Friday was the Book Blogger Convention, a nice way to end a bookish week. This proved to be an interesting day. I missed the breakfast and part of the opening remarks by Sara Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books)
After that, there were two sessions offered simultaneously – from 10:00 AM to Noon:
“Ask a Publisher or Publicist” and “Practical Challenges of Blogging.” I went to the Ask a Publisher/Publicist, which was very interesting. Some of the more important suggestions they had for bloggers were
1- Introduce yourself when you contact them. Tell them who you are and the kinds of books you write about on your blog
2- Be nice, but don’t be grabby. In other words, don’t ask for everything under the sun
3- After your review goes live, email the publicist who is your contact person with the link to the post.
We broke for lunch, which was a buffet style. There were large round tables so lots of mingling could and did happen. This was good, because people tend to be very social at a meal. There was a green salad, a nice tasty variety of sandwiches (for example, I had ½ roast beef with cheddar cheese and lettuce and ½ of Italian cold cuts with brie and lettuce) and chips. Dessert was simply large chocolate chip and oatmeal raison cookies, and, naturally, there were plenty of drinks. There were also freebies – books and stuff.
In the afternoon, the first session was from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM and the choices were “Navigating the Grey Areas of Book Blogging” and “Author Speed Dating.”
I chose the first one, whose panel consisted of fellow bloggers. Some of their suggestions were
1- Use Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
2- Don’t ask for everything
3- Be honest, if a book isn’t good, so it isn’t good
4- It is ok to use galleys in giveaways, a question that seems to come up a lot on places like Book Blogs
From 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, you could go to either “Blogging for a Niche Market” or “Technology for Blogging.” I went to the Niche session because you can’t get much more ‘Niche’ than my blog. This was also a panel of fellow bloggers and it was interesting to hear how each of the 10 panelists came to find their particular Niche.
Before I went to BEA/BCC, I read a few tips about what to do to have a successful week, so I would like to give a shout out and a big thank you to these people:
The Girl from the Ghetto who wrote the first list of tips I read;
Genevieve at Something Bookish, whom I met while waiting in line for book early one morning (I think it was Haven by Kristi Cook ;
and Candace at Beth Fish Reads not only for hosting my favorite weekend meme “Weekend Cooking” but who provided the single most important tip, which was “be polite, ask.” I never took anything without ask “May I have one?” It was like magic. Sometimes there person said sure, sometimes they even gave me more than I asked for and each time I ended it with a smile and a “thank you very much.”
So now I have a little stack of business cards in front of me and I will be visiting everyone at some point today. I am looking forward to seeing all the different blogs out there.
I also want to give a special thanks to all the authors who signed my books, to all the people I chatted with on long lines, all the new people I met at the Book Blogger Convention and to everyone from the Kidlitosphere that I finally got a chance to meet for making this a really terrific first BEA/BCC.
HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!