Book Blogger Appreciation Week was started by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy in an effort to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading.
The first Book Blogger Appreciation was observed in the fall of 2008 and occurs every September. The week spotlights and celebrates the work of active book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities. In addition, Book Bloggers are encouraged to register their participation for inclusion in the Book Blogger Database.
Note: Today – Saturday, August 15th, is the deadline for submitting nominees for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Nominations are accepted in all categories. Anyone can nominate a blog and bloggers may nominate themselves. Click here to nominate your favorite book blogs.
Amy was kind enough to answer a few questions about Book Blogger Appreciation Week and the Book Blogger Database.
KM: Tell us about the Book Blogger Database. How and why did you start it? Is it successful? Are you planning on expanding it/adding more search categories?
Amy Riley: The database/directory was started because I thought it would be nice to have an easy way to find book blogs by the subject matter they cover. When I started BBAW last year, I honestly thought I would be lucky to have 60 bloggers interested in the idea. Over 400 blogs registered for inclusion in the directory. It will be updated this year with all 950+ blogs that have submitted their information.
As far as its success…well it takes time to spread the word, and I still see people start new book blog directories every few months. Any blog can add themselves as well, they just need to be approved. I have absolutely no technical skill so Monica of Monniblog and Lys of I Read What?? handle all of that! Hopefully we can get the directory to a place where it will be useful for anyone who wants to find a book blog on any genre or subject matter, and maybe even get to the point where book bloggers, bookstores, and other people who have an invested interest in reading and books can find others in their area.
KM: How’d you get the idea for Book Blogger Appreciation Week?
AR: First of all, I just admire the book blogging community so much. I am always impressed with how warm, welcoming, and open minded book bloggers are! Also, I am aware of how much work it takes. Other forms of blogging are not quite as time consuming, but with book blogging, you have to be able to read the books, write reviews, read other blogs, learn the technicial aspects of blogging, and for many bloggers there is also a heavy amount of email involved in corresponding with publicists and authors, and of course their readers!
I think most bloggers love it, but there are times when you spend a week reading a book, more than an hour writing a review and you get two comments! And you think…does it matter to anyone that I’m doing this? My answer is yes! 🙂
What really spurred it on though, was a piece in the Huffington Post called Will Blogs Save Books? which seemed to be quite condescending towards the kind of book blogs I read. Book bloggers are keeping conversations about books alive, through our blogs, on Twitter, etc. Our “reviews” are definitely more of the reader review variety, but personally I love the way that opens up discussions on books! Our blogs are one hundred percent a labor of love, and I wanted other bloggers to know how much I appreciate what they do. Also, I thought it was time we had awards for book blogging.
KM: How many people were nominated last year? Has it grown this year?
AR: A couple of hundred blogs were nominated across the categories last year and this year we have over 1,000 blogs nominated across all of the categories. Book blogging has really grown, which is fantastic, but as a reader of blogs, it’s frustrating because I know I don’t have time to read all of the great blogs out there.
KM: How did you decide on the categories?
AR: We have a team of bloggers who volunteered last year to work on the awards. Early this year we looked at last year’s list, last year’s suggestions and tweaked the categories as well as adding in the ones that seemed most popular. Obviously there are the more serious categories and then the more fun categories. (like most chatty!) I hope the categories reflect the book blogging world, but I can see from write-in nominations that there is more room for growth, and that the changing world of books (i.e. the growth of e-books) will lead to more in the future.
KM: What categories get the most nominations?
AR: Without a doubt the most popular is Best General Book Blog. Many bloggers do not feel that their blog fits into any specific niche.
KM: What criteria is used in judging?
AR: Quality of Writing, Originality and Diversity of Content, Audience Engagement, and Visual Aesthetic and Functionality.
KM: What’s the best part of running Book Blogger appreciation Week?
AR: For me it’s seeing this amazing community come together and just geek out over books and blogging! I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers through BBAW and I suspect my google reader will never recover after this year’s event.
You can follow BBAW on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bbaw. Voting on the BBAW shortlists begins September 7 and during the week of September 14-18 BBAW will feature special guest posts, blogger interviews, giveaways, and of course the awards announcements!
About Amy Riley:
Amy is a twenty something book blogger committed to keeping a passion for the written word alive and promoting a culture of literacy. She writes reviews, discusses bookish news, hosts author interviews, guest posts, and giveaways, explores Southern California’s literary scene, and writes about the other pop culture arts as well, including her obsession, LOST. She founded Book Blogger Appreciation Week, the LOST Books Challenge, and the Buy Books for the Holidays Project. She loves interacting with bookish people and can’t wait to get to know you! Follow Amy on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/MyFriendAmy.