Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

I’m alive! Talk about a whirlwind week! Wow! I knew going into my first experience with Book Expo America that I was in for a fast paced exciting week of books but next to nothing could have really prepared me for it fully. From the moment the plane landed in NYC to the early morning take off on Friday the entire event was such a blur that I’m left wondering if I really attended BEA??? No, I’m certain I did, if for no other reason than the bloggers and friends I was able to connect with finally. Because I have a ton to talk about I’m breaking my wrap-ups into two different posts. Enjoy!

BEA Book Blogger Conference

So, one thing at a time…BEA Book Blogger Con and to be honest I think “Con” is a fitting word for it. Granted, my plane landed late and I arrived at the conference mid-way through the panel featuring a few of my favorites including Beth from Beth Fish Reads and Eric Barmash from Harper (for their part they did an amazing job and cut to the point when tough questions were asked). That being said, I had high hopes for Book Blogger Con and what it turned out to be was less of a book blogger focused event and more of a way for unknown authors/bloggers to shove their content in everyone’s faces. So yes, “Con” to me is a fitting title. It wasn’t much of what I expected at all.

After this was lunch and immediately following that was the panel I attended on monetization. To be honest I was more intrigued by the thoughts from this session’s panelists, Thea James from The Book Smugglers and Sarah Pitre from Forever Young Adult, then I was by the actual concept of making money from my blog because I’m aware that’s basically a pipe dream. Both Thea and Sarah had some very intelligent remarks about customizing your site design to incorporate ads that won’t detract from the look of your site as well as a few other comments here and there. What was unfortunate about this panel were not only the aggressive remarks made at the end of the panel about turning your reviews into money (which is another odd idea) but also the near constant self-promotion of the moderator. I’m not going to mention him or his site (because goodness knows he doesn’t need more traffic!), but seriously if he mentioned his “recently published book available for signing later that week” again I was certain I would puke right there on the spot.

After that panel I attended another panel featuring a few very fun and favorite bloggers, Jennifer Conner from The Literate Housewife and Mandy Boles from The Well-Read Wife, about creating content and community. This panel got me thinking about ways to change up my titles for my posts and how to use Google AdWords to change those titles up a bit. It was generally a really fun panel with the exception of another aggressive questioner who argued that community was impossible to achieve (obviously she wasn’t a book blogger or she’d know better).

Closing out the BEA Book Blogger Conference was Jennifer Lawson aka The Bloggess, which I actually thoroughly enjoyed. She was delightful! Yes, a bit foul-mouthed for my taste, but seriously so down-to-earth that I think it would be impossible for someone to not connect with her on some level. Through listening to her I made quite a few decisions about my own blogging voice and where I want to go with my own site. So it was definitely a good thing.

Overall I found the Book Blogger Con lacking. Not only did I not find much there as a book blogger who has been at this for close to three years, but I also found aspects of it uncomfortable and hard to enjoy. At the same time that this conference was going on another one was happening. I later found out that if you purchased admission to that conference you could also attend the Book Blogger Con which resulted in a number of self-published authors swarming around us book bloggers like bleeding fish in a shark tank. It wasn’t much fun and certainly not the “pressure-free” learning environment I was hoping for. Hopefully future years will be different and involve more book blogger input that is actually put to use.

For a few more excellent wrap-ups of BEA Book Blogger Con I’d suggest these:

The Book Smugglers
Dear Author
Michelle from Galleysmith
Mandy from The Well-Read Wife
Read React Review (Which also has a nice round up of other related posts.)

12 Responses to It’s A Wrap! 2012 BEA Book Blogger Conference

  1. Amy says:

    I really enjoyed reading your wrap-up of the event. Looking forward to more…

  2. Gina says:

    Wow…strong thoughts there. *-* At least overall it was a great experience…so glad to visit it all through your eyes. Thanks for the detailed share! I feel like I was actually there…for better or worse. Can’t wait to hear “part 2″… ^_^

  3. I hear ya.

    I’ve been hearing similar things from other gals.

    I’m thinking if i get to go next year, I will pass on this and do one day on the BEA floor visiting the audio book publishers.

    Do you think you will go next year?

  4. Jenni Elyse says:

    Each time I read a wrap up about BEA, I get more excited to attend one day. But, I also get more scared. I keep wondering if I really want to subject myself to the fast-pace whirlwind events. But, I think I do, lol, if nothing else to meet some of my blogger friends.

  5. Serena says:

    Glad to have decided against going to book blogger con this year. I knew once it was sold to BEA it would no longer be about bloggers.

  6. Nicole says:

    So glad I didn’t go.

  7. thanks for the recap and I had heard some of those same thoughts online during Blogger Con. Thanks for the other stuff too :)

  8. Alexia561 says:

    Nice recap! I’ve heard similar stories from other bloggers who attended, but am hoping that Reed will learn from their mistakes and do better next year. It’s a great idea, and I hope this year was just a rough transitional year.

  9. I attended Book Blogger Con but I didn’t experience the authors promoting their books to me and I wasn’t in the monetization panel. I’m posting my wrap up tomorrow. It’s so sad that the consensus seems to be negative on this conference.

  10. Alita says:

    Oooh I didn’t know that people from another conference were allowed into Book Blogger Con. A few awkward conversations are now starting to make sense.

  11. Thank you so much for your kind words about the Creating Community and Driving Engagement panel. I was one of the panelists.

    I remember the audience member you mentioned. I hope I didn’t appear too horrified! Bless her heart. lol

    • You are so welcome! It was one of the highlights of the day!

      Yeah, that person was so off. It made me wonder if she’d been around many of us at all. The community of book bloggers is wonderful! :)

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