In celebration of all things books and Book Expo America, today those of us unable to make it to NYC but still want to participate in BEA are doing so virtually! Join us: ArmchairBEA.
Today we're talking about networking in the real world. This can be scary for some, maybe not so scary for others. Blogging allows a certain anonymity or facelessness, but when you actually need to get out and network with people who realize you have to take that step. You are going to have go to the dreaded "face-to-face." Take a deep breath and just know you will survive. The publishers and authors are, for the most part, genuinely nice people who are dedicated to the same goal you are: getting the word out about books. Just be polite and courteous when you are speaking with them or contacting them and accept that sometimes you just might here "no."
You may or may not know I'm a librarian in the "real world", so I figure I would talk about networking from a librarian blogger's point of view. My day job is to talk about books...all day long...to every one. I enjoy it so much I make a career out of it. Obviously, you like books as well or you wouldn't be reading this post. So, think about using the library as a source for your well honed skills. Reach out to your local libraries. Tell them you would love to give book talks about new or upcoming books. Donate ARCs you have finished with to book clubs that meet at the library. See if they will write reviews for you to use on your blog!
If you are a blog geared towards a specific age group, contact the library staff to see what programs you can help with or start one centered around that age group. See if you can help out with Summer Reading Programs. Check to see if the library has a blog and write reviews for it. They could be having authors come to speak and need help, and you could the help they were looking for. Maybe you could be the one to help the library start bringing authors in! So many possibilities!
Your local library has so many ways you can network and help spread the love of reading. You just need to take the first step!