that was a year, tiring and very, very long. It meant that I lost focus quite a lot of the time and was spending a lot of energy treading water when it comes to the Big Bearded Bookseller / Indie Bookshop / Indie Publisher projects.
But I’ve continued to take the advice of James Clear and tried to show consistency through the year, doing something regularly and to ‘stay on the bus’.
This idea of staying on the bus led me to two decisions; one was to consolidate the projects onto the Indie Bookshop website and mirror this onto the other two websites, and two was to start a newsletter to keep me accountable and focused, to keep doing the work needed to move the project forward.
Both seem to have worked to keep me going and get more information and a more solid ‘give’ for the websites as a foundation for moving forward.
There was a move to consolidate one too many projects though and I moved all my old art history and photography onto the Big Bearded Bookseller website, I’m currently reassessing where that will be going and will be taking it off the site.
There was a great end to the year when I was added to The Bookseller’s 2021 Bookshop Hero list, it really lifted my spirits just when I needed it and has helped me refocus on the projects when very tired from Christmas retail. It’s also been really lifting to hear from all the people who nominated me and feel the love and support.
I was going to add a Top 10 or something books of the year post but decided against as I’ve enjoyed loads of books for lots of different reasons and am really starting to find myself disliking these lists and stuff. I’m also not going to be doing a Goodreads challenge this year for pretty much the same reasons.
The only challenge I’m doing is the 12 from Friends, where you get 12 book recommendations from friends and have 12 months to read them in, mine are:
- The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews
- The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
- Saving Lucia by Anna Vaught
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
- Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith*
- Sistersong by Lucy Holland
- Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
- The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
- Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet
- The Light of Day by Graham Swift
- Things I Learned from Falling by Claire Nelson*
and that’s it all set up for 2022.
Now let’s try 2022…
The plan for 2022 is to continue with the weekly newsletter outlining what I’ve been up to in the week, with links to various content, plans for the coming week, and a section on a bookshop, publisher, or a book review.
Also to continue to add information to the three websites building up a useful resource.
I’ll also be contacting bookshops and publishers once more to see if they want to be included in the #BrowseABookshop and #PublisherProfile features on the website where they can talk about themselves a bit and flesh out a feature page with more than just basic information.
As I said earlier I will be moving the art history and photography content from the website but not sure where to at the moment, possibly a domain I have in holding already.
Another part of the project is to develop a compiled document of all indie publishers, presses, and zines in the UK and offer it as a downloadable .pdf which is updated regularly and an annual print-on-demand document which would be updated twice a year for people like me who like to scribble in the margins.
There are also several smaller projects sitting in the wings to do with my photography and writing, but they will be what they are and if I can work on them thats great, if not that’s also fine, but I’m really looking forward to making them public when they’re ready.
I would like to thank all those newsletter subscribers who have decided that a paid subscription is for them, there are enough of you now to fund the domain names and hosting for all three sites, there is even enough left over to pay for my monthly The Bookseller subscription. Thank You!
I’m not going to wish a good or productive New Year as I don’t want to put any pressure on anyone, but be kind to yourself and appreciate others, make the best of what opportunities come your way and breathe deep.
And remember, Stay on the Bus!