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.