Wow, 2017 was some year! When I look back at where we were a year ago and where we are now, I am amazed by how much we’ve grown as a podcast, and all the lovely people that we have made friends with as a result. It’s such a weird thing to put yourself and your ideas out in to the world, and it’s so delightful to find so many people who are part of the same tribe. In true holiday letter fashion, let’s recap the year – and yes, there are lots of pictures of our children.
All the Authors!!
Our favorite part of this year is the incredible number of wonderful author chats we’ve been able to share with you. From Min Jin Lee and Heather O’Neill to Michelle Kuo and Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, the authors we’ve been able to talk to have published some of the best books of the year. And we plan to do it again this coming year. Missed out on an interview? You can find them all on the blog and in our episode archive.
Extra, Extra, Here’s the Newsletter
The newsletter is Kendra’s other baby (Dylan being the first, obviously). She’s spent this year working extra hard to keep you all aware of what’s happening in the book world. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so here. The newsletter is also the best way to be the first to know when a new author Q&A goes up.
We started a Patreon
Another new thing we did this year was start a Patreon page. We’ve loved getting to know those of you who are patrons of the Reading Women. Truly, we would not have been able to have as many giveaways or make improvements to our sound quality or have the first round of merchandise without you. So, thank you! For those who are not yet patrons, Patreon is an easy way for you to contribute to the production of the podcast. Every penny goes straight back into the podcast in some way, whether it’s website hosting or podcast hosting, or Reading Women Award seals. We have lots of different levels, so you can choose what’s best for you.
Shop Girls . . . Again
Last year we set up a store on our website where you could buy the books that we mentioned. It was a good system at first, but it did not allow us the flexibility to sell merchandise. After months of few purchases, we decided to shutter that version of the store. We are still looking into ways to sell books online, but haven’t settled on anything yet. The good news is, however, that we opened a new shop on Etsy. Unlike the other store, this one has some Reading Women swag and book blind dates. We’ve had such a great response already – you all seem to be loving your book dates. You can click here to check it out for yourself.
Reading Women Award
One of the main reasons we started the Reading Women was because we were so discouraged by how so few women were winning awards. So, of course, we had to start our own. This was our second year of the Reading Women Award and we could not be happier to share the winners with you. Both Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko and Roxane Gay’s Hunger were books that stayed with us long after we finished them. And did you see the shortlists? If you haven’t read these books yet, be sure to add them to your lists. You can find the shortlists here and here.
Reading Women Challenge
We’re hosting our first ever reading challenge this year. Many of you have talked about how many wonderful books you’ve read because of the podcast and we wanted to provide a resources that would help you read even more women. We will be giving recommendations throughout the year, but you can also look back at our show notes and episode wrap-ups (hint: some of the themes overlap). If you have any questions, be sure to message us on any of our social channels. We will also be hosting mini giveaways along the way for those who participate. The challenge starts January 1st. Details here.
Let’s do it again next year!
Kendra & Autumn