26 May 2011

Armchair BEA: Building Relationships

From Armchair BEA:
Blogging is about community, and community is about relationships. Post about a relationship you’ve formed with a particular publisher, author, blogger, or bookstore; share your thoughts and tips about connecting and building those relationships; crowd-source your questions about these relationships!
When I started this blog almost four years ago (Holy Hades, really?) I was really just trying to find a way to have a voice when I felt like I didn't. I am not a social butterfly or the one who always is on top of the latest and greatest thing. I have my loves and adorations in books, ebooks, yarn, libraries, gardening, homesteading, etc. I am not expecting to be the next Story Siren, Librarian By Day or Yarn Harlot - but I do like to share, and my work in technology has made me realize this is a positive venue for articulation and community (mostly - because sometimes venting on the blog just kind of happens!).

I know that my community has grown with the help of Twitter also. New followers and colleagues and friendships have been developed, and there I follow authors, bloggers and publishers to find out what is being published and talked about in libraries. I am a librarian, but I work in a network office now, not a library. I love my job, but I do miss the one-on-one with books and patrons (mostly). :)

I never would have gotten up the nerve to approach publishers about requesting review copies until reading other book bloggers and their experiences and advice. Without their blogs, I never would have even deigned I was good enough to approach authors such as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and ask for a fun picture, or discuss a blog tour and interview with Melissa Morgan-Oakes (coming next month). I never would have thought that I would approach local city council to express an interest in having chickens in my city and end up working on an ordinance, except by following other bloggers who helped to advocate for them too. I never thought I would start bringing my work experience into opinion posts on the blog (always knowing that my opinion on the topic is wholly my own, and doesn't reflect my employer), except by knowing that if I have an interest in the information, maybe someone else does too?

I know that commenting on blogs is important, and sometimes there will be differences of opinion. I value that, because it is nice to know for as many people that hold the same opinion as you, there are some that don't. Sometimes I even learn from that! I know that followers are a great visual judge of who is checking out what I write, yet I have figured that for every follower and actual comment I may have another dozen that don't do either. That is okay. I appreciate everyone that does follow, comment and lurk!

Honestly, I think that the only advice I have for bloggers is to be yourself and love what your blog about. I have been amazed at what holding to those two rules have brought me!

What do you think?