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2016 Yearly Reflection - The Words



Ahh! The year of 2016 is over! Some might say it's a good thing, because 2016 has been pretty bad. I guess I can agree in some ways, but that doesn't mean that 2016 was completely bad! I mean, it might have had some downs, but let's give it some credit, okay? And let's hope it was alright because this is my first yearly reflection, even though we haven't had this blog or our bookstagram for a full year yet. (Shhh.)

What I plan to do in this yearly reflection is very similar to what I do in my monthly reflections. I'm going to look over everything, see what went wrong and what went right, what could use some fixing or tweaking, what needs to go and what needs to come, etcetera etcetera. I will also show you almost everything that I have planned for 2016, which, frankly, isn't a lot.

But anyway, let's begin! (This might take a bit.)

March - Beginnings

March! It was Saturday, March 12th when Em and I created our bookstagram and blog. We published a welcome post on the blog and some little "introductory posts" on Instagram, but it wasn't until the following Monday that we actually had some good content. These were the days in which our photography and editing skills were certainly something, but the nice thing was that Em helped me out with the blog! (As you can see, I'm not the best at keeping the schedule all by myself, haha.)

We only had 32 followers by the end of the month, at least according to the monthly reflection I had whipped up. (The first one, too! Here comes nostalgia.) There's one line in there that I think is a bit funny. I was talking about having a low amount of readers and followers, how it didn't matter, blah blah blah, that we would "still be doing [it] whether it be with 20 people or 1,000" and that we might "be a bit lucky in the way that we don't have as much pressure put on us!" I just find it funny that we're past 1,000 followers now and I still don't worry much. (Should I...?)

April - Trying to Get Situated 

Next up is April! (Obviously. Whoops.) Emily's decreasing interest in the blog was starting to show. Especially in our April 2016 Reflection, which she wrote. I remember she was not happy to write that, clearly shown in her first goal for May listed in that post ("make blogging less of a chore"). She still wrote three posts for that month, however, I did have to write a post for one of her posting days. 

For those of you who didn't know, Em used to write posts for Fridays. We were also supposed to alternate who wrote the monthly reflections, but April's reflection turned out to be her first and last.

As for our bookstagram, we only posted twice a week, but once we posted - don't get too excited - three times a week! Wow! (If you can't tell, I'm using an extreme amount of sarcasm.) Our feed also wasn't exactly pleasing, as we posted a lot of posts with text. 

May - Slow Progress

By the end of May, we had hit 80 followers, and while Em was not too happy, I was excited. Ah: the simpler days. We had also started to participate in shoutout-for-shoutouts, which helped us in our slow but visible progress on our journey. Journeys also include lows, and for May, that was dropping in pageviews for the blog by about 29%. Em also only wrote one post for the whole of May, with me writing the ones she missed.

June - New Experiences

June marked the start of a lot of new things for us! For one thing, it was our first month trying a photo challenge, and our first month with some pictures from Em's camera! Not that we really knew what we were doing in terms of using it or editing, haha. But we did hit 100 followers, so we must have been doing something right!

June was also a very independent month for me. It was my first month that I wrote all of the blog posts on my own. I also ended up taking pictures on my own with my phone instead of with Em and her camera. As some of you may know, she has another account, and she put a lot of her time testing her camera and such with that account. I still wasn't comfortable with the idea of taking pictures on my own, so we ended up not completing the photo challenge.

July - Big Time Independence

Did I say I was independent in June? Whoops. Talk about July! Once again, I wrote all of the blog posts for the blog, and I actually took almost all of the pictures on my own! While I used some of the pictures that I had once taken with Em, most of the pictures were my own. I couldn't figure out a theme, though, so they were all over the place: outdoor stacks and flatlays, indoor flatlays and stacks and such, props and no props, and good editing nowhere to be found! (I didn't even edit the pictures, haha.)

While I was doing things on my own, it was a good month. Pageviews for the blog increased, we got more followers and likes on our pictures, and I completed all of my goals for the month. A beautiful thing it is: having more time to devote to the blog and bookstagram in the summer.

August - Quickly Escalating 

August was a shockingly amazing month for us! We gained 278 followers in one month, which was a huge increase in comparison to previous months. We were also featured on three accounts, two bookstagram feature accounts (@bookstagramfeatures and @bookworm_insta) and one featuring "what's funky fresh in YA" (@yainsider). Part of this was that Em started to help with the pictures, meaning that we used her camera! We also settled on a theme, and I started to pay more attention to what other people were doing to see what worked. Another thing we did was editing pictures. I settled on a routine of editing pictures so that they looked better together.

Instagram also rolled out it's Instagram stories in August, which allowed advertisement for the blog without all of the clutter from posts with text on our feed.

September - Good Bookstagramming, Bad Blogging

September was a month of goods and bads. On the one hand, our bookstagram was pretty successful. While I was exploring slightly different variations of a combination of edits, we did manage to get 228 likes on one photo (a new record for us at the time) and increased our follower count by 243. We also got our second features on @bookstagramfeatures and @bookworm_insta.

However, the blog...? I was alright at first, but then I sorta kinda missed three posting days? Unfortunately, this was only the beginning.

October - Even Worse Times for the Blog

The blog - oh! - the blog. Did you know I only published two posts for the whole of October? Yep: that's right. Because of that, the number of pageviews to our blog dropped by 77% in comparison to September....

Still, I stayed active on bookstagram. We took pictures, I figured out an editing style that worked and I started to participate in more and mores sfs's, which, by the way, are a great way to gain followers.

November - A Steady Low

I was just riding some sort of wave where things weren't the best but weren't the worst. I missed two blogging days, but it was better than last month. Our pictures were good and all, but I missed a few days and had to finish in the early days of December. We gained less followers than October, but still gained a bit over 100. It was alright. Just...alright.

December - Trying to Repay it All

Beginning of December didn't look good. I tried to make up for my absence on the blog with some posts in the beginning, but then I dropped out of it again. In an attempt to make up for a short absence from bookstagram, I accidentally got blocked from writing captions, so I ultimately created an even longer absence. (Whoops.) But, I regained my footing and promised a good amount of posts come January. December was a month of trying to redeem myself.



So how was 2016 for Reading is Inevitable? Well, there were some lows - bad pictures, periods of absence, disagreements between Em and I - but in the end, it was good. For Reading is Inevitable, 2016 meant building up from nothing, from square one; from literally nothing to 64 blog posts and 288 Instagram posts with 1,277 people to see them. Thank you.

2017 Goals

  1. Work on the blog more! I really don't want this blog to be dead.
  2. Post twice a day regularly on our bookstagram. I've been wanting to do this! We don't have enough pictures in stock at the moment, but by the end of 2017 I want to regularly post twice a day.
  3. Find more great books to read through other book blogs and bookstagrams!

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This Month's Popular Posts

April 2017 Reflection

I forgot to say this in my last post, but happy May everyone! Since it's the first Friday of the month, you know what that means: A monthly reflection! (Yayy.) Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound all that exciting. "It's just a way for them to look over their statistics for the month", you might say, and, yes, this is true, but this can also be helpful for you, too! You might be interested in this post because...
you want to compare to your own blog or bookstagram to oursyou'd like to see how we do ityou are honestly interested in how we're doing (thank you ♡)you want to laugh at how much I probably failed my goals (it's okay: let it out)you want to know what's coming up for the blog and bookstagram Whatever the reason may be, I hope you enjoy this post! For those of you who are very confused right now because you don't really know what this post is, allow me to explain. In these posts, I not only reflect on the past month for our blog and books…

Quotes: Audacity

As some of you may know by looking at my posts on our social media page (@readingisinevitable on Instagram), I am currently reading Audacity by Melanie Crowder. It is a beautiful book written in free verse, and follows the life of Clara Lemlich, a female Jewish immigrant who came to America in the early 1900s. (For the full summary of the book, click here.) I absolutely love books written in free verse, or any type of poetry, in fact! This book is so lovely that I have decided to dedicate a whole post to some of my favorite quotes or parts! (Note: I am only on page 294, and there are 366 pages, not including the extra content at the end of my local library's copy.)

Navigating Bookstagram - Stories & Tips From a Small(er?) Account - Hosting a SFS

All the way back in the beginning of April, I published a post on shoutout-for-shoutout sessions (SFS's) in the bookstagram community, specifically entering them. Now, I will - after promising to do so back in my first SFS post - finally discuss hosting your own SFS.

Em and I have done two shoutout-for-shoutout sessions in the past: one on our own when we hit 1,000 followers, and one with a group of bookstagrammers in honor of the then-new year, 2017. Therefore, shoutout-for-shoutout sessions can be hosted by one account or a group of accounts. As mentioned in my previous post, besides single and group shoutout sessions, there are now two types of SFS's. These two types are post SFS's and story SFS's, the latter available due to the relatively recent addition of Instagram Stories.

Basic Guidelines for All SFS's No matter the format of your SFS, there are some basic guidelines that most bookstagrammers follow when hosting a shoutout session. To start, some sort of …

Series Review: The Wake Trilogy

Series: Wake Trilogy 
Author: Lisa McMann 
Genre: YA fiction, romance, crime, mystery, suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewer: Em

Wake.
Fade.
Gone.

I. Don’t. Know. What. To. Say.

This trilogy was somehow amazing and disappointing all in one? I have very mixed feelings about this trilogy. First off, I finished it in two days over my spring break, and it was a great read. Took me about 4-5 hours to finish each book, which is not too bad. It kept me interested and made me go into a rut of reading after not reading for the longest time!

First, I will share my individual feelings on each the book and then my evaluation on the whole series, in which I have huge opinions and conflicting thoughts. ,0[This is going to be long, so stay with me. There’s going to be quite a rant at the end.

NO MAJOR SPOILERS (only what it says in the book description)


Wake
Wake was a great book! I thought it introduced the topic very well. It started off my explaining the background of Janie’s ability(?) to go into other …