Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Armchair BEA: Networking in Real Life Do's and Don't's

Today in Armchair BEA we're talking about networking offline- working with bookstores, attending author readings and meeting-and-greeting with publishers and other book professionals. I've had lots of opportunities to do different things over the years and wanted to share some thoughts about how to proceed.
  • Do act with humility and gratitude. Bloggers are enthusiastic amateurs; show respect to people who do this for a living and have been doing it for years. 
  • Do keep it classy. I've seen a lot of tweets and chatter in the last few days about how much some people plan to drink at BEA, or how many galleys they're going to scoop, etc. Don't be that person who gives someone a reason to lose respect for bloggers.
  • Do be enthusiastic about the books and authors and publishers you love. Sincere appreciation makes a great impression!
  • Don't put your ARCs on eBay. Ever. Donate them to the library if/when you no longer want them.
  • Do approach the publishers you like to express interest in the books. But don't make it all about you. Do let them know how you can help them spread the word about their great books.
  • Do shop indie. Independent bookstores are your local link to the larger book world. Get to know them, support them, take advantage of what they have to offer.
  • Do attend local author events. It's so incredibly fun to meet writers in real life! And do introduce yourself as a blogger when you have a chance to chat. Do buy books at events when you can.
  • Do see if there's a way to work with your local indie, maybe offering picks or helping out with something in-store. But again, don't make it all about you. Remember that you're new on the scene and they need to get to know you so do let them know what you can and will do to help them. Then do follow through on your commitments! Don't walk in demanding ARCs or other perks. Do respect their staff and business. Do be prepared that they might not need you. (Same goes for libraries.)
  • Do get involved in advocacy opportunities like World Book Night or Banned Book Week. Help spread the word to your community about reading!
Visit Armchair BEA Central for more stories and advice about networking in the real world!

15 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

All good advice. I always cringe when stories come back from some of the bigger events of bad blogger behavior. Makes us all look like schmucks.

Karin Perry said...

Thanks for the tips. Your post is the first one to approach this topic in this way. Very useful!!! Thanks for participating in AC BEA.

Violette Severin said...

This is great advice. I will use your ideas about approaching publishers next weekend at the Printers Row Book Fair. However, I have never known an indie to give an ARC away.

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

Wonderful advice as always!

Chrisbookarama said...

Those were great Marie! Thanks for posting them.

Julie@My5monkeys said...

Those are all great advice . Thanks for posting them.

Suey said...

Perfect do's and don'ts! Thanks! :)

Red said...

Great advice!

Kristine Asselin said...

Really good advice, thanks for sharing your expertise!

Sarah Williams said...

Excellent advice! Those stories of people being arc greedy was something that would make me leary of going to BEA or something similar.

Ryan said...

I've been on both sides of the booth at BEA (as a representative of a publisher and as a book lover) and I have to say that is advice to live by right there (although I've been know to drink too much).

Stepping Out of the Page said...

This is such a good post - you have made some very good points. I wish more people would be blogger-savvy!

New to your blog!
Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page

Amy said...

I think this is a wonderful list of Dos and Don'ts for Networking and Bloggin...and Living! Seriously! I will be committing some to memory because I'm hoping to start attending events at a few great Indie book stores here in Brooklyn. They're great stores and I'd really like to establish a relationship with them.

I was thinking recently how I wish I had created my book blog and began blogging in this community 5 or more years ago because I think this community was filled with more respectable, thoughtful and caring people as a whole. And I don't think the increase in the number of book bloggers is the problem.

Your advice about being 'classy' coming after the tweets you saw by bloggers bragging they "...plan to drink at BEA, or how many galleys they're going to scoop, etc..."
reminded me how shocked I was by the reaction of bloggers when they learned, a couple of months ago, that a popular, respected blogger had made a big blogging mistake. Bloggers were nasty, cruel, almost vindictive and many of them wouldn't let it go. It was so sad and appalling.

Amy said...

All great tips, great to see you sharing them with all of us. Also, thanks for the hangout today :) Was lovely to be able to steal you away from work for a quick chat!

stacybuckeye said...

Awesome advise for all :)