Thursday, June 6, 2013

BEA 2013 Coverage - Book Bloggers Conference.

As most people know, the structure of BEA was a little different this year.  The BEA Bloggers Conference was Wednesday with the rest of BEA being Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

I hesitated to go to the BEA Bloggers Con this year after last year's event, but I decided to give it another try.  Plus, Kate from Midnight Book Girl was going and she was staying with me, so that was more incentive to go.

The first snafu was when Kate was trying to get the meal voucher.  Long story and VERY rude manager that upset both of us quite a bit.  I tweeted this and one of the organizers of the Con responded immediately to come find her and she would have a ticket.  So that was great and I appreciated the quick response to rectify the situation.  However, we didn't need to do this because another person at our table was given 5 meal tickets (yes 5) and gave Kate one.  So, it worked out on that end.

The opening keynote speaker was Will Schwalbe.  His talk was called Who Knows What Works and the booklet described his presentation as discussion of what works and what does not work on the web pertaining to books.  There were a few Tweets expressing displeasure with his comments about being "nice" in reviews and to remember that there is a person behind the book.

So, there was that.

I think that most book bloggers understand that we discuss the book and not the author and to be reminded to watch our snark kind of made me feel like I was being scolded.

Next was the Adult Editor's Insight.  I assumed this panel would discuss editing books.  How it works, some inside stories.  However, it was a panel telling about the books coming out.  I wish there had been a blurb explaining this or the panel was called something else that was more clear.  I didn't leave and go to the other panel because that one was the YA Editor's Insight and I figured it would be the same.

A lively discussion was after that with Adult Book Blogging Pros: Successes, Struggles and Insider Secrets.
After that I went to the VERY crowded food court for lunch.  It was crazy!  I didn't really want to wait on two long lines so I just grabbed a salad and waited on the long line to pay.  There were other Cons going on and maybe the organizers might want to think about not holding the lunch slots at the same time.  There were several people who didn't get a lunch voucher either. 

When I finished eating I went back into the main room and caught some of the Ethics Forum Luncheon.  Admittedly, I didn't hear much, but I did understand that basically the FTC is concerned about endorsements.  So that's why book bloggers need to be transparent about their sources.  

Next up-Blogging Platforms with Rachel from Parajunkee, April from Good Books and Good Wine, Evie Seo from Bookish and Stephanie Leary, a Word Press Consultant.   Although I knew a lot of the information presented, it was still helpful to hear it again and the discussion of the pros and cons of each.  I'm still trying to decide if I should switch to Word Press from Blogger.  I feel like I don't really need to, but after this panel I'm getting closer and closer.

Extending the Reach of Your Blog Online was next with some ideas of how to increase your presence.  We skipped the closing Keynote so I can't really comment on that.

Me and Jeff Hirsch.
Kate and I headed over to the cocktail hour which was nice.  We met some publishers and got some books signed.  I met Jeff Hirsch who wrote The Eleventh Plague and I was able to get my book signed.   We also met Melissa de la Cruz and got books signed.  I was kind of nervous to ask Jeff to sign my book, but he was so extremely nice.

Melissa de la Cruz and Kate.
I think that the organizers do listen to the attendees of the Bloggers Con and it was improved from last year in that I didn't feel books were being pushed on me and the general feel of what bloggers could do for authors was not present. However, as with all events, there were some aspects that could be improved.  I realize that the day is short and different people look for different information at a conference.  I'll have to see what the line-up is for next year before I decide to go again.  I also feel that a lot of information is so readily available online and from helpful bloggers that the conference didn't enhance what I already knew.  Don't let that sway you from attending though.  Determine if the speakers are a good fit for you and if you think you can learn something new.


Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

It sounds like they are working it out but still have some ways to go. I want to go to BEA but I don't know that I would go in early for the blogger con. I am glad they mentioned the FTC, I know a lot of people were unaware of their changes. Especially with giveaways and reviews (when tweeting and facebooking)

Roberta R. said...

Really interesting to have an insight of BEA, especially considering I'll never be able to go...I thought it was just an authors-meet-readers/bloggers event - and a showoff of new books - not a series of conferences.

Quote: "The first snafu was when Kate was trying to get the meal voucher. Long story and VERY rude manager that upset both of us quite a bit. I tweeted this and one of the organizers of the Con responded immediately to come find her and she would have a ticket."
LOL the power of Twitter.

Julie@My5monkeys said...

wow I have heard mixed reviews about the con. You didn't miss much with the last speaker it seems :)
Glad that your friend was able to eat , and lunch lines sounds terrible :(
Good info about FTC

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

You were awesome that morning! That guy was such a... well, a word I shouldn't use on your blog. Let's go with snobdouche. The guy was a giant snobdouche.

I think the Blogger Con could be handled better. I think because the panels don't offer much that we should have time to have table discussions with other bloggers, time to make connections and discuss what works for us. That's the reason I'll go again (if I decide to do Blogger Con), because I enjoy meeting other bloggers.

The cocktail hour was fun, and it was really nice being able to chat with real authors (even if some of us do spill red wine all over ourselves). ;)

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I can't wait to hear the story about the voucher. I've seen on a couple of other blogs that other people had issues as well.

I'm glad to see that the blogger con was better than last year because in terms of blogging last year was really disappointing, though it seems like it still needs some work in terms of making it a day that is all about blogging.

I love wordpress and I'm really glad I switched. I love everything it can do (especially the automation - I can be so lazy!) but I know that it's not for everyone.

Alexia561 said...

Thanks for the recap! I love hearing about everyone's adventures!

fakesteph said...

I'm kind of sad I missed it, but those last two pictures of gorgeous!

Aurian said...

Thanks for this lovely post. I so enjoy reading recaps of conventions :)

Nat said...

I am SO jealous but super happy to read your post. Kelli & I WILL attend next year! I'll have to get some pointers from all of the past attendees!

I'd So Rather Be Reading

Anita Eva said...

Great post, Midnyte! I liked your reporting and think it's very cool that you got to go, and hope you had lots of fun :-)


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