So, I will preface this with the fact that with the exception of a quick overnight trip to LA for a wedding, I haven’t been more than sixty miles away from my house for more than three years. And I can’t recall ever leaving my children, if even for just the night. So this mama needs a vacation! Like, really, really bad. I’ve gotten stir crazy and I need a break and something memorable and exciting to do!
So in just a short week and a half, I’ll be heading from Salt Lake City down to Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I will probably be the only one there crazy enough to fly in just for this event. But how could I not go with halfway reasonable airfare and a slew of book bloggers willing to pick me up at the airport and put me up for the night? This is seriously a great example of how online connections can turn into face to face connections. This trip is purely for the fun of it and I can’t wait to go! I’ll give a full report when it’s all said and done.
And as if that’s not enough, BookExpo America (BEA) is coming up at the end of May in New York City. It’s the largest expo in the industry and basically everybody is going to be there: authors, booksellers, publishers, the movers and shakers. So I couldn’t quite believe it when I found myself online buying a plane ticket to New York City. Crazy? I’m totally crazy! I feel like a fish out of water. I’ve never been to New York City! Eeeek! The whole thing feels surreal to me.
What I am super excited about is that book bloggers are becoming a recognized force in this industry and our influence is not being ignored. I’m thrilled that there is a panel specifically to address the issues unique to book blogging! From the mouth of Jennifer Hart, the panels moderator and organizer:
Book blogs are the new generators of word of mouth, advocates for publishers’ books and authors out in the world. As the world goes ever more digital (and as review pages and book sections in newspapers dwindle and disappear), you are the new tastemakers, and consumers are looking to you to tell them what books to buy and read. In addition, you’re providing new venues for our authors to present themselves, with Q&As and guest posts, etc. Publishers need to be working with you, as do booksellers, to sell more books and to find out what books people want to read.
What’s great is that book bloggers have been asked to be directly involved in this conversation! Dawn from She is Too Fond of Books, Stephanie from The Written Word, Julie from Booking Mama, Beth from Beth Fish Reads, Amy from My Friend Amy and myself have been asked to be on this panel at BEA. (!!!!!) I seriously have no idea how I got my name on this list but I’m thrilled! I can’t wait for BEA!
This is your opportunity to make your voice heard and share what you think needs to be talked about. We will be meeting as a panel before BEA to discuss the direction and topics that we’d like to see covered, but we can’t do it without your help. We won’t be up there discussing just our six blogs, but all book blogs. After all, we are just a few representing so many. We want to represent well.
So what I’d like to do here is to discuss which topics you think should be covered. If you had an opportunity to sit in front of an audience of mainly booksellers and publishing industry folks, what would you discuss? What would you like from from publishers and how can they work with book bloggers better? And vice versa – what do publishers need from us? Also, how can we can all work with booksellers, primarily indie booksellers, who are a big part of the BEA population?
I know you’ve all got great ideas and opinions, so let’s hear them!