New York weekend: The Book Blogger Convention

Well, friends, I’m back — and not a moment too soon! I’d like to apologize for my longest period of blogging MIA-ness in the history of write meg! Ironically, my absence completely coincided with, of all things, a blogging convention.

And not just any blogging convention, but the Book Blogger Convention in New York City. Held May 28 at the Javits Center in Manhattan, I took the train up with my family late Thursday in order to be ready to talk shop with tons of fabulous bloggers, publishers and literary professionals from around the country.

I’ll be going into detail regarding other aspects of my trip soon, but the BBC was a definite highlight. I had an awesome time meeting so many folks I’ve only “known” through our blogs and Twitter and really enjoyed the many, varied panels on subjects like ethics in blogging, building content and marketing our blogs. Even more fun was hearing some of my favorite bloggers — like Rebecca and Christina — talking about how they blog.

Overall, the sentiment I took away from the convention was that what we do here — and what I do here — is important. All of our bookish discussions, conversations and contacts really do matter, and the fact that we are able to passionately and consistently talk about literature is a really valuable asset to the world of books. Are we “professionals”? Not in the traditional sense, no. But by sitting here and talking about novels day in and day out, we’re becoming “experts” in our own fields.

I’m an expert on chick lit, I’d wager. And lattes. And Power Dresses. (Yes, that’s me in mine above — rocked at the BBC. Please ignore the creepy Myspace-esque aspect of it; I had to change quickly before dinner and didn’t have anyone around to shoot a decent one for me!)

Big hugs to the many fabulous ladies (and a gentleman!) I met (some for the second time!), including Kari, Kim, Care, Sheila, Rebecca, Michelle, my girl Nicole, Alison, Amanda, Bill and many, many more! Hope to see everyone again very soon for more book-related craziness.

And if you need me? I’ll be pouring through the massive amount of swag in our parting gift bags. And scheming how to, you know, blog better. Because that’s just the name of the game, isn’t it?

(Later in the week I’ll be posting on other adventures in New York City, including an enormously detailed “What I Ate” commentary, but for now? Enjoy these shots from a very unique, fun day.)

Care, Kim and Sheila at breakfast

Trish of Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin' kicks off the day's festivities

Maureen Johnson, our hilarious keynote speaker

Some of the crowd

Ron Hogan, who spoke about ethics in blogging

Outside our conference room, and some of the swag bags

Inside the Javits Convention Center, which was absolutely enormous

Amy of My Friend Amy and author Beth Kephart speaking during a panel on author/blogger relationships

Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness and Christina of Stacked discuss building content on our blogs

One of the many fine panels

How you could identify yours truly

BBAW is almost underway!

Only three days remain in the nomination period for this year’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week! I emerged in the book-blog scene just as BBAW was happening last year and had no concept of the awesome community into which I’d stumbled! I’m hoping this year will be totally different — and I’ll be able to contribute as much as possible! Last year more than 400 blogs participated, and the organizers are hoping that this year’s events will be even bigger.

If you haven’t already stopped by the site to praise your favorite book blogs and nominate them in fun categories like “most eclectic taste,” “best commenter” and “best general review blog,” you have until Aug. 15 to do so here.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is Sept. 14-18, 2009.

Tuesday Thingers: Let’s review, shall we?

This week’s Tuesday Thingers question from the Boston Bibliophile:

Most of us book bloggers like to write book reviews — if we don’t love to write book reviews — but here’s today’s question. When it comes to LT (and your blog), do you review every book you read? Do you just review Early Reviewers or ARCs? Do you review only if you like a book, or only if you feel like you have to? How soon after reading do you post your review? Do you post them other places — other social networking sites, Amazon, etc.?

I guess my answer to this one is relatively simple this week! Since I started “seriously” book blogging in September, I’ve reviewed every single book I’ve read — both on LibraryThing and here on write meg! Clearly I love to read, I love to write and I love to vocally express my opinions on . . . well, everything. So book reviews are the perfect opportunity to do so! Since I’ve reviewed all my recent reading, I’ve definitely made sure to quickly post my reviews of ARCs and Early Reviewers, too.

Of the books I’ve read in the past or pre-2008, I’ve posted reviews on LibraryThing only for the books I remembered very clearly or about which had really strong opinions. Since my memory can be a little fuzzy, I didn’t think it was fair to try and post anything coherent about a book without it being fresh in my mind. I’m sure time will have changed my perception of everything.

As soon as I’ve finished the book, I generally post my review the next day. The only exception would probably be if I’ve completed the novel on the weekend, as I guess I’m generally a weekday blogger! I don’t post to Amazon because, while I use Amazon for basic information all the time, I still buy my books elsewhere. I haven’t really participated in that community much and feel that many of the book reviews I read there are very biased or just unintelligible! Though I mean no offense to any regular contributors out there — I know there are still plenty of savvy folks out on Amazon who like to post! I just generally get my reviews elsewhere — namely, from my favorite book blogs. And LibraryThing, of course!