Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Milestones of a sort

Eric's recent post reminded me that my own two year anniversary had passed earlier in the month. On a different note, the counter on CWBA just passed the 100,000 mark. Sure, that "event" is reached in 5 seconds on any of a number of pop culture websites, but I suppose it is somewhat noteworthy for a Civil War blog.

Spanning the past two years, a few random observations or points of interest...

-I still enjoy the writing, and have no plans on quitting anytime soon. I appreciate that most of the bloggers in the CW sphere have some angle that's unique to some degree. Thankfully there are many more births of worthwhile blogs than RIPs, ensuring a healthy population for the immediate future.[add. actually, after taking a look at the inactive list on Dimitri's blog sidebar, I may be wrong about this]

-The number of quarterly visits here continues to increase around %50 as compared with the same period from the previous year. However, I get the feeling an equilibrium will be reached sooner rather than later.

-While there are some conservative holdouts among prominent university presses, the overwhelming majority of publishers have embraced (or at least warmed to) the idea of having their books reviewed by bloggers.

-Civil War novels are everywhere. Of the emails I receive, the greatest number come from authors and publishers of CW fiction. Unfortunately, I have to turn them all down. Life is short, and (for me) non-fiction history is an infinitely more attractive way to spent my limited reading time.

-I am very pleased with the current state of Civil War publishing. There are more outlets than ever for prospective authors, and readers adventurous enough to invest their own time in the search for interesting books continue to be rewarded.

-Proper book packaging is a lost art. It doesn't matter what entity sends it or how much is charged for shipping, a book arriving at my doorstep in truly New condition is a rarity. While review copies are always welcomed, it baffles me (and saddens me as a collector) that publishers are seemingly unconcerned with the first impression their product presents me with as it arrives in an unsightly, mangled condition. The post office is only a small part of the problem, the thing just isn't given a chance. The misused bubble mailer is a curse to book collectors.

-While substantial work remains to be done in the areas of cost and quality, I am intrigued by print-on-demand (POD) publishing. The vast majority remains a horrific reinforcement of the vanity press stereotype, but POD is an increasingly viable alternative for those publishing non-commercial monographs. In particular, creditable authors of local Civil War history are experiencing great success with it.

Well, that's enough anniversary-inspired-all-over-the-board musing for the time being. I am always striving to improve the content here at CWBA, and I hope you continue to find this site to be a useful resource.

5 comments:

  1. Congrats to you, Drew. Glad that you're still going strong.

    I'm a big fan and appreciate that you can read all those things for which I'll never have time, and point to the worthwhile.

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  2. Drew,

    Yours is the very first Civil War blog I read each day. Keep up the good work and keep feeding me interesting new books to buy!

    Brett S.

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  3. Drew,

    Congratulations on your longevity. Glad to hear you've no plans to cut back. Yours has been one of my two or three CW blogs from the start, and for my particular interests, the most useful of all.

    Dave

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  4. of course that was supposed to have read, "Yours has been one of my two or three *favorite* CW blogs from the start..."

    dw

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  5. Thanks guys, for the kind words and the encouragement. I've found the key to longevity is in amassing a sizable reserve of posts to be dribbled out when I get a little burned out or am reading a huge tome.

    Drew

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