Thursday, September 24, 2015

10 Years of CWBA

Civil War Books and Authors turned 10 earlier this month. It was definitely a different time back in 2005. Twitter didn't exist and Facebook was founded only the previous year. Blogging was a thing already but Civil War blogging certainly wasn't a popular pursuit. The really dedicated writers collectively could be counted on two hands with fingers to spare and there was a great deal of direct interaction between them. Like all things do, this changed over time. I liken it to freshman year dorm life when everyone worked and played together in the early glow of excitement before gradually striking out on their own individually or in small groups by the end of the second semester.

Way back when, the average blog lifespan was estimated at only two months (like that of a new flyer on the Western Front in 1917). CWBA didn't quite turn out as intended, instead morphing rapidly into a full on review journal, a situation which I am obviously fine with as I've been doing it for a decade. Since it has been and always will be a one-man operation, the website is by necessity a curated platform and it is my earnest hope that readers feel it original enough in content and emphasis to both keep on board current visitors and attract new ones.  The work vs. fun factor has sometimes lingered uncomfortably close to the former category but, after all this time, I still feel the passion when it comes to our little corner of the historical publishing world and certainly plan to continue on with the discussion into the foreseeable future.

17 comments:

  1. I am not sure when in the 10 years I came on board but I appreciate your "fun" and hope it is never too much "work."

    Your opinions on books are valued and trusted. Keep it up for 10 more years!

    Thank you.

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    1. At least 10 more.

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    2. Thanks, John. We shall see about the next ten!

      Drew

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  2. I can't even remember how I found this site, but it has been my go-to source for reviews and news about upcoming Civil War titles for several years. Your reviews are honest, and I've agreed with about 9 out of 10 of them after reading books I've seen profiled here. :)

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    1. That's not bad. I'm not happy with all of them after I write them, either! I could invite other people to contribute and publish a review a day but I think there is some value in reading the output of a single reviewer over a long period of time. It's why I liked Roger Ebert's website so much before he passed. You get a sense of the writer's general tastes, strengths/weaknesses, holes in knowledge, areas where too forgiving/not forgiving enough, and on and on. Over time you get a sense of where areas of trusted opinions lay. Thanks, Joel.

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  3. I've been following this site since right around the beginning; I actually thought it had been longer than 10 years. Regardless, it's the first CW blog I check every day. Your reviews focus on the stuff I like; Western and TM theatres plus obscure titles of which I would have never known without your review. Not much Gettysburg here, which is fine by me! On the other hand, this site has probably cost me money as your reviews have caused me to buy a lot more books, but I would probably have done that anyway.... Keep up the great work and thanks!!!!

    Andy Papen

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    1. Hi Andy,
      Sometimes it seems longer than 10 years for me, too. As much as I'd like to think that the Civil War crowd craves non-mainstream interest, I must say many of my highest page counts come from my occasional Gettysburg posts. Oh well.

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  4. John FoskettSeptember 25, 2015

    Drew: Congratulations. And keep it coming.

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    1. Thanks, John. You've been one of the few frequent commenters over the years.

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  5. Congratulations, Andrew - I've been honored to have some of my books reviewed on the site and have certainly been directed to new reading as well - it's a must-stop for me regularly in my blog reading - keep up the great work - jim

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  6. Drew: You do quality reviews, many of books that are ignored by most publications. Keep up the great work.

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    1. Thanks, Jim, and more thanks to your for all the help you've provided to me over the years when it comes to Missouri books and sources.

      Drew

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  7. Your blog is a regular read for me, and I especially appreciate your focus on books about the trans-Mississippi. Your book reviews are thorough and thoughtful. Hope you'll be writing for many years to come.

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    1. Thank you, Jane, and let me know when you are ready to do that Ellithorpe interview we discussed a while back.

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  8. Congrats. I visit regularly for book recomendations and have never been steered wrong.

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