Can bloggers help booksellers make their way into the digital age? The Southern Independent Booksellers Asssociation (SIBA) and New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) clearly think so – and are opening the doors of their trade shows to bloggers this fall. Bloggers are responding enthusiastically, judging by their outpouring of excitement as they peppered both organizeers with questions in our #followreader chat on Twitter yesterday.
What do booksellers see in book bloggers? “The desire to connect readers with book is what drives this industry and indie stores are looking to bloggers and digital solutions,” said SIBA director Wanda Jewell (@SIndies), who was our guest on yesterday’s chat, along with NEIBA director Steve Fischer (@SteveNEIBA). In addition, bloggers and booksellers also share a fiercely independent outlook, Jewell observed. So why not encourage bloggers to affiliate with indie stores, and share their passion, content, and the profits from selling books via their blogs?
Must say, this chat was one of those intensely gratifying moments when two vibrant communities - book bloggers and booksellers – came together on Twitter in a moment discovery and excitement. The hour flew by with more than 550 tweets from more than 125 contributors, as guests Jewell and Fischer explained trade show basics and how bloggers can get involved.
Key Facts about the Regional Trade Shows for Bloggers:
Of course, it costs money and time for bloggers to attend a trade show – so it’s best to weigh the main benefits of regional trade show attendance first:
- hearing buzz on upcoming books and chance to sample free galleys
- talking one on one with booksellers and publisher sales reps
- interviewing authors attending the shows
The next step is to see if one if you can make it to one of the nine regional book trade shows in the U.S. this fall. (Click here for dates, locations and organizer contact info.)
Both SIBA and NEIBA are offering free media passes to bloggers.
- Bloggers wishing to attend SIBA in Daytona, Florida on September 24-26 can find more details here.
- Those wishing to attend NEIBA in Providence, Rhode Island on September 30 – October 2, can register and get more info next week.
Bloggers who are curious about attending other regional shows should check with the organizers about blogger attendence policies. And why not even propose a panel on ways that book bloggers and booksellers can work together, like the one at SIBA? Of course, it’s a good idea to check the program listings at your local show to make sure another blogger hasn’t already gotten there first, like Rebecca Schinsky (@bookladysblog) and @RonHogan, who are presenting on this topic at SIBA and the NAIBA show in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Keep scrolling for a detailed recap of the #followreader conversation – but first, a few words of thanks.
Hats off to Ruth Liebmann (@yrstrulyREL), queen of bookseller and library marketing services at Random House, who hatched the idea for today’s chat. A shout out to the other industry insiders like Mark Evans of Edelweiss (@markrevans), Kelly Justice of the Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia (@RVABookChik), and @HarperPerennial, who added clarity to the conversation. And thanks to bloggers Candace Levy (@bethfishreads), Dawn at @TooFondofBooks and librarian Marie of @BostonBibliophl for great input from the blogger side!
Regional Book Trade Shows 101
SIndies: Regional trade shows are where the industry gathers to prepare for the next season
SIndies: So imagine tons of books, booksellers, publishers, authors, librarians, industry friends gathering for education & enlightenment
@yrstrulyREL: And many publishers also bring advance reading copies of books that they think the indies will especially love reading
@markrevans: Having gone to both, I can say that regionals are much more about the books and bookselling than BookExpo.
@yrstrulyREL: The regionals are independent & each one is different. Some may be great for bloggers, others maybe less so.
@yrstrulyREL: The educational sessions are environments where booksellers can speak freely and trade good ideas.
@charabbott: For book bloggers who cannot make those shows, try following their hashtags on Twitter for scoops (e.g. #SIBA10)
Bloggers Are Welcome at SIBA
@SIndies: #SIBA10 charges for “other industry” admittance but book bloggers qualify for press passes which are free to media
Previews of Galleys and Publishers at Regional Shows
@HarperPerennial: would bloggers appreciate preview posts on our blog for trade shows like we did for BEA and ALA?
@HarperPerennial: Will definitely do preview posts before trade shows–thanks for feedback!
@yrstrulyREL: Check the regional bestseller lists to see what kinds of books will be popular at a trade show
Authors at Regional Shows
@charabbott: Yes, key point for bloggers – regional trade shows are a great place to meet authors
@yrstrulyREL: Southern pals: Fannie Flagg is going to SIBA. You know *that* will be blogworthy
HarperPerennial oh, and bloggers: any time you want to interview one of our authors, let me know! i’ll do what i can to make it happen.
Bloggers and Booksellers Unite!
@ShelfAwareness: Bloggers, when you mention a book, offer a link to an indie bookseller, not just Amazon. Support your local!
@AaronsBooks: wld love to meet more bloggers at NAIBA in Atlantic City http://www.newatlanticbooks.com/registration.html
@GodinePub: if any bloggers are coming to NEIBA or the MBA show in Minneapolis, we’d love to meet you!
@mawbooks: In UT? Bloggers are holding their bi-annual social this month. Booksellers, authors invited to attend -> http://bit.ly/chgeoz
@SteveNEIBA: Judging by volume on NECBA listserv I’d think childrens bksellers+authors could blog up a storm at NEIBA!
@SIndies: I dont think geography has to be an issue. That is the real beauty here. Find a store you love and love it.
@AMACOMBooks: How about genre book bloggers teaming up with genre indie stores? Mystery, biz, LGBT, etc
@teresasreading: I love the idea of getting “matched” up with a bookseller
@AaronsBooks: 2 things bloggers can do is link to store in your blog & let them know you want to work w/ them
@SIndies: Bookstores can include their local book blogger in their staff picks.
@bethfishreads: I wish more indies allowed bloggers to post reviews on their websites
@IndiaFiles: Indie stores need to have logos available for display by book bloggers who wish to support local Indie stores
@IndiaFiles: Each store website could list local book bloggers & displays book post feeds, auto-aggregated