105 Ways to Give a Book

KidLitCon Report: Part II

Saturday morning, the day of the Kidlitosphere Conference, and several kind souls were stuffing folders while I greeted attendees and pushed the breakfast buffet. The buffet did not reach my goal of looking “ravaged by wolves” (btw, that is a band name), nor was I able to persuade people to stuff their pockets with bacon, but it was a great start to the conference. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

I started the meeting proper off with my session The Blogger Within: An Interview with Your Inner Blogger. I’m quite proud of this session, which involved only six questions and two homework assignments, thus I will repeat it here. You will only need to supply the three-minute pauses between questions to give yourself time to answer:
  1. Why are you blogging?

  2. Who do you see as your audience?

  3. What is unique to you that you can bring to your blog?

  4. Where would you place your blog within the larger community?

  5. When will you schedule time to check back on your blogging mission?

  6. How do the answers to these questions support or change what you are doing now?
Your homework: Look at the last six months of your blog and choose five posts that you like the most and five posts that represent your blog the best. What do they show you about your passions, interests, direction, and style?

Second homework: Put a date on your calendar to look at these questions again.
Good, huh? Next I worked with Michelle of Galleysmith on Building Your Blog: Best Practices, Ideas, and Tips. I talked about Purpose (which I’d already covered in that exercise above), Passion, and Professionalism. Later I came back with Participation and Perseverance, which completed my mastery of the Five Ps. Passion referred to writing what you love, supplying quality content, and channeling your voice. Professionalism touched on giving credit, disclosing relationships/products, avoiding conflicts of interest, watching your online behavior, and having responsible review policies. Participation involved going outside your own blog to be involved in the community with comments, memes, links, and events. Perseverance is, you know, “steady persistence in a course of action or purpose, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” (Thanks, Dictionary.com.)

Michelle did the heavy lifting on this session with topics of Involve/Engage Audience, SEO, Social Media, Marketing, and Design. We’ll post her much fuller notes on KidLitosphere Central soon, but for now check out Liz’s summary at Tea Cozy.

The next sessions were split for book reviewers and authors. Liz also has a good writeup of the book reviewers’ part, and Sara Lewis Holmes has notes from her author session. I attended the first session and took some notes, but honestly my mind was occupied by the coming visit of the Federal Trade Commission representative.

Speaking of which, the FTC session was covered throughly at Galleysmith and Tea Cozy. It was picked up by GalleyCat and Publishers Weekly, where I talked to author and conference attendee Sue Corbett about the whole FTC vs. Book Blogger Death Match. I’m going to save my final thoughts on the topic for a separate post, but I’ll say now that it was amazing to have FTC representative Mary Engle talk to us, and it raised the profile of the conference and our community.

Lunch was on our own, and I took the opportunity to sit quietly for a bit and dip my toes in the #KidlitCon Twitter stream, which later was tied up nicely by Greg Pincus.

The Meet the Author session came next and gave me a chance to mix and mingle with many more people. Simon Pulse provided author Elizabeth Scott with gift bags of her books Living Dead Girl and Something, Maybe. Sharon Hancock from Candlewick Press brought ARCs of many books, though I only took the leftover copies of The Ask and the Answer and Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots. (I later gave one copy of the first to our hotel housekeeper, who has a teenage boy.) Joan Holub signed a copy of Shampoodle for my three-year-old niece and Shelena Shorts signed a copy of The Pace for, well, me. I brought my own copy of Operation YES for Sara Lewis Holmes to sign, and now it’s first on my list of books to read when I have a brain again. I also grabbed Laurel Snyder to sign last year’s Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains after waxing poetic about her new book — which I did not have with me — Any Which Wall. I managed to grab an ARC of Paula Chase’s Flipping the Script and received a copy of Wendie Old’s The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun. I was excited to talk to Candice Ransom and meet Ellsworth — who has a totally weak handshake, by the way. I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, but fortunately Jama Rattigan did.

Okay, this is getting really long. It was a fuller day than I thought. Oh, and that picture above was Elizabeth Scott and me. Moving on.

Greg Pincus talked to us about Social Media and connection and showed us slides on our laptops. (So, I didn’t spring for the $1,000 LCD hook-up — sue me.) During the next two sessions — Authors, Publishers, Reviewers (and ARCs): A Panel Conversation and Coming Together, Giving Back: Building Community, Literacy, and the Reading Message — I was distracted with some “Being in Charge of the Conference” things, so I missed big parts of both. I’ll provide links to summaries as I find them. Sorry.

I was going to plow through with this post into the cocktail hour and charity raffle and dinner and drinks, but now I’ll leave that for Part III. If you have a post about the conference, leave me a comment and I’ll be rounding up at the end of the week. Of course, I’ll continue to accept comments about KidLitCon itself or even my awesomeness.

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Peaceful Reader said...

This is great to read since I was not able to break away from my busy school and home schedule to be able to attend. This fills me in at least part way!! I am going to revisit your questions in my journal! glad it was so much fun!

Joan Holub said...

Thanks, Pam. It's fun to see the pix. I hope your niece enjoys the book! I'm posting a few more photos of the LOC tour at http://joanholub.blogspot.com

Jaymie said...

Great questions! I like the idea of regularly checking back and re-evaluating why I am blogging and if I am staying on message. Thanks for posting this for those of us who couldn't make the trip!