Yeah, yeah, I know we’re halfway through January already, but I really wanted to post this among my other 2018 Wrap-Ups and 2019 Welcome posts. Plus spreading out posts results in late reactions sometimes, but here we are!
Quite a bit happened last year, on and off Ace Of Bens, and I have a few major events I’d like to share with you all. I’ve broken it down into sections and made sure to add pictures, because what’s a year in review without visuals?
First Time Attending BookCon
I really need to thank some friends here for making my first BookCon amazing: Tay, Kitty, Mo, Jess, Amber, Emily, Ellie, Stephanie, Kate, Rose, Angel, Ally, Cody, Camille, Sophie, Chloe, Lili, Caro, Darnell, Kayla, and Sabrina. Some of you I clung to at the event, others I didn’t even get a chance to meet, but just having you all in the group chat reporting on the chaos buzzing through the Javits Center was enough to make my first experience worth it. I can’t wait to charge NYC with you all again this year!
This was when I really started to learn about publishing and reviewing and how the processes work together. After that weekend, I went home with a renewed excitement for story telling, reading, and sharing my thoughts on this blog. So really, the reason I’m still here posting to Ace Of Bens a few times a week is because I found a family and a home at BookCon. Here’s to many more years of books!
Philly Trans Wellness Conference
This was my second year attending the Conference so I was able to focus on learning and connecting with people more than I had in 2017. Not to mention, it’s always a wild time when three college students go to Philadelphia with no parents. That’s right, we got a hotel all by ourselves and we didn’t eat anything healthy the entire time we were there. Plus we were very gay. Scandalous.
Attending this conference has been one of the best things to happen these past two years. Being in a building with literally hundreds of other transgender people from all over the country, even the world, and sharing knowledge and experiences is just indescribably amazing. I’m hoping to write about my experiences in detail when I go this summer again, because I never got a chance to last summer.
Shattering Stigmas 4.0
This is easily the biggest blogging project I’ve taken on yet and it was SO worth it! Thank you again to my amazing co-hosts—Tay, Madalyn, Kitty, and Marie—for keeping me sane and guiding me through my first time hosting a blogging event. It truly was an honor to work with you four and I hope our paths cross again in the future! That goes for all my guest posters, too!
To everyone who submitted a guest post to the event, thank you! And another thank you to all those who read the posts featured in Shattering Stigmas! Without all of you, this wouldn’t be the amazing event of sharing, support, and awareness that it has become.
I hope to continue this project next October if you’ll have me back. In the mean time I have some other blogging events and projects planned so stay tuned! (Keep you eyes peeled in late March/early April 👀)
In an attempt to be transparent about how my blog performs, I’d also like to share some of my main stats of 2018. I feel like this is often treated as either a taboo topic or something we’re scared to talk about, so here’s what Ace Of Bens’ year in numbers looked like!
In 2018, I got almost 18 times the number of views I did in 2017, 12 times the visitors, 18 times the likes, and, well, I only got one comment in 2017, so you can see how that improved.
Above you can see a monthly breakdown of how those 3,005 views in 2018 were spread out. It’s pretty obvious that once I finally found my groove in July 2018 and posted regularly, I got more interaction. As I said above, I contribute a lot of this to the networking and experiences I gained at BookCon, but also this comes from making connections online! In July, I did the Summer Blogger Promo Tour with Paige, and October was Shattering Stigmas 4.0 where I talked to so many new people with amazing perspectives. It carried me well for the second half of the year.
Now some more fun stats!
I’m not sure why the “total comments” and “total likes” on this card don’t align with the numbers above, but they’re roughly similar, so I’ll roll with it. But here, I really want to point out that I published 87 posts in 2018 which added up to a whopping 63,072 words!
I talk so much oh my gosh, why couldn’t that have gone to my WIPs? Honestly, averaging 725 words per post is wild to me because that’s like, half an essay for class I could be writing, but here I am ranting about books that I read for fun!
Top Ten Countries That Visited
1. United States (Where I’m based, so not too surprising)
3. United Kingdom
Some of those countries are rather surprising to me. I never really expected to have much reach outside of English-speaking countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, so seeing Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Philippines, and Kenya is awesome!
Top Ten Posts of 2018
1. The New Pride Flag
2. Mental Health From a Kenyan Perspective – Yvonne Wabai
3. A poem by Gretchen Gomez
4. Coffee Book Tag
5. The Anxiety of Coming Out
6. 50 Things That Make Me Happy Tag
7. LGBT Wrath Month?
8. Pages and Pills: A Look at Medication and Reading – Harker D.
9. Why I Come Out To You
10. November 2018 Wrap-Up
(As a note, the orange tab on the left side of a post or page name in the picture means it was published in 2018.) I’m also surprised here because only three of these posts are talking about bookish things. Goes to show even book blogging is about more than just reviews.
So these next stats are pretty much all taken from Goodreads since that’s the only way I track what I’ve read.
I read 11,428 pages across 52 books. The shortest book I read was Araby by James Joyce (which I read for class, not out of my own free will), which was 25 pages. The longest I read was A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab which was 512 pages… and I’m still crying because THAT CLIFFHANGER and now I need to get a copy of A Conjuring of Light!
The most popular book I read was A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and the least popular was Beneath the Spanish by Victor Hernández Cruz. My average rating in 2018 was 4.1 stars. The highest rated book (by Goodreads stats) that I read in 2018 was When the Chant Comes by Kay Ulanday Barrett.