105 Ways to Give a Book

BlogHer09 vs. KidlitCon

I admit being a bit curious about BlogHer09, wondering if I could find some useful information for my blog and for the book blogging community. Not having a track there — as far as I know — I would have probably thrown my lot in with the mommy bloggers. I mean, I’m a mom and I write a blog. Seems like a natural fit.

As it turns out, I would have found myself at sessions where one person in the audience thought writing pay-for-post reviews was wrong. And that would have been scary. Marketing Mommy also notes of that session:
The women in the room were afraid to post negative reviews. Even posting constructive criticism was avoided. They were terrified of pissing off the PR folks and stopping the flow of goodies. And besides, writing a product review or hosting a giveaway was hard work. They deserved to be compensated for their work on behalf of brands. An interesting argument, but if you’re turning yourself into a freelance copywriter, isn’t it a little unfair to your readers to post as just another regular, trustworthy mom? I am an advertising copywriter, but I’d never recommend shampoo to a friend without mentioning I work on the account.
Yikes. See, when I wrote about increased scrutiny for bloggers it wasn’t because I think getting a review copy is wrong, or will even be questioned. It’s because without an awareness of one’s self and blog and community, there can be a slippery slope to commercialization, entitlement, and exploitation. What’s going on in the mommy blog community concerns me, not because it’s a direct correlation but because it’s a warning. I’ve been following Notes from the Trenches for years because I like her writing and her perspective. Her thoughts:
I didn’t come home with bags and bags of swag. Not that I wouldn’t have liked a couple of the things that were being given away. But there was no way that I was going to associate myself with people who had such a feeling of entitlement and complete disregard for other people, not to mention behaving in a completely unprofessional manner. A little tip here… if you want to be treated as a professional, you have to behave like one. I didn’t go there with the intention of getting free stuff. I went to sit in on panels, to maybe learn a few things, to catch up with old friends, to become re-inspired to hone my writing skills and be a better writer.
Let’s reflect on that last part. Here, I’ll make it easy for you:
I went to sit in on panels, to maybe learn a few things, to catch up with old friends, to become re-inspired to hone my writing skills and be a better writer.
KidLitCon 2009 - Washington DCToo bad that she isn’t a KidLit/YA blogger, because that is exactly what we’re offering at the KidLitosphere Conference. I’ve gone twice, and each time was amazing. Not because of star power — though finding Eric Kimmel in the audience was pretty cool — but because of building our skills. Not because of swag — though I brought home a few books — but because of inspiration. Not because of parties — though I had a nice time at the bar — but because of connections with the people in our community.

The session are not firm yet, but will include such things as getting to the heart of your blogging mission; building your blog a bit better; writing better book reviews; revealing yourself online; engaging in social media; navigating the nuances of publisher/author/blogger relationships; giving back to the community and literacy causes. The breakfast on Saturday morning and the dinner Saturday night are wonderful opportunities to meet the people you’ve only known online. There will be optional outings for Friday and Sunday, along with the many unscheduled meetings among friends.

You’ll be seeing more about the conference in the coming days and weeks, including the actual registration form. Some of the sessions still need leaders/speakers/panelists, so please contact me if you are interested in taking on one of those roles. You can, however, already book the hotel room for an incredible rate of $109 a night. With the registration fee itself coming in at around $100 — including breakfast and dinner on Saturday — the price for learning, community, collaboration, and friendship can’t be beat.


Abby said...

Yay! I'm so excited about the conference!!! WOOO!

Suzanne Casamento said...

I soooo want to go, but I'm totally broke. Please post details! : )

Melissa said...

So excited, so excited, so excited. I've wanted to go every year, and this year the money gods aligned and I can go. I. Can't. Wait.

I love this community.

Unknown said...

SOLD! See you there!

Also, glad to see I would have HATED BlogHer. Look how much money you just saved me!

Charlotte said...

Yikes. BlogHer sounds scary.

Pam--when you're organizing, don't forget to give us a chance to be organized as helpers! I'm planning on coming down Thursday night or Friday morning, and am happy to be put to work.

A though viz swag--would it be nice to have a table where we could trade our current ARCs?

Terry Doherty said...

Thanks for the (as usual) eagle-eye perspective on what's going on in other parts of blogistan. I'll second Charlotte's comment: put us locals to work!

I am more excited about KidLitCon than vacation next week!