Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Bright First Chapter for Cereal Readers

Amidst wintery weather just perfect for curling up inside with a book (well,  in the southern hemisphere, at least!) Cereal Readers celebrated its first birthday on August 18.

With this milestone we’re proud to announce our new membership feature, enabling readers to join Cereal Readers! As part of this first stage, members can post reviews and ratings on both books and series, while more extensive features will be unveiled in the months to come.

Given the unrelenting pace of each week and the many (as-yet) unreached aspirations I have for the website, it would’ve been easy to let this marker slip by unacknowledged. An anniversary is, however, a good opportunity to stop and look at just what has been accomplished over the last twelve months, so I took something of a little statistical ‘anniversary tour’. 

The website has certainly grown. We launched with a database of approximately 800 books in 125 series, and now have well over 1800 books in 270 series. If you’re interested in statistics, that’s an average of almost 7 books per series. There are so many great children’s books out there!

The online book world is enormous, just enormous! That being the case, I’ve been realistic—and very patient—waiting for the site to make its mark with search engines. I was understandably thrilled to discover that CerealReaders.com is well on its way to 1000 visitors a month, from a diverse range of countries. Being Australian-based, most of our site visitors are currently from Australia and New Zealand, however, it’s exciting to see that already more than a quarter of our visitors are from countries in North America and Europe. 

More than a year of cyber book-touring also confirms the uniqueness of our site, with all the information presented from the series perspective. Even after 18 months continuing to build our database of books, we have yet to find another website that operates anything like it.  

 "Even after 18 months continuing to build our database of books, we have yet to find another website that operates anything like it."

Kara & I with author, Kate Forsyth, Bendigo Writers' Festival

Acknowledging the achievements of the year would not be complete without recognising the fabulous contributions from Kara and Alex over the year. I am extremely fortunate to have them working with me on Cereal Readers. Kara’s passion for books and her social media flare have generated great exposure for the site, both in Australia and overseas, while Alex’s programming skills have enabled us to add new features, such as the expanded search function, and the new rating and review feature for members. As to our  more advanced member features slated for the coming year, I can’t reveal the nature of them just yet, so you'll have to stay tuned for the next book in this series!

Marielle Rebbechi