Armchair BEA is the relationships we've built as a result of book-blogging, whether it be with other bloggers, or with publishers, or with authors.
What a topic. First of all, the friendships I've made as a result of my blog are the best part of blogging. I don't want to name names because I don't want to leave anyone out so I'll just say you know who you are! What a treat it's been to get to know local bloggers, to have pals to hang out with when I travel to other parts of the country, to get to know local writers, publishing execs and authors. What a treat to get to go to book launches, parties, and special events and signings. And it's so wonderful that first time you meet an online pal in real life and that Twitter-chatter becomes a real friendship.
And yeah, I have a little portfolio of me-with-famous-author photos to commemorate meeting some of the people I idolize, like Margaret Atwood and Justin Cronin.
Two years ago, the first time I didn't go to Book Expo (once I became aware of it and it was even an option), I got together with a bunch of Twitter pals for a "Boston BEA Tweetup" at a local indie bookstore, an occasion that marked the first time I attended a group meetup of Twitter friends. Many of the folks I met there are still pals, and a couple have become a couple of my closest friends in the Boston book community. I've also made great, lasting friendships at library conferences and other annual events.
If I were to give advice about building relationships in the book world, it's to be yourself, do good work and be a friend to others. That's how you make friends and build relationships in any context!