Book bloggers blogging ’bout books
Say that title 10 times fast.
If you notice near the bottom of the right side of this page there is an icon that says Bookstore Blogger Connection. What is that for do you ask? (Even if you aren’t asking I’m going to tell you anyway). It’s a pretty cool concept that two lovely ladies started. And rather than me try to fumble and explain it I thought it was best if they did it in their own words.
Why don’t you introduce yourself? How did you two connect?
Elizabeth - Like everyone reading this, I’m a bookaholic. I often fight with piles of books around my house for sitting space, cooking space, sleeping space. I have passionate, love/hate relationships with genre fiction. Otherwise, I tutor literacy skills with the Literacy Volunteers of America. Andrea and I connected through the book blogs we maintain.
Andrea – funny how this works out, I’m also a bookaholic! I like to describe my apartment as looking like a library exploded. I’m about to start hiding books in the freezer, it’s gotten so bad. Last year (or maybe the year before?) Elizabeth had let me know about a yearly event Dark Cargo hosts called AtHomeCon, and it was a blast and a half. I couldn’t even keep up with all the different posts that were going up every hour or so – it was quite literally a sci-fantasy genre Convention a person could enjoy from home, with different discussions and panels happening every hour. We’ve been friends ever since.
What is the purpose of Bookstore-BookBlogger Connection?
Elizabeth - We realized that somehow, the bookstores were not yet tapped into the book blogger potential for selling books. We hope to see bookstores utilizing the blurbs collected at Bookstore-Bookblogger Connection to sell books.
Andrea – what she said. Never hurts that the bloggers will get more exposure from the blurbs posted at bookstores.
How did the idea form?
Elizabeth - on my side, I was chatting with a bookseller in the vendor room at a convention, and wondered if somehow I could use the blurbs from the book reviews that show up on Darkcargo as bookmarks, or signage somehow for this bookseller to use. And then I thought, why only this one blog? There are lots of blogs who do this! Andrea and I chatted over email, storms of email-y madhouse ideas, and worked through to Bookstore-Bookblogger Connection.
Andrea – I had a similar experience, except instead of at a vendor room at a convention, it was at my local bookstore. I found I was familiar with nearly all their new Scifi and Fantasy titles because of blogger reviews I’d read. Because I’d already read of a bunch of reviews on blogs I follow, I really wanted to buy those books. Why not share that information with the bookstore so that more people want to buy the books? And yes, the e-mails of brainstormyness, they were pretty incredible.
Why is this idea important to the two of you?
Elizabeth - book bloggers put a whole lot of work into what they do. Hours and hours. It’s crazy how much dedication you people have to this idea of reviewing books. Certainly that devotion should be re-utilized for the further promotion of literacy and books.
Andrea – On both sides of this equation is a lot of passion for books and the written word, and sharing that love. Bloggers are passionate about reading and talking about what they’ve read. Booksellers are passionate about increasing readership in their communities and helping people find new books and authors to enjoy. Doesn’t a partnership between bloggers and bookstores just make sense?
What is your vision for Bookstore-BookBlogger Connection 3 years from now?
Elizabeth - it would be cool to have a massive indexed database of SF/F book reviews.
Andrea – it would be cool to be officially recognized by bookstore support groups like IndieBound. Also, I love the idea of having links to a gazillion SF/F book reviews all in one place. Interested in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods? We got links to a dozen reviews you can look at.
Why should bloggers/bookstores get involved with this idea?
Andrea – Bloggers should get involved because this is one more way for their words to be heard and seen. They get extra exposure because their blog name is attached to their blurb. Bookstores should get involved because our service is free to them, and these are reviews from the same types of folks who walk through the front door of their bookshop – passionate lovers of genre. This is a win-win for everyone who gets involved.
What is your favourite genre?
Elizabeth - My favorite genre is “this book that interests me right now”. I wander through genre fiction, picking and choosing and being a generally over-judgemental ass. I also try to make myself feel smart by owning calculus textbooks and carrying around books on ancient history.
Andrea – I’m easy. My favorite genre is Space Opera. If it counts for anything, I do own a Calculus book, although I don’t understand what’s in it.
What is the last book that made you cry and why?
Elizabeth - Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. His multi-lingual puns just kill me. Truly, the tears, they stream and make little splooshy spots on the pages.
Andrea – don’t tell anyone, but I cried at the end of Feed, by Mira Grant. Most of the book was just so-so and rather predictable for me, but there was that one twist at the end that completely kicked me in the head. Her short story Crystal Halloway and the Forgotten Passage had me weeping at the end, so I should have expected that kind of emotional power in her longer books as well.
And lastly, what I find to be the toughest question to answer; if you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Elizabeth - Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. At least then it would be a short life because I’d throw myself out into heavy traffic rather than have to finish that book.
Andrea – Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver. It’s About 900 pages of awesome. The kind of awesome that makes your brain want to explode.
So there you have it folks. If you are a blogger blogging ’bout books then why not get involved? This is a fantastic concept that anyone, anywhere can get involved with. Kudos ladies!