I’ve decided to start giving a damn again

I've decided to start giving a damn again blog maintenance

I've never been one to mark the anniversary of this blog. I started it in January 2010 on the spur of the moment, and generally maintained that attitude of "hey, now that's a cool idea - let's do it". This tended to get in the way planning things like anniversary celebrations (and back when I attended CES in the first week of January every year I didn't really have the energy for a celebration, anyway).

But as I sit here today, it is two months and eight days until this blog's ninth anniversary, and I have decided I am going to do something different.

This time around I am going to celebrate the anniversary of the blog, and also its relaunch.

To put it another way, I have started to give a damn about the blog again.

I don't know if you noticed, but for the past year and a half or so I have regarded this blog as a failed project. I looked at the falling weekly traffic reports, and counted the ever-declining number of comments, and grew depressed about the inevitability of site traffic eventually dwindling away to nothing. This belief came to be reflected in the care (or rather, the lack of care) I was putting into things like proofing blog posts. (After all, why bother investing in something that is going to die anyway?)

The reason I bring that up is that I don't believe that any more.

One of the things I did this past week was to try to quantify what exactly is a good conversion rate for a site's mailing list when compared to page views. I still don't have an answer to that, but looking at my monthly traffic stats made me realize that this blog still has a lot of traffic compared to a lot of sites.

I now see this blog as being the metaphorical glass half-full rather than half-empty. (As I said, I have started to give a damn about the blog again.)

So, the anniversary.

I'm going to spend the next couple months thinking about what should be done with this blog. I'm also going to be thinking of how I can thank readers, commenters, and contributors, including those who have been here since the beginning and those who read the blog now.

My current plan is to give away Kindle Fire tablets in contests. (Or is that too generic, do you think?)

For example, I'll hold a raffle which you can enter by telling me the original name of the blog. I'll also give away a Kindle Fire tablet to the longest running active commenter (or maybe not; I don't think my very first commenter - who I hope is still following the blog - would want a Kindle Fire).

Those contests are just ideas at this point; I'm still in the throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks phase. But I am looking at having several contests, and thus several prizes (where several is defined as being between three and seven).

Oh, I know that I will have at least one contest that you can enter by making suggestions about what I should cover on the blog. I have always valued feedback and input but I don't know that I have really made it clear, so I hope this contest will show that I am putting my money where my mouth is.

Anyway, this was me running my keyboard off.

What do you think?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

66 Comments

  1. Harmon16 November, 2018

    I wonder – do you pick up those of us who get your blog via aggregators, RSS etc.? I get you vía Feedly – is that in your stats?

    Contests don’t mean anything to me. But I’m old & have all the stuff I want.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder16 November, 2018

      I can see hardly any data about RSS feed followers. It would bug me, but there is nothing I can do about it.

      Reply
      1. A faithful Feedly reader18 November, 2018

        You could just show the first few lines of a post in the RSS feed and make readers click through to your site to see the full post. That might be too reader-unfriendly for your taste, though I personally don’t mind when blogs do that. Ars Technica, for example.

        Reply
      2. Dan20 November, 2018

        I use an RSS feed too and read most days. I don’t mind clicking through as suggested above either if the topic interests me if that is one way to get stats. But I would probably forget to visit at all if I didn’t have it in feedly when I fired it up each day.

        Reply
    2. david e dobbs16 November, 2018

      Harmon stated my comment almost verbatim. Nate, I’ve read your blog daily for years, but for quite a few of those it’s
      been through various aggregators and for the past two I’ve also used Feedly. If it’s in any way helpful I’ll go back to
      connecting directly, I surely don’t want you to give up on your blog…Dave

      Reply
      1. Nate Hoffelder17 November, 2018

        Well, one thing I have been thinking about was running a pledge drive. I’ve had donations since (I think) 2014, but I haven’t made a big deal about it in quite a while. It made sense to let that go when I was focusing on building sites and used the site to support that business, but now that I am running the blog for its own sake I really should seek funding.

        I do get some affiliate fees, yes, but I would rather not write for that purpose. The financial incentive distort the work (I actually have examples, in fact).

        Reply
        1. David B Huber17 November, 2018

          I see two paths you could take: an annual pledge drive like Jerry Pournelle or set up a Patron account like many webcomic authors.

          The pledges for even the best webcomics seem distressingly low…

          Jerry Pournelle offered several pledge levels with perks. I subscribed (after 5 years!) at the lowest level which would get me an annotated copy of the California 6th. Grade Reader. Jerry related how Robert Heinlein explained to him “We’re competing for Joe Public’s beer money – and Joe *likes* his beer!” 🙂

          Reply
          1. Nate Hoffelder17 November, 2018

            Ah, yes, perks. Now I remember why I never did much with donations; I couldn’t figure out what to offer as perks.

            Reply
        2. The Rodent17 November, 2018

          Hmm, donations… Thanks for the reminder. Last time I donated was apparently mid-2016, but today I can’t seem to find the “donate” button on your site.

          Reply
        3. David B Huber17 November, 2018

          Logically, Nate, the best perks would be collections of public domain but evergreen ebooks on various useful topics: gardening, wilderness survival, biographies, history, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, children’s literature, cookbooks – so much remains timelessly useful.

          Subscribers get the password to the Curated Titles page and a cookie skipping there from the Donate button until renewal time.

          Subscribers can send you suggested additions so you needn’t bear the burden of building the lists alone.

          Reply
  2. Chuck Dee16 November, 2018

    I recently subbed via WordPress, but before that, I was getting all of my views via RSS.

    Reply
  3. David B Huber16 November, 2018

    Nate, let me begin by saying “Thank You!” for the many years of effort you’ve devoted to sharing news and reviews with this little community of ebook fans.

    You have served the interests of both the fanboys like me who chortle “More power!” and the always-vocal “I just want to read!” contingent well.

    I love e-readers. I own way too many: Nook Classic, Sony PRS-T1, Pandigital Novel, Wexler Flex, eBookman 950, Kindle Touch – others I can’t name much less keep charged! 😉

    It saddens me to see the potential inherent in the Dynabook concept realized as only a marketing tool for a walled garden. My early favorite was the original Nook, and even today I recognize the plaintive appeals couched in fervent praise on the review and user group sites as sincere customers plead with B&N to address their concerns in the forlorn hope the company wouldn’t turn a deaf ear. I’d have stayed with B&N had they so much as added the most frequently requested feature of supporting subdirectories on their shelves.

    Now I own almost 2500 Amazon titles, of which my Kindle Touch can hold a few more than 400 at a time…

    Today I read that my expectation of an N64 Classic for Christmas is as hopeless as my dream of a Nook 2nd. Edition. And these companies look back from the verge of bankruptcy to their halcyon days and wonder what happened?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder17 November, 2018

      By “a Nook 2nd” do you mean a new version of the original two-screen Nook?

      It occurs to me that it would be possible to kitbash one using an Android ereader, a Raspberry Pi, a BT chip, and a small cheap LCD screen. I bet one could make a case that incorporates all the parts mentioned above and holds the Android ereader.

      I don’t have the tech skills but it does sound like a nifty project.

      Reply
      1. David B Huber17 November, 2018

        Exactly! As in the original, the E-Ink screen needn’t even be touch sensitive (true e-paper); the LCD would handle interaction. The original Nook LCD panel was 480×144 and I wanted them to increase it to 600×200 under the 600×800 E-Ink panel. A simple sliding cover over the LCD touchscreen could prevent accidental command entry. Configurable page turn buttons would be essential of course.

        If B&N would open source the Glowlight 3 (or at least provide an SDK) it would become possible for enthusiasts to address all their shortcomings.

        Below is just one example of the extensive software enhancements requested on B&N’s user forums when they had them (ignoring their users remains their greatest strength):

        Named bookmarks (defaulting to “Page nn”) which may also carry annotations if desired. If attached to the cover, they apply to the book as a whole and could carry user-defined metadata such as “Have Read / Reading / Read Next” – ideally via a user-defined template carried as XML “under the covers” and manageable by Calibre. Notes and Bookmarks may be exported independently. The often-requested “Go To Page” feature could prompt “Page Number ___ of 9999” on LCD but allow the entry of a named bookmark as well (with horizontally scrolling text entry), dropping an implied bookmark at point of departure so hitting the Prev Page button instead of entering a page number would return to each previous anchor point (or the next if Next Page).

        Of course the original Nook has been abandoned but B&N won’t release the source code any more than Apple will open source the Newton OS…

        Reply
  4. Steven Ramirez16 November, 2018

    Nate, I read your blog via Feedly and Twitter and find it quite useful, although I rarely comment. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  5. Jeannie16 November, 2018

    I find your information very interesting and sometimes share it via FB.
    Do you have an FB page I can do this easier?

    Reply
  6. Dealer's choice17 November, 2018

    I can’t even remember what name I used to comment under, but I had to pop up from Feedlt just to say that the basic Kindle—despite the lack of front-lighting, Carta, waterproofing, etc. and the presence of “Special Offers”—would be far more thematically appropriate than a Kindle [i]Fire[/i].

    Reply
  7. Syn17 November, 2018

    Nate, why don’t you go hard on video YouTube product reviews and to help drive traffic here.

    It’s been 9 years? I think I’ve been following the blog about that long. Time sure goes by fast.

    Reply
    1. Steve H.17 November, 2018

      Agree on videos!

      Reply
  8. Kelsye Nelson17 November, 2018

    Love it! Yes, Kindle Fire is a common giveaway item, but whatever, I can always use another. We travel with ours and they get cracked screens or commandeered by adorable nieces or nephews that I can’t bring myself to ask them back from.

    I have an idea for a re-launch for you! Get five or so contributors to write content and have a week-long re-launch featuring their shared content. Ask the contributors to share their posts with their lists with the giveaway. Schedule it for maybe a month from today to give everyone time to contribute and then schedule the messages to go out around the the same time for max impact.

    My biggest challenge with blogs is maintaining interest and momentum. Perhaps help yourself avoid waning interest by using the month to create and collect content that you don’t post for a month so that when you do re-launch, you’ve given yourself a lot of leeway to take advantage of new traffic before you run out of postable content.

    Reply
  9. Ni17 November, 2018

    I follow your blog via Feedly RSS. Read it every day! Look forward to what you will do next.

    Reply
  10. Felix17 November, 2018

    Sorry for not commenting more. It’s just that as I got burnt out on writing, I also lost my interest in following the shenanigans of publishers. Feels like the same old song year after year, and it’s just boring. Far as I’m concerned, while publishing still has a bright future, the publishing industry is a shambling zombie on its way to rotting out entirely. Not even dangerous anymore.

    That said, congrats! I hadn’t realized your blog is only half a year older than my own gamedev website. Glad you stuck with it through disillusionment and whatnot. Sometimes, we can encourage others even as our own faith dwindles, and that’s important. Here’s to many more years of The Digital Reader.

    Reply
    1. Steve H.17 November, 2018

      Your comments were valued…noticed their absence.

      Reply
  11. Javi17 November, 2018

    I like the world ereader. I come from Spain but I follow two blog in English. One is this. The other one is goodereader.com.
    Yes, I know they invent a lot but they update the blog constantly and make interesting reviews.

    Reply
  12. User17 November, 2018

    I never sign up for newsletters but I read blogs via bookmarks.
    If you’d more comments under your posts change the comments plug-in to https://disqus.com
    To fill name and email under comment is archaic in these days. Disqus also offers more features if you’re looking for engaged readers.

    Reply
    1. grg18 November, 2018

      Actually, I highly appreciate that it’s possible to comment without having to login to an external service! I’d be much less likely to ever comment otherwise (I think I recently made yet another disqus account because I wanted access to a discussion group, but I hardly ever use it and can’t be bothered to figure out which email I used – let alone which password – when I want to comment on something once in a while, so I usually just don’t on pages that insist on Disqus and similar machinery.

      Concerning the other topics discussed above, I also normally read via nextcloud news, so it might not show up (although I often go to the page from there as well to check for comments, so I probably register after all).

      Reply
      1. Nate Hoffelder19 November, 2018

        The biggest issue with Disqus is that it costs money. But yes, anonymous comments is another strike against it (I like having the option, too).

        Reply
  13. Robin Brooker17 November, 2018

    Nate, I have changed a number of things through things you’ve written or pointed towards over the past year or so. I now use Qwant as my default search engine. I now subscribe to the Guardian newspaper’s digital edition. Your recent RGB v CMYK piece led me to a whole day of research. So, please keep up the good work.

    Reply
  14. Jude Glad17 November, 2018

    I’m glad you’re giving a damn again. I’ve enjoyed your blog for most of the nine years and would miss it very much if it went away. No end of the links you’ve included have made their way into my bookmarks. Thank you!

    Reply
  15. Brandon Hall17 November, 2018

    Hello, I have been a reader via RSS for about a year now but this is only my second comment so far. I love your Morning Coffee series, and without it, I’m sure that I’d use RSS a lot less.

    Web traffic for news-oriented content can be tough. To make the content you must invest time and effort into creating it, and the subject of it is often so time-bound that the content rapidly depreciates into being of little value.

    Thankfully this is not all that you provide. In your Morning Coffee series you often fire off quips from the perspective of seeing The Forest despite being prompted by some movement in The Trees (seeing the forest for the trees). This perspective is valuable; we, your readers, benefit greatly from your broader perspective.

    I suggest that you work to distill out your perspectives regarding various matters, drawing them away from being seen as some terribly time-bound thing. (This tends to be referred to as Evergreen content, for blog/website building.) Present them via something without any hint of a date. With time, people that are less familiar with you and your work will be better able to perceive the value and leadership that you have long offered. [See: https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/content-marketing-strategy ]

    Ebooks present to me an opportunity and concern that we did not have with physical books, particularly for non-fiction. They can be updated. A writer can provide an ever-more accurate depiction of the matters discussed. But radical changes in content from one update to the next would, presumably, be jarring to the reader, right? Navigating this new terrain is difficult, and discussing it may be even more difficult. And, anyway, I appreciate what help you provide me in exploring this new world, intentionally or not.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder17 November, 2018

      I do have evergreen content – mainly how to posts and lists of resources.

      I hadn’t thought about applying the idea to editorial content. You’re probably right in that would be a good idea.

      Reply
  16. Coral17 November, 2018

    I’ve always wondered why you occasionally post something to the effect that this blog is a ‘nothing burger’. hehe I’ve basically been a subscriber since 2011 or 2012 under different alias and have diligently read your emails ever since. You’ve given me a couple of scares that you might close shop but you keep going, thankfully. You’re the ONLY newsletter that I have followed day in and day out for this long because you tell the truth as far as the industry goes. IMO

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder17 November, 2018

      I am alone with my own thoughts too much. This leaves me with few ways to break out of what is effectively a feedback loop when I get stuck on a negative thought.

      Reply
  17. Cheri17 November, 2018

    I’m also a reader via RSS, and I really appreciate this blog! Glad to hear you’re sticking around.

    Reply
  18. Paolo Amoroso17 November, 2018

    Greeting from yet another RSS/Feedly reader, or perhaps a ghost given we all know RSS is dead. If you decide to provide only a partial feed to draw more traffic to your site I can understand and accept it.

    Comment-wise I’m mostly a lurker because I rarely have much to add to what you write. But I do read — as in cover to cover — most of what you publish. Also, despite DISQUS, blog commenting platforms are mostly fragmented and this adds friction, especially to users with limited time.

    I don’t have specific feedback, so I’ll just suggest that you stick with what you do uniquely and well (or at least these are the reasons why I follow you):

    – analysis
    – reading between the lines of industry stories and trends
    – providing background, perspective, or insight
    – breaking major stories
    – following up to stories
    – independence and integrity

    I understand your concerns and disappointment but the bottom line is, given the decline of social, sources such as blogs and newsletters have new opportunities.

    Thanks for a great resource.

    Reply
  19. David Scrimshaw17 November, 2018

    Since you don’t get stats from Feedly, I can tell you that Feedly is telling me this morning that you have 5k followers.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder17 November, 2018

      Where do you see that? I went to double check, but can’t find any data anywhere.

      Reply
  20. The Rodent17 November, 2018

    OK, to help fill that glass: this is one of the few blogs that I follow, and read it pretty consistently every day. Have done so since Nov 9, 2011, via RSS feed into Thunderbird. My mainstay is your Morning Coffee feature (which I miss when you skip a day!) and publishing industry news.

    Reply
  21. Juli Monroe17 November, 2018

    I definitely want you to continue! I noticed the lack of interest from you, and I’ve been concerned you might shut it down. I’m happy you won’t.

    Also, a Feedly reader, though. Sorry if that’s a problem.

    Reply
  22. Robert Dybas17 November, 2018

    As a long time reader, but a seldom if ever commenter – you are one of the sites that I visit daily. Having run a mailing list since the early 90’s I sympathize with the rise and fall of perceived interest – the presence or absence of feedback does not seem to coorelate to client interest. The times that I’ve indicated an end to my list – I’ve been persuaded to continue it. Thank You for providing a site that keeps my interest. smile.

    Reply
  23. David B Huber17 November, 2018

    Nate, I like Brandon Hall’s suggestion about “evergreen content”. Some of my favorites have been of that ilk, like your article on how to configure a new tablet – that’s still my go-to reference!

    Kelsye Nelson’s suggestion to solicit guest contributions is a good one also, whether a review of a new e-reader or a “Getting Started with Calibre” tutorial (which would certainly be “evergreen”). Maybe some of the contests could be popularity contests!

    On the gripping hand, I personally see no need for videos in The Digital Reader 🙂 Leave the unboxing to The Good eReader…

    I would like to see section headings for articles, opinion, reviews, how-to and maybe a cartoon of the week if you have any artists in the family.

    Reply
    1. David B Huber17 November, 2018

      Edit: I found them under Resources in the masthead but if I didn’t know they existed I wouldn’t have drilled down…

      Reply
  24. Purple lady17 November, 2018

    I use Inoreader and they show you as having 46k subscribers.

    Reply
  25. Anne Hagan17 November, 2018

    I get your blog nearly daily, via email. I expect you can see those opens every day. Frankly, I find something of interest in it most every single day. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I typically go right to the full link for the original source from the email rather than here to your blog page and I’ve very rarely commented here.

    The service you provide digging up and presenting these articles is a valuable one. Even more valuable is your take on it, especially things that present legal issues, often presented after the excerpt. Please don’t stop offering that sort of insight.

    I’ve no interest in contests to win things, everyone does those. I don’t know what the answer is to boost your traffic, but I can assure you it isn’t that – not long term. Oh, you’ll get an uptick in views and subscribers and they’ll go away not long after the object they were after is given away. I know this from my own experience and from the anecdotal evidence presented me by my author friends.

    Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works for you well enough to shore up your interest in continuing. You and your blog will be missed should you decide to quit.

    Reply
  26. Paul Sadler17 November, 2018

    An interesting question re: options for the future. I don’t have any strong views re: contests, etc., but I feel your pain re: commenters. I have a small blog, and write about 3-4 scattered topics, one of which I have some expertise in, and the others are more just fun for me. Plus a healthy dose of my personal life. And I’ve tried different configs over the last few years. Two sites with different content, merged back to one now. And I’ve relatively killed the second one although the domain forwards automatically to the first. I have a post that went “viral” for me, some 1000 hits over a couple of days, which is way above average. Couldn’t figure out why at first until I figured out a big news guy retweeted me with a compliment about the content being accurate and informative. But other than that, my average post hits low double digits i.e. friends plus a few others. And even for some that have gone higher, there are FEW comments. In some cases, I’ve poured my heart and soul into something and got ZERO comments. But over time, as I’ve hit the 1M mark for words, some of my “evergreen” pages are racking up hits. Whereas my site could sit idly at times with a few hits a day, now it doesn’t go below 100. Peanuts compared to your site, I know, but it’s really just a writing outlet for me. Maybe a bit more than that personally, but “professionally” speaking, not much more. Yet even with some of the popular resources having 5K hits over time, there are ZERO comments on those posts. And, yes, I’ve tested to make sure it’s working. 🙂

    But some people find it through twitter and put the comments there. Or through FB and put comments there. For your site, I get highlights through ThePassiveVoice and only click through a small percentage that really interest me.

    And although I’m just an amateur blogger, I have had the opportunity to talk to a bunch of people who do it professionally and who have turned it into speaking engagements, ongoing consultancy work, etc. i.e. a career. And their view is there are three early tiers … under 20 hits a day overall. Then around a 100 hits a day. Then anything around 500-1000 hits per day. All of that can still be amateur status. Anything above that changes the equation, and honestly, it’s interesting to see how they react when we’re chatting and I mention I have a small website, and when prompted, admit that I’m excited to have 100 hits a day. It’s like their mentality switches to “okay, you’ve got something there.” For me, it’s all about perspective…a friend blogs about her writing career and has about 5 hits per day and thinks it’s amazing.

    However, within my 100 hits a day, it is REALLY interesting to see what is coming my way for traffic. I can see four or five “evergreen” posts that consistently show up from people’s searches. A key resource that’s available on my site and totally undercapitalized, but related to my day job (and limits how far I can go on it). A couple of posts related to work that are extremely popular. And then some random ones about astronomy setup on a specific type of scope mount that is almost always in my top 3. Plus, just for kicks, I have a detailed review of a book of short stories by Jeffrey Archer. And that review hits the top of my charts almost every couple of days. It took me awhile to figure out that the book is being used in China for some ESL teaching, and students using the curriculum are coming to my site to see what the book is about (some of it is subtext in the stories, and non-english speakers are often looking for the Cliff’s notes equivalent to help them figure it out).

    The popular wisdom is that I should analyze the crap out of those popular posts and do more like them to drive traffic. But that is, in my view, false direction. Instead, I would look at your last three years worth of posts and decide if you had to cut it to 10, which ten are you most happy with? Not from a professional perspective maybe, just that you really enjoyed writing and like having on your site. It’s the only reliable way to find your true passion in your blog i.e. find the ones you LIKE writing. Almost all the blogpreneurs that I have spoken to have said that every time they tried to write to the market, it failed. They had to write to their half-full passions to maintain momentum and productivity.

    I don’t know if that leads anywhere…I have way less experience than you, and different goals. Just thought I would share the backdrop for my comments, and to encourage you to write for you. The rest of us will come along for the ride.

    As an aside, the pop wisdom too is that commenting on private sites is dead. People are too often looking for shareable threads, FB / Twitter / etc. Things are tough all over, or so I hear.

    Keep up the great work, if you can.

    Reply
  27. Lakota Lynn Grace17 November, 2018

    Not sure if my “reads” are showing up, but I find your blog a VERY useful tool to keep up on what’s happening in the industry. I know that is time consuming, and I’ve been glad you’ve been doing it so I don’t have to! I hope that you decide to keep doing it! As I’m an Indie published author, I find news regarding the Zon and the ePub industries most useful. Keep up the good work, and thank you!

    Reply
  28. Barry Marks17 November, 2018

    I’ve been checking this blog every day and reading it when I find an interesting article. I don’t remember when I began checking it but it’s been several years. I doubt that I’ve failed to check it in all that time.

    It is true that it used to be more interesting. You seem to have put more into it. I think I recall that at one point you said it was going to be a hobby from now on, or something like that. That’s probably a year and a half ago, as you said. That didn’t matter much to me. I’m not really into blogs or focused on them. I’m interested in ereaders. You’ve had enough since that time to keep me interested although there’s no question it used to be better.

    My hope for your anniversary is just that there are more and better articles. If there are I’ll be glad. If there aren’t I’ll keep checking every day. You still have enough to keep me coming back.

    Barry

    Reply
  29. David B Huber17 November, 2018

    Paul Sadler’s wise post advising you to write to please yourself forces me to acknowledge the validity of other points of view 😉 so if you WANT to do videos I can live with it!

    I also agree with Anne Hagan that prizes aren’t necessary. You have far more followers than you realize, Nate. Focus on converting them to subscribers.

    Reply
  30. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt18 November, 2018

    Happy anniversary.

    Reply
  31. Vikarti Anatra18 November, 2018

    Happy anniversary!.
    I (try to) read your blog mostly daily and found interesting thins (Bookfusion being one example) (I don’t subscribe to newsletter because it doesn’t look it will be interesting for me. It’s (according to description) appears to be strictly writer-oriented AND USA-oriented. ).

    p.s. Old home page for /posts looked much better than new one (at least on ‘regular’ computer display).

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder18 November, 2018

      Here’s the latest newsletter. I wouldn’t say it’s USA-oriented, but ys, it is for writers.
      https://preview.mailerlite.com/r7g9d2

      Reply
  32. Christian Lindblad18 November, 2018

    TDR has been a regular and daily stop for me since I started e-reading in July 2010 and as such it is a most valued and appreciated resource for me. This might be my first or perhaps second ever comment here and as such I’m probably symptomatic of some of the underlying (lack of) dynamics re. commenting.

    I used to write for a website and also got involved in some of the administrative side of running it/attempting to keep it fresh and interesting but my overall impressions were, that your observations on our inactivity and lack of interactivity characterize many websites and blogs for enthusiasts. Often, they’re depending on the current or the next big thing to generate activity, and the enthusiasts are often smaller subset of a larger demographic.

    People who use e-readers constitute, how many percent of the total number of readers? Within this subset of the entire population of readers, you’re looking for a smaller subset that engages interactively with the site, regardless if they’ve checked the site on their phone or tablet, or on their PC. This, incidentally is written on my pc because I don’t like typing on a tablet.

    TDR has a world wide audience. I’m Danish but I’m sure that not everyone whose first language isn’t English trusts their command of English to the degree that they feel confident about putting their thoughts to the screen. Also, for some it may be a daunting proposition, regardless of language to try too write their thoughts in a way that they’re happy with the result. Not all are writers.

    I don’t know if I can add much to the excellent comments already posted. Given my nationality and location it is odd that in spite of a global economy and the global village, the borderless nature of the Internet, that there should still be oddities, quirks and downright nuisances regarding geographic territories that makes it an occasional nuisance, sometimes outright ridiculous to be e-reading in Denmark in 2018, which make me very glad that I’m almost exclusively reading English language titles. For example the libraries and publishers here hate the e book so much that you have to wait 2 months to be able to borrow a newer e-book, and to add insult to injury, once you can borrow it, you can’t use your e-reader but have to read it on a back-lighted screen.

    I like the suggestions regarding topical themed public domain books. Where do I get the best laid-out, best formatted Public Domain books? What genres are available from which sources?

    In any competitions or give-aways; please include if possible in your thoughts, your international audience

    Invite guest writers to illuminate some interesting topics? Is it only here, that dedicated e-readers seem to be very much under the radar and hardly marketed at all, but telco service providers happily bundle subscriptions to e-reading services with the cell phone subscription? How do the markets work in various parts of the world?

    The advice that I read in a previous post that struck me as brilliant was that you don’t take much advice but do what YOU enjoy doing. That is the best strategy to ensure that you will maintain interest for TDR and that we, the readers will keep following you. 🙂

    Happy anniversary TDR, and here’s tot he next nine years.

    Reply
  33. Neuse River Sailor18 November, 2018

    I have enjoyed this site for years, and occasionally commented. The best part for me is the well-curated periodic links post.

    I run a website too. It’s clear to me from my site statistics that the biggest factor is new content. Any time I back off on posting, readership goes down. Then when I post something new, it goes back up. For a while, when I was posting regularly, readership was up into the thousands a week – this for a site with no mass appeal. Then when I backed off posting, readership went down to a few friends and my mother. So content is the lifeblood of a website, and I have started drafting friends to write for the site to keep the oxygen count up.

    Something to consider is who you are trying to reach and why. If you just want big numbers because that way you make more on advertising, then contests and giveaways and other gimmicks might be the way to go. But if you really do give a damn about what you have to say, just say it and let the readership fall where it may.

    Thanks for having this website. It’s a gift to the community, and appreciated.

    Reply
  34. S. J. Pajonas18 November, 2018

    I read via my RSS reader. I think it’s interesting that you thought this blog was failing, when from my perspective, you are often quoted by leading authors and podcasters. So, you often appear to be an authority figure. I’m glad you’re sticking with the blog. I hear a lot of news here first that doesn’t show up in the usual FB groups.

    Reply
  35. wehoho18 November, 2018

    I visit this site every morning. I appreciate all the knowledge and information you share on the subject. I have one kindle and 6 (!) kobo ereaders. Happy you are continuing the site.

    Reply
  36. Snow18 November, 2018

    Hi Nate,
    I still read your blog. Please keep posting.
    Also, did you ever post a full review of the Kobo Forma?

    Reply
  37. Patrick West18 November, 2018

    If you do run a contest folks will just Google the site for the answers. For example
    https://the-digital-reader.com/2015/01/24/digital-reader-now-ink-bits-pixels/
    tells us the original name was “Nate’s eBook News”.

    Reply
  38. Sara19 November, 2018

    Just wanted to leave a comment to say that I am a loyal reader. In fact, when I purged my Feedly subscriptions a few weeks ago from about 80 blogs to 8, your blog is one of the few that stayed. I don’t know if you get stats through RSS reads, and I am not one to comment, but just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your blog, and keep up the good work. Contests are always nice 😉

    Reply
  39. Kate Stead19 November, 2018

    I really enjoy your newsletter. If you only had the first part of each story in there and then made me click to your blog, I’d be on your blog all the time. Although I do like that I can just read in the email.
    You’ve got a great perspective and cover a lot of news that’s important and relevant for me and my business.
    I hope you keep it going 🙂

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder19 November, 2018

      I tried that at one point. It really didn’t help boost page views.

      I am tempted to bring it back, though, and charge for a full email newsletter.

      Reply
  40. Mike Cane19 November, 2018

    >I don’t know if you noticed, but for the past year and a half or so I have regarded this blog as a failed project. I looked at the falling weekly traffic reports, and counted the ever-declining number of comments, and grew depressed about the inevitability of site traffic eventually dwindling away to nothing.

    Man, since Google rejiggered their algorithms — again! — my traffic has been sh*t too. I blame Google, period. I’ve also been thinking of quitting — and will do so if forced to use the new Gutenberg blockcrap editing scheme.

    For all the people reading via RSS, shame on you. Your traffic isn’t reflected in the WordPress stats. Come to the site at least ONCE a week to let Nate see the real number of readers,

    Reply
  41. Sherri19 November, 2018

    First read your comments on MobileRead, which led me to the blog. I’m not a writer, but really appreciate your getting the word out about the current state of the publishing industry, and issues with Amazon.

    I don’t post, but I always read the blog. Happy anniversary!

    Reply
  42. Hussey19 November, 2018

    This site is on my “visit daily” list and has been for the past few years. I may not read every entry and every entry may not have relevance for me, but every once in a while, I do find good links and reads.

    If you’re looking for suggestions, I personally would love to see a “Tablet Review” post or three. You could cover various sizes. This is a totally selfish idea, of course, as I’ve started to really move away from physical books and pare down my existing collection, sticking with what I can read on my Nexus 10.

    Glad to see you are re-assessing.

    Reply
  43. Stuart19 November, 2018

    I read your newsletter/blog weekly, I may not comment but don’t let my silence be taken as not interested. The Digital Reader is my favourite source of information and guides my thoughts on the industry as well as influences strategy at work (library).

    Reply
  44. Missey J24 November, 2018

    Being an avid news reader of a lot of different things I don’t sign up for newsletters but utilize an RSS feed to pull those things I read through on a daily basis. Sorry you’re unable to see me this way. It’s so much easier for me and all I can tell you is that I have been pulling your blog page for over 2 years. I don’t remember how I came to your blog however because of your writing style I’ve hung around and expect it’ll be the same whatever changes you put out here. BTW, congratulations on your big anniversary 😉

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top