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June 6, 2012

ArmchairBEA: Networking...in Real Life

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.

One such event that I attended this year for the sole purpose of meeting book lovers and celebrating books was 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
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16 comments:

  1. Being a school librarian, one of my favorite parts of the job is connecting with teens who read, and trying to get more teens to read. I have several success stories with teens who "hate to read" where I've found them the right book, and off they go! It's very rewarding. Great job! Have a great week! My BEA Post

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    1. I spent my summers during college volunteering at my local library. I know what you mean about finding the right book. My niece was a reluctant reader until we discovered The Six by K. B. Hoyle. Now she's hooked.

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  2. I really wish we had an independent bookstore in this area. I think local connections might be easier to develop than at the generic Barnes & Noble (all we have).

    I love the encouragement to connect with other readers, not just other book bloggers. I do think there is a different tone to those conversations even though we all come from the place of loving great stories.

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    1. While B&N can be a bit impersonal some offer really great author events. See if yours has a dedicated community liaison. They might be interested in partnering with you to host more events.

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  3. Thanks for visiting my blog, just wanted to let you know I am a new follower of yours :)

    I have to admit that I am not at all involved with my local book community. Most of my friends and family are readers, but beyond that I'm not involved at all.

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    1. I didn't really get involved in my book community (though always an active library patron) until the last year or so when we had an independent bookstore open.

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  4. I know what you mean about connecting to people who are fanatic about reading - that's what brought me so much joy from blogging in the first place. :)

    I live in a small town, and having lived here for about nine years, the only people I've met who have even remotely similar tastes in reading and/or enthusiasm for reading have been the librarians. And that's why I volunteer at the library. After all these years it's nice to help out and hang out with my librarian friends. :)

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    1. I love the library. I volunteered during my summers in college and go weekly to my local library. I sometimes wonder if I should have went to librarian school.

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  5. Networking is one of those things that I just need to do. I think about it a lot, but never really take any action.

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    1. It can be hard to get started. I find myself doing it a bit more naturally now and don't have to tell myself "oh this would be a good networking opportunity"

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  6. Totally agree with you - whenever I'm feeling bummed I just chat with readers - who have absolutely no connection to book blogging and they remind me of why I got into all of this to begin with.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. It's always good to have reader friends.

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  7. I really want to do World Book Night! It's such a cool event!

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    1. I'm definitely signing up to be a giver next year.

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