Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Five Years On: The Ever-Changing World of Books and Blogging.

Image via We Heart It

Well, I've just had a fun trip back through the blog archives. Let's rewind for a sec. The year is 2010, the YA paranormal explosion is in full swing, Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall is the book everyone's talking about, and somewhere out there, a lady named Veronica Roth is writing epic things about a girl named Tris and a boy named Four. But nobody has heard of Veronica Roth just yet. Oh, how things have changed...

There have been so, so many changes in the reading and blogging world in the past five years.  I don't usually do much to celebrate milestones on this blog, but it's five years later, and I fancied a look through the archives, so here we go.

Here are five big changes in books and blogging that have happened in the past five years.

The Death of Paranormal Fiction.
OK, OK, Paranormal fiction hasn't, nor will it ever, die. But you have to admit that it's taken a back seat lately. Cast your mind five years back. Thanks to the success of Twilight Paranormal fiction was EVERYWHERE. When I started this blog I was hooked on Shiver, Hush Hush and Alyson Noel's The Immortals. I couldn't get enough of Vampires, Demons and Werewolves. Funnily enough, as I'm writing this, I'm actually reading a Paranormal YA - something I have done for ages now. So, maybe it's making a comeback already. Remember the Angel explosion in YA of a few years back - and the Fae. Remember when Faerie books where the hot new thing?! Vampires are still my faves, FYI.  I'm old school like that. Although I'll have a forever soft spot for Cynthia Hand's angel-themed Unearthly series.


The Dystopian Fiction Explosion.
I just had a look through the Dystopian fiction archive on the blog, and let's just say that now I'm even more thankful for my guest reviewers!   It's safe to say that I didn't really welcome the explosion in popularity of Dystopian fiction with open arms. I'm not a huge fan. I guess I just find it all so bleak and depressing.  There are books that I like -even love-  in the genre: Never Let Me Go is one of my all time faves, I loved The Hunger Games series (when I finally got around to reading it!) and I'm a big fan of Divergent (and Four) but as for the rest, I can take or leave them. I haven't read any Dystopian Fiction in ages - not since I finished Allegiant, and I think the genre is a little worn out these days. I remember the fanfare around the release of Delirium, Matched and all the rest: and it seemed that every day I had an email in my inbox heralding the arrival of the new Hunger Games. For me, of the Dystopian fiction I've read, Divergent is the only book that even comes close to THG. A lot of the Dystopian fiction I read was really, really slow moving, and well, boring.


eBooks and how Netgalley Changed Everything
Ha! So in my trip back through the archives I happened upon a post in which I announced I had no intention of ever getting an eReader, proudly declaring in my review policy that I did not accept eBooks, thank you very much. Then Netgalley happened, I read a few books on Adobe Digital Editions my computer, and decided that yeah, that wasn't going to work, and soon I was sitting pretty with my shiny new pink eReader. Remember the excitement when HarperTeen signed up to Netgalley? Remember the joy of auto-approval!! Of course, today we have Edelweiss too, but that wasn't around back then, it was just Netgalley. Oh, and Galley Grab - but that didn't stick around.

Before Netgalley we had book tours. Remember them? Wow. The days of book tours (and having a week to read the book before sending it on) seem so long ago!


UKYA Totally Arrived
So, I'm pretty sure UKYA existed five years ago, but back when I started blogging, I didn't really know about it. The first UKYA book I remember hearing about in any great detail or with any great social media fanfare was Cat Clarke's debut, Entangled. Nowadays, Cat Clarke, along with James Dawson,  Sarah Alderson, Keren David and a whole host of others is a UKYA superstar and UKYA just seems to be growing in strength with each passing year. Also, in the past five years I've gone from reading absolute zero UKYA to counting down the days to certain releases: Dawn Kurtagich's The Dead House is top of my 2015 UKYA wish list. My all time UKYA faves are Cat Clarke's Undone and Cruel Summer by James Dawson. I also loved Lobsters by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen - such a great summer read!


New Adult Fiction Was the Hottest Thing Around.
New Adult Fiction or NA as we now know it arrived with a bang a few years back via the medium of self-publishing. New Adult fiction was fun, it was flirty and it was risque, crossing the PG boundaries of YA. I jumped on board, reading books by Molly McAdams, Tammara Webber, Cora Carmack and Colleen Hoover to name a few. Traditional publishers were quick to react: snapping up all these self-publishing superstars and their established fan bases. Suddenly NA was everywhere. Now, I'm not sure: I know Colleen Hoover is still really popular, but I have to admit that I haven't really been keeping tabs on NA. Most NA I read followed a formula, and I tired of it quickly. The only New Adult book I ever recommend as one of my favourites is Deeper by Robin York. During the NA Explosion years I read a lot of NA that was pretty, um, bad. This also happened with Paranormal YA during that explosion. Yikes.  Let's not even go there.

*****

There you have it. Five things that have changed in the world of books and blogging during the past five years. I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane!

What major changes have you noticed in the world of books and blogging since those days of crazy Twilight fandom when we were all so obsessed with Rpattz's hair?  Let me know in comments!

19 comments :

  1. ChristinaBookAddict25 March 2015 at 11:48

    Wow- you brought up some things I have forgotten about --- Galley Grab for starters.... I remember you told me about that and about Edelweiss b/c I am always the last person on the planet to know what's going on in the book blogging community. haha. I never really got on board with the dystopian craze. I read and loved Hunger Games, but never even finished the Divergent series (shocking, I know) and a few others that everyone seems to love. I still love my paranormal fiction as well. I hope there is a rebirth of it in some way. And Netgalley/Edelweiss--- definitely made my life better...those blog/ARC tours were brutal with only having one week...ahhh the stress. Thanks for taking us down memory lane! Happy Blogoversary!

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  2. Ha! Yes! So much stress with those ARC tours!

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  3. Really fun look at the past few years. I'm pretty glad to see the decline in paranormals and dystopians. I'm pretty much ignoring NA at this point though :) And a huge hurrah for UKYA!

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  4. Wow, that's pretty interesting! I haven't been blogging for that long--about 9 months--but when I think about most of those things, I totally see what you mean. I remember being totally into Twilight, and everyone trying to ride its coattails as the genre was spotlighted. Same with the Hunger Games. While I'm not really into Paranormal much, I do love a good Dystopian :) (Allegiant though? No thanks). I haven't got into NetGallet much. I have an ereader, but I just don't really like reading on it that much. Congrats on your 5 year blogiversary!

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  5. Loved this post, wow things have changed! It didn't even occur to me that book blogs existed back then, I was just stalking my local book store, taking a chance that that book with the awesome cover would be amazing inside too! Happy blogoversary! Here's to many more years!

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  6. julie tearjerky26 March 2015 at 15:06

    Woah. You really had me reminiscing back there. :) My blog's only two years old so I can only relate to some of the things you pointed out. I agree there's fewer paranormal YA now than before. Thanks to Twilight, vampires and werewolves were the thing back then. I also read my fair share of paranormal, though I admit I'm not much of a fan. I think today it's the fantasy and contemporary genre that are popular. And yes, the dystopian explosion. I blame it on The Hunger Games. LOL :D New Adult has stayed popular ever since the genre was born. Although, I don't see a lot of selection on NA. NetGalley is heaven sent! I'm not addicted to it; I don't request a lot at a time, but it's definitely helpful for bloggers. :)

    ~Julie @ Books and Insomnia

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  7. Liz @ Planet Print26 March 2015 at 16:28

    You know, thinking about it, I haven't read a proper paranormal YA in a long time! Makes me feel like picking one up. And I was definitely part of the dystopian craze. There was one point where I was almost solely reading dystopian, though I have to say I am not as obsessed as I once was (I think I've just read too many now :P). I haven't kept up with NA really either - just never was a fan. But NetGalley, oh NetGalley. What would I do without? I am so glad it exists! Though I do kind of miss Galley Grab. I read a few really great books through there. Can't believe it's been five years - congrats!

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  8. Quite like Holly Bourne (UKYA writer). Was really impressed by Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting wasn't bad. She's got a feminist trilogy coming up which sounds cool.

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  9. Yeah - I've pretty much gone the same way with NA! I'm hoping for a paranormal comeback at some point. :)

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  10. Thanks, Beth! I remember when I started blogging every second book was a total Twi-Alike! Love triangles everywhere!

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  11. I know! It seems so long ago. You are right about fantasy & contemps - that's what's popular right now. I don't read fantasy at all - just not something I'm into. Any fantasy reviews on here are most likely guest reviews. :)

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  12. Thanks, Liz! I'm pretty sure Galley Grab was meant to make a comeback but it never happened. S&S books are on Edelweiss now but having that GG email land in your inbox was exciting, all the same. I'm actually reading a paranormal YA right now and it's a lot of fun - I hadn't read one in ages before this.

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  13. I read Soulmates and it wasn't a fave of mine but still planning on reading The Manifesto... That one sounds good! :)

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  14. I've been thinking the same things and looking back at my posts. The blog tour books thing made me laugh. I was so excited about them, they'd take forever to come as sent all around the world! And then I'd have a week to read :S I do miss that kind of interaction though in the blog community, it seems so different these days. The Angel thing was huge...still the most visited posts on my blog even now. And OMG...I was just thinking it's been so long since I've read a YA paranormal and really fancy one. I need your recommendations!

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  15. I know! So much pressure with the book touring. I don't know how we did it. The kids have it so easy these days! ;-p The paranormal I just read is Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Geir - it's not perfect by any means but I had a lot of fun reading it. Kind of refreshing to read paranormal YA after so long! Maybe I just needed a big break!

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  16. This is really interesting, I haven't been book blogging for long so hearing about these themes is almost like a bit of a recent history. It's helped a lot! I can't wait to see the changes that happen next!

    Emily

    http://paperchainblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  17. Oh, haha, I LOVE this post (sorry, I bookmarked it FOREVER ago and am only just now going back through my book marks).

    I started pretty much the same time as you so I had a very similar experience. I was very connected to the blogging world in those days and it feels so different to now!

    I am so glad you are going strong -- I always read all your posts (sorry, I am so bad at coming over to actually comment-- I am frequently ashamed of myself!) and I have gotten many good reading recs from you -- so thanks!

    Hope all is good and you're enjoying life :) x Nomes

    and congrats on all your blogging years!

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  18. Aw, thanks Nomes! I've gotten many good recs from you over the years too! x :)

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