Thursday, May 26, 2011
Armchair BEA Post: Relationships in Blogging
Today's post topic is about relationships with publishers, bloggers, bookstores, etc. The thing is, I'm really bad at this part of blogging! It takes a lot for me to make an effort with even a small number of other bloggers. I have pretty weak relationships with publicists and haven't gotten the courage to approach any local indie bookstores yet with some ideas that I've had stewing for a while. But, I still feel that my place in the community is becoming a bit less tentative and here are a couple of the things that have helped.
Twitter - I resisted Twitter for the longest time because I didn't feel I had time for it and didn't see what a bunch of chatter could possibly bring to my life. But, having been on there for a reasonable time now, I feel like I know fellow bloggers and some publicists and authors in a much different and more intimate way. It also helps me stay in the loop on local bookstore events. Yes, it can take a lot of time to keep up with Twitter (though honestly, you can jump in and out of it as much as you are comfortable with) but it's time well spent if you are trying to have real relationships with people past a single comment on a post or a short e-mail thread. You also get fun tidbits from publishers and sometimes get a sneak peak at something cool!
Meetups - I know that many of you are introverts in real life just like I am but it is really worth it to attend any sort of local blogger meetups, even if you don't know any of the other bloggers or their blogs. I've now met with bloggers in Portland, Seattle, Victoria (Canada) and Los Angeles and even though some of the meetings were rather brief, I still feel like it was a good investment in both relationships and community. You probably won't get a chance to meet your best blogging buddies right away but you may be surprised at how your relationship with another blogger changes after meeting in real life.
Read-alongs - These group reads are not always convenient and are sometimes not the book you would have chosen at the time, but the chance to have a deeper interaction with your fellow bloggers and to have immediate feedback is something that you shouldn't pass up. There's no quicker way to find out if you are literarily-compatible with someone else than to read the same book at the same time and compare thoughts. You can form an immediate friendship over a good (or bad) book!
Anyway, those are just a couple of things that have helped me in my long quest to "belong" in the book blogging community. What has helped you?
Always moving forward,