It's Day 3 of ArmchairBEA! While I love Giveaway Day for all the awesome books and swag that can be won, I actually enjoy the last few days of posts. This year, it's almost like an extension on my Tips on Thursday posts. Bloggers will be sharing some how to and inspirational type posts that are suppose to educate and encourage each of us in all things book blogging.
Today's post is similar in topic to a Tips on Thursday post I did a few months back on acting locally in your book community. In that post I shared some ideas on involving your local community and promoting your blog at the same time. But networking can be a lot more than just promoting your blog. It's also about developing friendships and sharing a passion for books.
World Book Night. My local indie bookstore, Avid Bookshop, hosted a pick-up party and I was invited as a book blogger to attend. While I did meet another blogger, I also got to talk to avid readers who didn't blog. They were no less enthusiastic about books. They were giving up an evening to hand out books in hopes of inspiring new readers.
I had a great time talking about books in a different way than I talk to other book bloggers. When I talk with book bloggers about books there is always an edge of business to it - controversies, latest news on publishing deals, what you think about the state of publishing, etc. But with these readers it was truly about the stories - about books that impacted their lives or they hoped to share with their children. I'm not sure if I'm explaining the difference well. Maybe you talk to readers who have no stake in the industry (bloggers, booksellers, librarians, authors), but for me most of my friends are casual readers at best. These conversations with avid (perhaps even voracious) readers who have no part in the book world outside of being a reader were a rare treat for me.
A few of the people I met that night, I have brought into my online circle of contacts. I connected with them on Goodreads and Twitter. From the stats for my blog, I'm sure I picked up a few new fans from the event (I didn't have many local readers before the event).
I encourage you to get involved in your local book community, but more importantly connect with readers. These can be the go to people for you when you are feeling drained by the blogging and/or publishing politics. They will remind you of why you are excited and passionate about books and promoting authors. If you don't know where to find events in your local area, try Goodreads events or check with your local bookstore/library.
Day 1 - Introductions
Day 2 - Giveaway!
Day 4 - Beyond the Blog
Day 5 - Future of Blogging