Today's prompt is "to share a positive "real life" experience with books! Either by way of your own partnerships in your community, a book signing you went to or possibly even a get together with fellow book bloggers. Tell us all about it!"
*If you visited between midnight and 4am PST, read again! This is an entirely new post! I didn't think my original post fit the prompt that well, so I scrapped it and wrote a whole new one :) Thanks!
Truthfully, I don't have much experience networking outside of my blog - I'm still relatively new, and I've been hesitant to really embrace the title of Book Blogger, for some reason. I've been fortunate enough to go to a ton of author events (all shared here!), but I haven't really ever put myself out there as a Book Blogger and specifically met up with people as a direct result.
I can tell you that one of the most fun things I've done that was a result of being a Book Blogger was Rock the Drop (read my recap here!). For those that don't know what it is, it's a specific day hosted by Readergirlz that's meant to promote teenage reading. Basically, you donate books by leaving them around your community to take - for FREE! You can't guarantee a teen will take it, but I tried to choose specific places I knew they hung around: my old high school, the local Boys & Girls Club, the library during after school hours. It's oddly thrilling to be leaving a gift of a book for someone. I revisited most of my drop sites an hour or two after I dropped them, and they were all taken! It was fun to meet up on Twitter with others who were participating, and I think I've actually gotten 2 buddies for next year to go around my city and Rock the Drop with me. The only reason i knew about it was through some book blogger friends participating, and then I decided to get involved. So, not quite Networking Offline…yet!
|Screencapped from their Facebook page.|
The next thing that I know is coming is ALA Annual! This will be the first year I'm attending, and I'm SO excited. I'm practically giddy at the thought of chatting with real people in the publishing industry and meeting up with industry professionals, book bloggers, and other authors. My dream is to surround myself with books, and this is pretty close to it, don't you think? I'm going to be going to The Great YA Blogger Meet Up hosted by YA Highway and Stacked Books, and I'm really looking forward to meeting and mingling there. (If you're going to the conference and/or Meet Up, tell me! I'd love to meet you!)
Which, attending ALA is a weirdly indirect result of being a Book Blogger and sort of an Offline Networking thing. To make an incredibly long story short (you can read the whole exciting story here!), I went to an author event that was moderated by Kirsten Hubbard, the author of Wanderlove. As mentioned yesterday, Wanderlove is my top 2012 read -- and when I was reading the ARC, I was seriously HARASSING poor Kirsten on Twitter because I couldn't stop tweeting her about how amazing the book was. Usually I don't do that, but I just could not help myself with her book - it was that good. Kirsten recognized me from Twitter and we started chatting before and after the event. Cutting out several details and moments of happenstance, I ended up hanging out with her and a few of her friends for the rest of the night - which was AMAZING and I'm still in awe that it happened. BUT anyhow, how this relates specifically: I had entirely separate conversations each with Kirsten, Cindy Pon, Debra Driza*, and Shannon Messenger and they were each very adamant that going to conferences were the best places to really meet people in the book industry. They all recommended BEA and ALA, as well as SCBWI (if you're a writer as well), Comic-con, and other smaller conferences. I'd always considered going to ALA, but hearing the insistence from them was definitely a driving force as to me pushing to go.
Basically, I have a really exciting June lined up because of my blog and the want to Network. I don't quite have real stories to tell yet, but I have the prospect of them - and that in itself is something quite exciting!
What's your real life experience?
Leave your link in the comments!
(and if you're not doing Armchair BEA, tell me one event you would DIE to attend!)
*I would post Debra Driza's Mila 2.0 cover, but it technically hasn't been officially released. Don't want to perpetuate the leak!