One Year Anniversary: The Origins of Novel Novice

Posted January 17, 2011 by Sara | Novel Novice 7 Comments


As we celebrate Novel Novice’s one year anniversary this month, I thought I’d take a moment to tell you a bit about how (and why) this site came to be.

I started Novel Novice a year ago as a labor of love. I’d been working on our sister site, Novel Novice Twilight, for a couple of years and felt as if I’d really found a good niche. But I found myself more and more focusing on OTHER books, besides the Twilight series. I wanted to recommend other books; talk about other books; interact with authors and readers and fellow bloggers. In other words, I wanted more.

From the road trip with my dad

I shared this feeling with my dad back in November 2009 during a father-daughter road trip from Portland, Oregon to Berkeley, California. I was driving at the time, so my dad reached into the backseat and got out his yellow legal pad and a pen.We began bouncing ideas off one another, and he scribbled notes as we talked. That was the birth of Novel Novice.

We took the name Novel Novice with the idea that it would be a sister, spin-off site from Novel Novice Twilight. We had a similar concept, after all — using popular Young Adult books to get teens excited about both reading and education. My dad is the one who coined our catch-phrase: “open a book, open your mind.” He tossed it out there as an example. I liked it so much, it stuck around — and even now, I still love that saying. It embodies all that we are and more.

From there, I purchased the domain name and started building the site — layout, graphics, content. I reached out to folks from NNT and asked them to make the leap to the new site with me. I sought out books, publishers and authors that I could potentially feature, and compiled a long list of names and contact information. I bought an accordion folder and made color-coded tabs to keep track of everything.

And then, on January 12th, 2010, I turned the site live. And from there, everything simply blossomed …

I’ve been blown away by the amazing support and response we’ve had to Novel Novice.

First, by the staff members who’ve come aboard to make my little pet project a reality.

Also from my parents, family and friends, who now turn to me for reading suggestions for both themselves and their kids.

From the publishers, who ask us to read and review their books because they trust our opinion and know we’ve developed a loyal following.

From authors, who seek us out to help promote their books and share them with readers.

And from YOU — readers and fellow bloggers, who come to our site, retweet our links, comment on our posts, enter our contests and support what we do on a daily basis.

I love Novel Novice — but it wouldn’t be a successful, thriving website without all of your support. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Sara | Novel Novice
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7 responses to “One Year Anniversary: The Origins of Novel Novice

  1. Congrats!!! WOW, I can’t believe that your website evolved so fast–just 1 year. I enjoy following you. I just started and am a real blogging novice. I have received so much satisfaction turning kids on to reading by recommending the right book. I had a soccer parent txt me and ask for a series recommendation. It is such an awesome feeling. Congrats again and thanks for all the great reviews and giveaways.

  2. Happy Blogaversary! I didn’t know Novel Novice was only a year old either! My 1 year blogaversary is next month. πŸ™‚ So wonderful that your dad is so supportive of you and your ideas! You have a great site and are doing an incredible job! Keep it up! πŸ™‚

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