At the start of 2012, I resolved to "post something useful every day", a pledge that carried me for 366 days last year (picking a leap year was the least of my challenges). For 2013, I decided to take weekends off, posting five days each week (Monday through Friday).
The year is ending, and I'll look at some of the statistics on Wednesday. Although I did take weekends off in 2013, this is still the 260th post in 2013. To help sort out some of that volume, I thought I'd take a look at the ten most widely read posts this year, starting with the sixth through tenth today.
Coming in tenth was "Burn your own house down: Independent bookstores can help self-published authors". It's one of a handful of posts I've written this year about independently published books. In it, I argued that bookstores should capitalize on local talent, rather than fear or marginalize it (a musical note at the end).
Ninth: "What's next: Ten trends shaping the future of publishing". This post borrowed from excellent work done by Johanna Vondeling, Berrett-Koehler’s Vice President for International Sales and Business Development. I followed this overview with ten more posts, published weekly, about each of the items on Vondeling's list.
The eighth most-viewed post is a staple, "Context first: A unified field theory of publishing". Written in 2010, it frames a good deal of my thinking about the challenges and opportunities in publishing. I regularly come back to aspects of it, though I promise that the traffic is not all me.
The text of a new presentation, "Disaggregating supply: Moving inexorably toward a pre-book world", came in seventh. It was prepared for the Berlin-based Publishers Forum organized each spring by Klopotek. In the fall I also had a chance to deliver similar remarks for the annual meeting of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.
Rounding out the list for today is a personal post, "Lost coastlines", written shortly after my father passed away in February. I rarely vary from the publishing script, and it was both helpful and heartwarming to have the support of my professional friends at a time when I greatly needed it (another musical note at the end).
Tomorrow I'll return with the five most viewed posts for 2013. In the meantime, I'm thinking I'll go back and re-read "Lost coastlines".
One musical note: "Burn your own house down" is a line taken from a Patty Griffin song, "No Bad News", in which she sings "Why don't you burn it all down, burn your own house down, burn your own house down/Try to kill your own disease/And leave the rest of us, there's a lot of us, leave the rest of us/Who wanna live in peace to live in peace". The act of bookstores restricting access for local writers seemed to embody that self-destructive moment.
Another musical note: Okkervil River sings "Lost coastlines", whose lyrics are in part: "And we sail out on orders from him/But we find the maps he sent to us don't mention lost coastlines/Where nothing we've actually seen has been mapped or outlined/But we don't recognize the names upon these signs". Standing on the planet for the first time without a parent, it seemed a moment that had neither been mapped nor outlined.