Thursday, 7 June 2012

But I Digress | The Recommendation Engine

Some days, it's hard to be a blogger.

Some days - all your best laid plans be damned - real-life commitments rear an ugly hydra of heads to demand you attend to this thing or that thing, when all you really want to do, if the truth be told, is burble about books like a good, old-fashioned fanboy.

Alas: some days, there simply isn't an hour to set aside, and on those days - especially when there's a certain something you really want to say, or praise - the feeling of guilt, that people will be coming and going with nothing to show for it, can be... if not crippling, then certainly painfully frustrating.

But believe it or not, today's blog is about why, equally, it's awesome to be a blogger. It's about one of the reasons that arise from time to time to remind exactly you why you love doing this thing. Specifically, today's blog about a tweet I received from a reader - namely Celyn Armstrong - with a link to his Goodreads review of Kings of Morning by Paul Kearney.

You'll recall, first of all, that I really rather enjoyed Kings of Morning — indeed the entirety of The Macht Saga. Well, Celyn did too. After having read my reviews, he bought into the trilogy beginning with The Ten Thousand, and evidently didn't look back, going so far as to set down his adulation for all to see.

I only wish this sort of thing happened more often, because for a few, fine moments, it makes you feel like it's all been worthwhile. Which isn't to say it isn't otherwise... only that the rewards, and they are many and various, are rarely so naked. Maybe this is the megalomaniac in me - in all probability it is - but hearing from Celyn the other day made me feel like I'd changed the world a little baby bit. Influenced an influencer, who can help spread the good word in turn.

This, I think, is how we make our presence felt most meaningfully. This is what we leave behind, if we leave anything at all.

So please, I implore you: if you read a brilliant book or watch an awesome movie, or whatever... if you experience something superb, or perhaps something especially terrible, because a blogger has recommended you do so — and no, I don't just mean me here... then please and thank you too: take a second, and say.

You might just make someone's day. :)


  1. There is nothing to add. And it does not matter if your blog is as well known as your blog ...

  2. Well, Niall, this post certainly made *my* day!

    I'm absolutely stoked that a fairly off-hand review gave you such a fillip. I'm a big fan of the blog, so it's great to pay a little bit back. I'm sure there is a silent majority out there who enjoy your posts and reviews, but don't always comment (I don't tend to post comments unless I feel I've something new to say) - but one of the great things about the internet is that it is, or can be, a two-way street.

    And Paul Kearney definitely deserves to have the word spread as much as possible. Influencers, get influencing!

  3. Yes spread the word about Paul Kearney - he is fantastic. And Niall I have often after reading one of your reviews clicked on the link to the Book Depository and ordered a book to be sent to me Down Under. After reading said book I am more often than not extremely pleased and satisfied with the whole experience. Your reviews are much appreciated, sir.

  4. Good post man I totally agree with you here! One of the coolest moments so far in my "blog career" was when an author asked me to review his book. He was a debut author but I was still very flattered! Keep it up!

  5. Hi!

    I am the Books editor at Before It's News ( Our site is a rapidly growing people-powered news platform currently serving over 3 million visits a month. We like to call ourselves the "YouTube of news."

    We would love to republish your blog's RSS Feed in our new Books section. Every post would have a description of your site and a link back to it. Our visitors would love to read your content and find out more about you!

    You could also publish excerpts of your books if you'd like :), along with links back to pages where they are for sale.

    It's a great opportunity to spread the word about your work and reach new readers. We don't censor or edit work.

    We will be featuring and promoting content and book excerpts across the web.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


    Sebastian Clouth
    Books Editor, Before It's News

  6. Your blog brought me to the works of Kazuo Ishiguro and David Mitchell. Pretty awesome, I'd say (and unexpected?).

  7. I cannot remember how many authors I got introduced to through the 2 dozen or so blogs I follow regularly. But I know they are very numerous. I am sure that I would have come across most of the better-known authors sooner or later. But I am really thankful to a lot of bloggers that introduced me to the less well-known or new authors. Thinking of some of these authors, Joel Shepherd comes to mind, but also Carol Berg, Aliette de Bodard, Daniel Abraham, R.Scott Bakker, Stephen Hunt, James Lovegrove, Gary McMahon and Paul Kearney. And the last name is absolutely not there just because I won his latest trilogy here on this site. I had heard the name before but I had not read anything by him before I got the Macht trilogy. I still haven't finished it (I have read the first two) but even so I will probably get more books by him.

    So, thank you for introducing me to Paul Kearney, and maybe another author or two.

  8. No new comments for a couple of days, so let me close out this thread with one last thank you: to everyone who chimed in to say hey. It all means a great deal to me.

    And remember to take you gratitude elsewhere as well! I don't imagine there's a single blogger out there who wouldn't be happy to hear that they've had an impact on your reading.