And so farewell…to 2014 in books

How was it for you? For bookoxygen, 2014 has been a positive twelve months. Visitor numbers to the site have increased by some 25%, to an average of 8000 per week, peaking at times over 12,000. The reasons? Great reviews of interesting books – mainly fiction, often by women – from a wide range of presses, many of them small and independent. We also seem to have succeeded in extending our international reach. In addition, there’s a new, one-click purchase hotlink on most review pages. And we have begun to offer the site as a platform for unpublished, promising new work. Authors interested in pursuing this opportunity should follow the Contact link on the Home Page to discuss.

But it’s been a very sad year too. Cherished reviewers John Petherbridge and Paul Sidey both died in 2014. We miss them both.

The book trade continues to adapt in response to pressures from new media, structural evolution and behemoth competitors. Interestingly, the end of the year saw an upward tick in the sales of paper books. That’s something to celebrate, but so is the fact that people are reading on portable devices of all stripe. The word’s the thing.

So what’s ahead for 2015? More terrific books, that’s a definite. How do we know? Because some reviews are already on the stocks. Two hot tips: The First Bad Man by Miranda July and The Sellout by Paul Beatty. Both will blow your socks off. In addition, Anne Tyler, S.K. Tremayne, Emma Hooper and much more, including of course our world-beating monthly crime column from N.J. Cooper. Plus individual focuses on small presses, some brand new, some already well established.

So, while wishing all our followers the happiest of holidays and most gratifying of New Years, we invite you all to stay tuned and relish another twelve months of upcoming bookish thrills with bookoxygen.

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