Monday in NYC: Book Bloggers Conference, Book Bloggers UnCon, PR by the Book Event, and Harper Collins Event

Ear­lier this week I vis­ited NYC for three days of books and blog­ging.  I met new authors, pub­lish­ers, and bloggers.

On Mon­day, two con­cur­rent events vied for my time, the Book Blog­gers Con­fer­ence and the Book Blog­gers UnCon.  This year Book­Expo Amer­ica pur­chased the Book Blog­ger Con­ven­tion of years past and the UnCon arose from those blog­gers not inter­ested in the more cor­po­rate con­fer­ence sched­ule and speak­ers.  I decided to spend the morn­ing at the BBC and the after­noon at the UnCon.  At the morn­ing net­work­ing break­fast, I met Eric from Quirk Books, Tara of YA Magic Pages, and oth­ers although I didn’t get their cards.  I also met the illus­tra­tor for Go the F*** to Sleep, Ricardo Cortes.  He regaled us with tales of Sam Jack­son and the process of devel­op­ing the book as well as the upcom­ing release of the children’s ver­sion, Seri­ously, Go to Sleep.  I attended some of the morn­ing break­out ses­sions, but they weren’t what I expected.  The over­all vibe focused on new blog­gers, not those that are estab­lished review­ers and the lack of blog­gers on the pan­els gave me the feel­ing of blog­gers weren’t the focus of this event.  For an event that soared from 200 atten­dees before to over 400 this year, I felt the blog­ger focus was lost.

After the morn­ing there, I ven­tured up to The Cen­ter for Fic­tion, for the Book Blog­gers UnCon.  When liv­ing in NYC, I walked past the cen­ter many times, but never ven­tured inside.  I joined the con­ver­sa­tion already in progress and stayed until after the break.  The UnCon was also a dis­ap­point­ment.  For the most part, it was blog­gers sit­ting around talk­ing.  I under­stand the essen­tial goal was to not be a con­fer­ence, but the lack of sched­ule or any direc­tion on top­ics, it felt like a casual chat among friends.  I spoke up once to share a recent encounter with an author who adored my review and my blog .  A great moment per­son­ally, but shot down by the group as some­thing a blog­ger shouldn’t care about.  While I can’t say I place a high value on whether or not an author likes my review, it is some­thing that adds per­sonal value to my blog­ging expe­ri­ence and I wanted to know how oth­ers felt.  Appar­ently, pay­ing any atten­tion to what response your review receives, if it’s not from your peers, it shouldn’t mat­ter.  I think the response to a review no mat­ter who it comes from should be eval­u­ated and val­ued to encour­age blog­gers to con­tinue on their path.

That evening brought the first pub­li­cist event of the week, a meet and greet with PR by the Book.  I met some amaz­ing blog­gers from all over the world in addi­tion to learn­ing that PR by the Book is located a few short miles from Austin. Tina and Cindy came all the way from Canada for the week’s events, and I saw them many times after our first meet­ing Mon­day evening.  Shortly after we set­tled in, Maria and Inga from Ger­many and Esto­nia joined us.  This was their first trip to the US and what bet­ter way to expe­ri­ence it than with a group of book blog­gers!  Stephanie and Megan of PR by the Book, pulled together a won­der­ful event filled with great con­ver­sa­tion, and I can­not wait to work with them in the future.

And to top the evening off, Tina, Cindy and I ven­tured over to the Harper Collins blog­ger event.  They held the event at K Lounge on 52nd Street which has amaz­ing atmos­phere, good food and great drinks!  If you’re in NYC, I highly rec­om­mend you stop by and check it out, espe­cially the model city scene.  I met so many blog­gers that night, and I’ve already added their blogs to my RSS feed to keep up with them all.  I met Stephanie of Fangs, Wands & Fairy­dust, Jen­nifer of Crazy for Books, Julie of Julz Reads, Gail of Ticket to Any­where, and Pam of An Uncon­ven­tional Librar­ian.

And let’s not for­get the authors I met.  Tessa from Harper Collins intro­duced me to Alex Stone, author of the upcom­ing book, Fool­ing Hou­dini.  Not only is he a riot in per­son, but he knows some impres­sive card tricks.  I hope I can get an early copy of his book.  He is also sched­uled to speak near Austin later this year, so I will be mak­ing plans once the dates are announced.  He has a great video on his blog explain­ing about the book (click here.)  In addi­tion to Alex, I also met Maya Rodale and Michael Boc­ca­cino.   Maya writes romance, and is worth check­ing out if you like the romance genre.  Michael wrote Char­lotte Markham and the House of Dark­ling described as “Think of it as 2 cups Jane Eyre, 6 oz of Love­craft, and a tbsp of Tim Bur­ton. Serve with ice cream.”  That has me hooked and ready to read this one as soon as I can get my hands on it.

All in all, Mon­day was very long and packed full of events, but I loved every minute of it.

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  1. Serena says:

    Sounds like you had a great time in NYC this June. I was unable to go this time around and was torn between the blog­ger con and unCon. But I ended up miss­ing it all for fam­ily rea­sons. How­ever, sounds like most blog­gers enjoyed their time at one or the other for a vari­ety of reasons.

    As to your point about author’s express­ing a “like” for your review. I do believe that has value to both you and the author. Not only did you enjoy their work, but they also enjoyed yours (i.e. your take on their book). I think to dis­miss that out of hand is wrong. I wouldn’t put too much stalk in those that say only peer feed­back should be your focus. Feed­back from authors, pub­li­cists, other blog­gers, and more should encour­age you to do what you do, enjoy it, and keep improv­ing. But that’s just my two cents.

    • Serena says:

      par­don my typo…still recov­er­ing from a major head cold here. I meant “too much stock!”

      • Amanda says:

        LOL I missed the typo the first read through. I think stalk is much bet­ter though ;) Sorry to hear you missed out this year and I hope your head cold gets bet­ter soon. I agree with you on feed­back encour­ag­ing blog­gers to keep it up. I know there are times I won­der if all the time and energy I put into this blog is worth it, but I know so long as I love doing it and I can help read­ers find another great author, I will con­tinue to do this. I never imag­ined that three years later and as many iter­a­tions of this blog, I would still be here. :)

  2. Great meet­ing you, Amanda! Thanks for coming!!

    • Amanda says:

      I’m so glad I was able to meet you. I can’t wait to read one of your upcom­ing titles, End Emo­tional Eat­ing. I know I do that and any help to stop is worth my time to read ;)

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