I’ve finished the photo editing from my trip to New York City for Book Expo America 2012 and the BEA Bloggers Conference, but haven’t put all of my thoughts and reactions into words yet, so while I’m working on pulling that together I wanted to highlight some of last week’s words from Armchair BEA Central.
The third year of Armchair BEA–the first as an official partner of BEA, which allowed us to offer on-site reports like never before–was by nearly all accounts a big success, with well over 600 participants signed up! But between the Twitter parties and the giveaways and the blog-hopping, you might have missed some terrific daily-themed content on the Armchair BEA site itself–or you may have been unplugged while participating in BEA events in person. Here’s a taste of what the Armchair BEA team and their special guests brought to the party–please follow the links to check out more!
NetGalley has always been a friend to bloggers—it’s been our pleasure to work with you for the past 4 years as the book blogging community has flourished, and we thank you for your enthusiasm for the site. It’s so rewarding for us and for our publishers to see blogger-led contests and read-a-thons like “NetGalley Month” and the year-long “NetGalley Reading Challenge.” For NetGalley and bloggers alike, we’re sure the best is yet to come, and we can’t wait to continue the journey with you!
Getting a book to rise above the noise is really hard. There are so many titles published that the simple moment when you actually hear about a book, or even notice a book, is something of a miracle. There is something beautiful about the idea of a review or blurb of yours helping to propel a great book that you enjoyed over that monumental hurdle of relative obscurity. A good review can help make a title huge. Edelweiss can make it easier for you to discover great books, and allows you to proclaim your love for those books, and the very nature of Edelweiss is that your love for that book is proclaimed to other book industry professionals whose job is to reach out to readers, too, and in many and varied ways. This is a relatively new feature and I think its cumulative effect will be quite interesting to watch. Edelweiss users include bloggers, librarians, booksellers, radio shows, television shows, newspapers, literary magazines, specialty stores, grocery stores, professors, lecture circuits, etc., all looking to find those great upcoming books. It’s a pretty exciting thing.
I was Thursday’s “guest” for the topic of “Getting Beyond Your Blog” (…and getting paid for it–sometimes):
But to get to the paid writing, you may have to be open to doing some unpaid writing for other sites…and you may have to be willing to write about topics other than books. That second point may be a tough one to feel OK about–I know I’ve struggled with it myself, because it’s hard not to see it as “selling out.” Having said that, as I’ve gotten to know more about the lives of real writers during the last four years, I’ve realized just how few of them are able to spend all of their writing time working only on their books (especially if those books are novels); being a working writer may include producing articles, corporate reports, and any other pieces someone is willing to pay for.
I see bloggers getting back to their roots. Caring less about ARCs and swag and more about being a legit place for people to find real recommendations for great books. There will be less IMM and more thought. (This may be more of a wish than a real prediction.)
Bloggers are finally being considered more than just a simple marketing tool. Every day we are shaping the publishing industry. Be it a call to arms for a cover injustice or a plea for a wonderful book not getting the attention it deserves bloggers are an integral part of getting things done. I see bloggers accepting actual paying positions within the ranks of the publishing industry and using their knowledge to better blogger/publisher/author relations.
I attended my first BEA and Book Blogger Conference in 2011 and had a great time. The greatest thing about it was the opportunity to meet and talk with other bloggers. In fact, as great as the panels during the Book Blogger Con were, what I really wanted was more time to exchange ideas with other bloggers. So when Jeff O’Neal, of The Reading Ape and Book Riot, put forward the idea of having a more interactive Unconference during BEA week, I knew that’s where I wanted to be.
…Session topics included the state of publishing, close reading, social media, comments, reviewing, and the future of blogging. The bloggers in attendance represented several different segments of the larger book blogging world, including young adult, classics, and romance. Participants shared their own experiences with each of these areas, and the conversation was often spirited but never acrimonious. Bloggers sometimes disagreed about how they would handle certain situations, but participants didn’t attempt to convince others that their way was the only right way. Sharing and listening were the orders of the day.
The numbers do not lie. More than the books, it is the community which unites us and keeps us blogging. Not only do we learn more about the book industry from one another, we learn more about ourselves and the rest of the world. Together, we truly are making the world a smaller place.
We’ll be asking for your thoughts on this year’s Armchair BEA soon, so watch for the announcement of our post-event survey!
Meanwhile, let’s delay #lifeafterBEA and Armchair just a little bit longer–and check out some pictures while we’re procrastinating? I’ve created two new boards on Pinterest: one’s pretty pictures from New York City, and the other features books, authors, and other sights at BEA 2012, like this:
Attendee at the BEA Adult Book & Author Breakfast (Tuesday 6/5) peruses promo for Stephen Colbert’s next book (it’s in 3D!)