2019 my Year in Review

So 2019 is at an end and it’s been quite a year in one way or another. I certainly feel that I am in a much different place to where I was this time last year, I little older, a little wiser, a little more weary and still wondering if I have a place – but I paid for 3 years hosting up front so you’re stuck with me for one more year at least!

The biggest change for me came in February when I decided that Post Apocalyptic Playground no longer represented what I was doing and I took the really tough decision to rebrand. This was scary as it meant potentially alienating a large proportion of my following, but to be honest I was losing them anyway as my content didn’t reflect my name. You can read the full reasons why I changed here. I set about getting a new domain and a very talented friend drew up my fantastic logo. On 1st March I relaunched as Paperbacks and Pinot and it really did help me feel more settled in my blogging skin.

In April I took the plunge with approaching publishers for physical ARC’s, my Netgalley usage was steadily increasing as did my approval rating. Since April, I have built up a wonderful relationship with a particular publisher and I’m so happy I reached out!

In June I attended Chapter.Con in London, which was a huge deal for me; not only because I was asked to be a panellist but because it was two nights away and the longest I had ever spent away from the children. It was honestly a wonderful event, I loved speaking on the blogger panel and really felt that there was an interest in what I had to say. I made some great connections and got to meet in person some lovely authors who I had known online for years. There was a fantastic awards dinner at the end and I was absolutely blown away to have a book I formatted win that category, huge thanks have to go out to Bethany Adams for having me bring her words to the page.

July brought #yalc and it was the first time I had attended with a Yalc ticket, usually we (Biba and I) do LFCC and head up to Yalc during the day. It was a fantastic experience, I got to meet lots of great bookstagrammers that I had gotten to know on the platform, watched some great panels and met some lovely authors. We also got to catch up with Steph and James from Geeky Clean, they are honestly some of the loveliest people you could ever meet. I loved how much Biba felt involved with it all too, she felt a little left out as there were hardly any others her age there, but loads of people knew her from our unboxings and loved meeting her. The best thing though was finally meeting friend and author Rebecca Gibson, we had been friends for years online and it was amazing to finally meet after a few missed opportunities.

In August I totally rediscovered audio books! I tried one a while ago but the narrator was just awful and it completely put me off. However I have found myself commuting in the car for longer than ever this year so it was the perfect time to try and get back into them, Nevernight and Red Rising being some of the amazing series I have read this way.

September was a lovely moment in that Biba was chosen to rep for a new UK based Middle Grade book box called We Read Box, it was amazing for her to have a part of my blogging life and she’s just been announced as a Brand Ambassador for them!

In October I finally threw the towel in with book boxes. For me, I think I had just reached a point where nothing felt new or exciting. I tried a book only option for a couple of months but that just didn’t feel value for money either, so now after 2 years I don’t have anything bookish – it feels weird! At least I can live vicariously through Biba 🙂

And that brings us to December! I turned 40 this month and we went away for a lovely Harry Potter themed weekend to Edinburgh with escape rooms and cocktail making it was amazing fun, I would love to go back there soon as it’s a truly beautiful city. Blog wise I’m currently having a crisis of confidence with my reviews, I just don’t think they hold up and as such I’m not feeling as motivated. I’m sure it will pass as these peaks and troughs do happen from time to time.

Ultimately though, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me this year, either by sharing my reviews, commenting on my posts or just reaching to chat or buddy read. It means the world to me when these things happen and I’m looking forward to connecting with more authors, bloggers and readers in 2020. Happy new year everyone!

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