Whew. I am on the train from NY, heading home after Book Expo America (BEA) and the Book Blogger Convention. It was really fun to be around so many other book bloggers this week. For me, book blogging is a pretty solitary experience. While I do interact with readers and other bloggers through Twitter and comments, the blogging itself is something I do solo, with little immediate feedback or sense of camaraderie. Maybe that's why I enjoy Nicole's That's How I Blog series so much – it's one of the few times when I get to interact, albeit one-way, with other book bloggers.
So meeting so many book bloggers in person, in real life, was really a treat. I saw some people I've met before, and met a bunch of new ones, and walked away with a big stack of business cards and new sites to check out. I also picked up some great blogging tips, and heard some thoughtful perspectives on some of the questions I often grapple with as a blogger – what do you do when you have established a personal relationship with an author and then you don't like her book? …how important ARE stats, anyway? …do you really need to be on Twitter AND Goodreads AND Facebook? …is it unethical not to disclose your Amazon Associate affiliation? It was also fun to be on the Marketing and Branding Panel today – I learned a lot from my fellow panelists Ann (Books on the Nightstand), Thea (The Book Smugglers), Heather (Age 30+… A Lifetime of Books) and Yen (The Book Publicity Blog).
And that was just the Book Blogger Convention! Thanks so much to Trish from Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin'?, Pam from MotherReader, Natasha from Maw Books, Rebecca from The Book Lady's Blog, Michelle from GalleySmith, Amy from My Friend Amy, and Nicole from Linus's Blanket for all of their hard work in setting up BBC 2010. I can't wait until next year!
BEA itself was also a great experience. I mostly just walked the aisles, checking out both established and independent publishers. I picked up a bunch of books. (A 30 pound box is on its way to DC via UPS.) I heard a few authors, met a few others, and mostly just immersed myself the love of books percolating through the Javits Center. Of the books I picked up, I am probably most excited about Room, by Emma Donoghue, a book due out in September about a 5 year-old boy born to a kidnapped mother, who has lived with her in one room his whole life. I am also excited about the I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook I found in the booth of Ulysses, an independent publisher who has promised to send it to me. My favorite booth: Algonquin, by far – I love the titles on their shelves and they were very open and generous with bloggers at BEA, at least in my experience.
I will write more about the books I got as I start wading through the box.
Thanks again to the Book Blogger Convention organizers and to all of the great bloggers I met this week!