huge increase in free books thereafter. Of course, that meant we patient authors were even more invisible and authors desperatately flocked to the indie book marketers. My guess is readers are busy reading free books now. I also guess the blogging industry will soon emerge.

    • Carrie Slager

      You know what’s sad? I had no idea this was going on until you told me.

      Free books are great, but it seems like Amazon is pushing things too far this time. I mean, most authors don’t make all that much money! Despite the fact free books are eating into your attention and profits, I hope you continue to hold out against paying for reviews. It’s absolutely wrong, even if it does cause a surge in the blogging industry.

      As for me, I’ll never write fake reviews in return for money. Money is too expensive to be earned that way.

  2. CarlaJHanna

    Interesting, my second paragraph didn’t post. Here it is:

    To tie back my thoughts to why your Amanda Hocking article received attention is my guess that it is connected to the tremendous success she experienced as an indie author. Tons of these marketing solicitations refer to her success. I’m sure many authors searched “Hocking” on Google.

    • Carrie Slager

      Yes, but that doesn’t answer why the search term was for the book and ‘amanda hockings’, her name spelled wrong. There were over 250 views coming from the same source: Yahoo Image Search. And the article in question hasn’t received many views since. It’s just weird.

      • CarlaJHanna

        You’re right. That is weird. You’re also right that fake reviews are wrong. Soon the ratings won’t mean much and readers will have to choose books for themselves from reading honest bloggers or actually reading sample chapters before investing time. This year will be interesting for the indie book industry as free content surges. Thank you for blogging.

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