The second program I went to was about bloggers and publishers. The event was organized by Jennifer Hart of HarperCollins and BookClubGirl.com.
The bloggers: Stephanie's Written Word; Beth Fish Reads; Maw Books Blog; Booking Mama; She Is Too Fond Of Books; My Friend Amy.
The thing with blogging and bloggers is that there are so many of us; with such different aims; that it's really hard to say here is one blogger or one panel that gives the "answer" for everyone. So for everytime I agreed with something (wishing that people who pitch a book to my website would read the website to know beforehand whether or not it fits), there was something I didn't agree with (the nature of the relationship between publishers and bloggers.)
There was also a bit about blog tours; I think that could have been it's own panel, what with the difference between tours like the one ChasingRay has organized since 2007, where bloggers decide who to interview and there is a variety of authors, and ones that are focused on one author at multiple blogs which are generated by authors/publicists.
There was a nice turn out; and I think it would be interesting to have a joint panel with those featured in the Book Review 2010 panel. For example, I kept wondering if the morning panelists would say that the afternoon people were writing reviews, or recommendations.
For another opinion, see Publishers Weekly report.
EDITED TO ADD: Especially since the question of publisher/blogger/author relationships came up in the comments here, I want to add a link to what Mrs Giggles (Everything Romantic) had to say about this aspect of blogging. She says at the end of her post: "I am going to be frank here and say that I personally do not appreciate the idea of blogs being sold as promotional vehicles for authors."
EDITED TO ADD: And another take on the panel from Babbling About Books and More. Good discussion in comments.
EDITED TO ADD: Colleen continues the conversation at Chasing Ray, noting "the publishing industry (organizers of BEA) want to get a handle on the lit blogosphere." The conversation continues in the comments, with some misunderstandings cleared up (or perhaps understandings muddied?) I also find out that Ed Champion was the tall guy at the back of the room. Ed says in the comments, "So when there's talk about being publishers' pawns and the first wave isn't invited to the table, and the second wave isn't willing to check history, then, yeah, there's a problem."
My scattered notes:
* online marketing & influence of bloggers, especially with shrinking mainstream media
* blogs cover every genre
* "more perfect union between publishers, booksellers, and blogs"
* blogs are "more than just a review to give exposure to your products"
* independent bookstores: about featuring bookstores, visiting them, working with them re interviews/tours
* to publishers, "we don't know your expectations", "when do you want a review"
* it's our pleasure to review books for you
* please actually read our blogs if you are going to send up pitches/books
* communication issues: publishers not always clear about who to contact for books/to send reviews
* this is an unpaid hobby, publishers/authors don't always seem to understand that
* bloggers don't get paid
* there are varying degrees of seriousness of bloggers
* what do/should publishers/booksellers "give back" (for the reviews? coverage?) on blogs; some want publishers to link/blog/tweet about review/interview/coverage
* some publishers give no response "not even thank you" for coverage
* publisher sponsored giveaways should be promoted by publisher
* various blogger directories mentioned (all either created by individual or people submit themselves)
* discussion on "what publishers look for" at blog re statistics, comments, etc.
* discussion on advertising
* question about age/race/ethnicity of bloggers as panel was white women
* "personal relationships with publicists" (some past wank about a disrespectful letter?)
* "encourage authors to comment positively"
* finding the right blog, blog tours, mixed feelings about Amazon linkage, traffic, times to post
© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
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