Book Blogger Convention: Summary!

So, of course there was also a Book Bloggers' Convention (BBC) which followed BEA. This is going to be a summary of that convention, and so is geared more towards the book bloggers, but there are definitely some news tidbits in the section on Session Two that you might want to check out. There was some swag at BBC. The books that I got I shipped back home so they won't be in pictures for awhile as they are still making their way here, but here are some pictures of other swag.

I really love this kind of rock candy >.> just as an aside. I'm not really much into mysteries and thrillers, but this author (Sandra Brannan) was really nice so if you like mysteries and/or thrillers you should definitely get in contact with her. She was one of the most vocal about how much bloggers matter.

More on these authors later in this post since I met them during the author speed dating session.

The keynote speaker was Sara Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and her address was pretty entertaining. She is one of the rare book bloggers that does book blogging as her whole job. It was implied that most of her income was through advertising.

~~~ Session One: Ask a Publisher/Publicist ~~~

The first session of the day that I attended was the Ask a Publisher or Publicist. This was broken into two panels with the first focused on the Big Six publishers although Random House was not represented in the panel. The enthusiasm for book bloggers was pretty high for Simon & Shuster, Harper Collins, and Penguin. Hachette just reorganized their publicity structure, and it seems like the response rate and time has suffered a bit. Macmillan doesn't seem to be as enthusiastic about book bloggers although they also don't seem to have worked as much with them

Some Takeaway from the first panel:

-You should definitely send them negative reviews although to the publicists and definitely not to the authors. Apparently an early leak of a cover that generated negative feedback was changed up, and it is likely that this helped the book sell much better.

-From some of the publicists - Bloggers matter

-Check out Social Mention, which tracks activity much like Google Alerts, but on social sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc)

-If you haven't received a response from the publisher, it's likely because they were really busy and forgot or because emails get forwarded around it might not be clear whether someone replied to the message or not. It is acceptable to follow-up your emails (don't go crazy with it) after some time has passed.

-If you want to interview an author, the publicists prefer that you go through them as they are possibly even clearer than the author on scheduling so they may be able to find you time the author didn't know existed. Also, it helps the publicists keep better track of time if you go through them

-Reviews that you post in other places are of course appreciated, and if you remember, you should also send links to these other places that the review is posted (a couple other links, if you link it in 5 million places, don't send all the links)

The second panel consisted of publicists from some independent publicity firms as well as smaller publishers. Sadly, the moderator for the second panel did not seem to ask questions which were as relevant to the audience. It was clear though that these folks really love bloggers and want a ton more bloggers to work with them.

In the case of the smaller presses the enthusiasm was palpable. The Europa Editions guy claimed that he would dance naked in a fountain for book bloggers. Unbridled Books said she wouldn't go quite that far, but she was very vocal about being accommodating. A few other people from small presses chimed in on their wish to work with bloggers including Leigh from Shadow Mountain Press (they are just starting to figure out bloggers but are very enthusiastic about working with us).

The independent publicity firms work with bloggers a lot on tours and are very approachable. The firms in attendance were Big Honcho Media they also do other forms of entertainment promotion and JKS Communications. I got to speak with Marissa from JKS after the panel ended, and she was super nice so don't be afraid to talk to these folks!

JKS Communications is working on the promotion of Bloodspell by Amalie Howard the ARC's which were gone in 5 minutes at BBC, they are also working on promoting Open Wounds by Joseph Lunievicz. They probably have other books, but those are the two that I happen to know about ^.^

Takeways from the Small Press/Publicity Panel:
-The smaller publishers need us the most.

-They really believe book bloggers make a huge difference. One of them mentioned that they've gone into a store to buy a book to send to bloggers when their own stock ran out because they believe in us so much.

-They want to work with book bloggers on innovative campaigns and are very receptive to whatever ideas we might have.

-These firms in general are smaller and have more at stake with each book so they will be more responsive in telling you whether they will send you a copy.

~~~ Session Two: Author Speed Dating ~~~

This session was a bit disorganized especially at the beginning, but eventually things did get rolling, and I got to meet a whole bunch of authors! (and of course forgot to take pictures of any of them >.>)

I got to meet the very bouncy author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin. She dropped a hint that the sequel (yes I'm aware that the first isn't even out yet {It comes out Sept 27, 2011), but hey! sequel info! :P) would be even sexier and darker. The sequel is slated for Fall of 2012.

Violet Haberdasher, who wrote the Knightley Academy series, was there, and she had lots of news bits:
-She has no idea how many books will be in the series.
-Chancellor Morrison, the biggest villain has yet to make an appearance
-There is a movie deal in the works?
-She's writing another book right now about a sanatorium in a futuristic setting. There will be a big focus on tuberculosis.

I also got to meet Amalie Howard, who I mentioned before was the author of Bloodspell which is due out today! Happy Book Birthday Amalie!

More Authors

I met were Kiera Cass whose trilogy The Selection isn't due out until next year. There isn't a final cover out although Kiera mentioned that it's likely to be a girls in dresses cover series. She said the photos so far are stunning although there have been a lot of girl in dresses covers lately so we'll have to see! She's hoping to come out with some really cool swag to accompany the book (think along the lines of the nail polish for the Dark Divine series kind of awesome). This series has girls competing for husbands in a dystopian kind of setting.

Alma was there promoting her book - The Taker - which I thought sounded pretty interesting. It's about the consequences of forcing someone you love to be bound to you. It's billed as adult although the main character is a teen. I'm liking the dark tones of this book (from her description) although I didn't actually manage to snag a copy.

~~~ Session Three: Technology for Blogging ~~~

The moderation for this one also seemed to not be as tailored to the blogging audience. Some interesting points: Edelweiss from Above the Treeline is a place to check out catalogs from a variety of publishers all in one place. Overall, this session was perhaps not as informative.I have to admit though that it was pretty awesome to meet Otis, founder and CEO of Goodreads. (I might have been slightly fan-girl upon meeting him, but I am a huge huge fan of the Goodreads). The smaller round table discussion with Otis definitely underscored again and again how receptive Goodreads is to suggestions from their users.

Also, I suggest all of you check out Goodreads Bookswap. I've gotten a lot of great books from swapping as well as being able to clear up a good chunk of books which were sitting around. You can print and ship to people without ever leaving your house (well you have to go to your mailbox, but that's technically part of your house), and you only pay for shipping when you are the one requesting a book rather than when other people request a book from you.

Ok! So that's all the coverage of BBC that I have for you today. (I will show pictures of the books I got there when they arrive) I hope that this summary is informative for those of you that either missed the sessions I attended or were unable to attend at all.

7 comments: Jump to Comment Form

Beautifully done! Thanks so much! I think by the time the Book Blogger con happened, my brain was all full up. So many great people and books, I'm still catching up with myself!


@Elizabeth I'm glad you enjoyed it, and hope that eventually your brain catches up with you.


Awesome! This is the part of the whole week that I was most interested in finding out about. Sounds like it was fun. Thank you for sharing your experience at BBC!

Oh, and I totally feel ya on the Otis Chandler fangirliness. ^_^ The man's a bookish legend! ^_^


@Alisha Yay! I'm not the only one ^.^


Wonderful cover! I have the privilege of working with JKS Communications as well and I can vouch for the fact that both Marissa and Julie are wonderful women! As for Bloodspell definitely buy it! It's a great read and Amalie is a phenomenal writer with so much talent and a very nice lady as well! I am also hosting a contest for Open Wounds for Father's Day and you are welcome to check it out. You can register at our site: and enter to win! I hope to get out to the BBC next year!

Kitty Bullard


Thanks so much for posting this!!!! I didn't get to go to BBC and this was SO helpful. :)


Sandra is awesome, isn't she? She has such enthusiasm for bloggers. :)

Fabulous recap! You touched on everything! (I didn't quite get the same feeling from Macmillan...I thought they sounded very open! But maybe that's just me. :P)


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