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June 2, 2013

ArmchairBEA: Wrap up & Genres Missed

It's the last day of Armchair BEA and I'm here with some final thoughts. I hope you put them into some coherent form, but I'm so tired.

Wrap up is more apt

It was a busy week at the day job as well as at the side job. Also the week kind of snuck up on me so I wasn't as prepared as I have been in years past. Even though I wrote two of the posts last weekend in anticipation of the busy week, I still found myself at the end of the night squeezing in the posts the last couple of days. This meant that my post were not as well thought out as they could have been and the discussion wasn't as thorough as I would have liked. I decided to wait until this afternoon to write up this post instead of rushing through it yesterday.

Blogs & Comments

One of my favorite parts of ArmchairBEA, is hoping around to the blogs. In years past, I tried to visit a different set each day just to get a sampling of what else is out there. My reading of blogs was WAY down this year. I was able to catch up some yesterday morning (I checked out a number of the giveaways). I'm hoping to get to look in on a few more blogs this evening.

I've also have made a point of commenting on any blog I visit during Armchair BEA, but this year I just couldn't. Sometimes it was because I was on my tablet and the various commenting programs required me to login, which wasn't automatic on the tablet. Other times it was the captchas (they are really hard to read on the tablet). I was in such a time crunch that if I didn't have something to add to the topic I just skipped to the next blog. I noticed commenting on my own blog was down as well. It might have been because I wasn't commenting or because my posts were the quality they usually are or like me everyone was having a hard time getting around to everything.

Here are my posts for the week:
Introductions and Classics
Writer Wednesday Armchair BEA edition - a special reveal
Genre Fiction
Giveaway Day
Literary Fiction
Ethics and Non-Fiction
Keeping it Real and Young Adult Literature

Let's Party!

I was able to get to two of the Twitter parties. The third one was at 2 am this morning so I skipped it. They were fun and wild as always - the hour goes so fast and it is a bit difficult to keep up. The first party I was only partly at because it was during the day while at work so I had other things to do. I wish Friday night's party had been longer (and I actually did extend the discussion I was having with another blogger). Seeing how many people were at the 11 am eastern party saying they were at work, I wonder if the organizers will consider doing more later in the day parties next year. I'm also curious about how many attending were eastern time zone folks - the 2 am party last night probably would have been a good indication if most participants are in the eastern time zone.

Just my coincidence, I had organized a Twitter party for a client this week. She also happened to be an Armchair BEA sponsor. I wonder if people would be interested in having chats with authors during Armchair BEA. It would give those at home a chance to "meet" authors. And with there could even me book signings.


Once again giveaway day was very popular. This is the first year I've done a giveaway that was only for Armchair BEA participants. While it had a decent turn out, it wasn't overwhelming. Again, I think it is because people just didn't have time to get around to them all. Probably it would be better if bloggers listed what they were giving away in the linky, that way people that didn't want certain books or are international wouldn't waste there time going to giveaways they aren't interested in or eligible for.

I drew the winner of my $15 bookstore gift card/book depository book giveaway is Melissa of One Librarians Book Reviews. Congratulations!

I also won a few things this week. I was the daily topic winner on Day Two and Day Three. I got an audio book - Flat Water Tuesday by Ron Irwin - and a middle grades book for my niece and nephew - Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. Since I don't need any more books to read, I enter individual blog giveaways that either had books for my niece and nephew (though of the 40 or so I visit not many were doing middle grades books) or gift cards figuring I could let them pick something out. Aren't I a great aunt?

Overall it was a good week and I'm looking forward to next year.

Genre Talk: What wasn't covered

I think we covered a pretty good spectrum of literary categories. If anything was lacking it was perhaps New Adult for audience category. Given that it is one of the fastest growing audiences, I was kind of shocked not to see it. I lumped it in with the Young Adult talk and from the comments I received, it seems that bloggers aren't as familiar with the term as the buying public would have you believe. Then again, maybe it's just the term that's unfamiliar. Amazon just added it as an option a week or so ago.

Graphic Novels was another missing category. I don't read graphic novels (I wasn't big on comic books growing up either). My nephew claims that's all he'll read, but I know that's not true. He loves to read, but he is also at that age were it isn't totally cool to be into books. I suspect that graphic novels lets him indulge in reading while maintaining his cool factor.

There also wasn't a focus on audio books. While I did incorporate titles of audio books in to the other posts, there wasn't an opportunity to talk about narration or multi vs. single narrators.

And last but not least, serials were left out (though I saw at least one blogger mention reading Dickens in the original serial format). Again, this is relatively new to the marketplace and may not have wide appeal among bloggers. I'm curious about how to review a serial. Do you review each installment or wait until it is finished? I've known books to start great and not end too well (and vice versa). Also, I've done a fair share of reading of online fiction and actually that's were I got my early start in reviewing. I remember one story that I loved the first 4 chapters or so, but then it took this crazy turn and I didn't love it so much any more. Unfortunately I had posted a review of the first chapters saying how great and realistic the story was. Should I have retracted my review?  I was never really sure how to handle it. I would hope that serial fiction being published wouldn't encounter such a problem, but I don't know. I guess it depends if the author is writing as they go or if it is a complete work being doled out in increments.

Speaking of the online fiction I read, perhaps Fan Fiction should have been given a category. The week before Armchair BEA, Amazon unveiled their new Kindle Worlds program. For a select group of popular franchises a license has been purchase to allow the publication of fan fiction. Depending on what happens with that, I expect it might be a topic next year. (It still remains to be seen how many people buy into, particularly with the news that the author may not truly hold the copyright to the original bits of their story).

What do you think was missed during ArmchairBEA?

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  1. I'm with you in trying to keep up this year. I didn't get the dates ahead of time and suddenly found I had two big conflicts that knocked out two days.

    Someone I did manage to get all my posts done and finish by the final day, but I'm definitely going to calendar this event for next year as soon as the dates are published.

    My visits are down this year, too, but I plan to spend next week playing catch-up. I, too, noticed the visits and comments were way down. (I agree about the captcha being a real problem, too.)

    1. Yeah. I forgot to put it on the calendar and before I knew it it was here.

  2. I completely forgot about Audio Books. That would have been a very good discussion. I hope that is brought up in the future.

    1. I think perhaps we talked about audio books (or different ways of reading - print/ebooks/audio) last year.

  3. Calendar? You use a calendar? That's my problem! Kidding. Next year, if I have more warning, I may participate.

    I am glad to see that New Adult is now an "official" category. It's been needed for a while.

  4. Audiobooks is a topic that's near and dear to my heart! Thanks for mentioning you were a prize winner twice. I looked more closely and so was I! I completely missed the posts for the prizes, I think because I forgot to follow the Armchair BEA blog and was just checking in on Armchair BEA Central here and there.

  5. You are a great aunt, I didn't find too many middle grade either and was on the lookout for my son who is an avid reader as well. Great to meet you during ABEA! I also was incorporating more audibooks into my posts as well, figure they fall into another genre. I mostly listen to classics and non-fiction on audiobook.

  6. I forgot to put it on my calendar as well, so I missed the first day. Wasn't able to participate as much as I would have liked, but am playing catch-up now as I want to read all the posts about YA and ethics, as I'm finding them fascinating! And yes, you're a great aunt! :)

  7. Funny you mentioned serials. I've gotten hooked on writing them but not sure about the market or how to review them.