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BEA 2012: Take-Aways

BEA 2012 was a big step for me. I’ve been blogging now for a little over a year, and I wanted to take a leap and finally meet the bloggers, publishers and authors I spent so much time talking to online (especially on the Twitters).

I’m not going to go into a play-by-play of the BEA Bloggers conference (that I attended Monday, June 6), but I will instead give you the highlights and some info I gleaned from both the bloggers conference and the actual expo.

For more in-depth overviews of the BEA Bloggers Conference and BookExpo America day by day, I suggest reading any of the following wrap-ups:

You can also find my own BEA 2012 video recap here.

BEA 2012: Take-Aways

Jennifer Weiner BEA 2012 bloggers con

Blurry pic of Jennifer Weiner, Keynote Speaker

I’m a really practical person, and when I learn new information my frist instinct is to ask. “How can I use XYZ to benefit myself/my blog/my readers?” (not necessarily in that order 😉 ).

If you also attended the BEA Bloggers Conference or BookExpo America, please feel free to add your own take-aways in the comments!

BEA Bloggers General Sessions

  • Bloggers will become increasingly more relevant as newspapers continue to die – especially because our reviews “stay on the shelves forever online.” – From Jennifer Weiner’s keynote
  • Use photos more frequently on Facebook fan pages, as the new Timeline format has made Facebook that much more visually engaging. – Suggested by Patrick Brown, Goodreads Community Manager
  • Engage your readers who may not be part of the blogging community. Give them something meaty and interesting to read in your blog posts.

BEA Bloggers Session – So You Want to Make Money?

  • “In book blogging, you can only hope to make beer money.” – Ron Hogan, creator of Beatrice.com (I couldn’t disagree more)
  • Rita Arens from BlogHer suggested that bloggers should be paid for their reviews, as we put so much time and energy into something we that is a huge service for readers.
  • Make what your blog does essential to your readers and the book blogging community – From Sarah Pitre from Forever Young Adult
  • Brand your blog – make it a unique voice that is wholly you.
  • According to the panel, making money from your blog comes down to your number of pageviews and unique visitors.

BEA Bloggers Session – Demystifying the Book Blogger & Publisher Relationship

  • Don’t be afraid to tell publishers what books you do and do not want to review on your blog. – From Jenn, JennsBookShelves.com
  • Edelweiss is another site to request review copies, and Simon & Schuster is now using the site instead of their GalleyGrab program, which it has now retired.
  • One way publishers determine bloggers’ stats is by checking Alexa.com. – According to Lucille Rettino from Simon & Schuster
  • When requesting review copies, include your Twitter and Facebook stats and mention if you accept e-galleys (if you do, that will definitely help you out).
  • Be active in throwing out new ideas to publishers about book tours and other ways to generate interaction.
  • When you’re done with a galley, do a giveaway on your blog. Do not donate them to libraries or schools, as they are uncorrected proofs.

Like many of the other bloggers have said, I think the bloggers conference lacked information and industry news for the more advanced set. Sessions on moving from Blogger to WordPress, ethics discussions or improving search engine optimization would have made great additions to the conference, I think.

I plan on contacting the event organizer, Joe Vella, with some suggestions for next year. His email address is jvella@reedexpo.com, for those of you interested in doing the same.

Overall, I’m so thankful I could attend both the conference and the expo this year, and I will definitely be returning in 2013!

Here’s to an awesome BEA 2012 – and here’s hoping next year is even better!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.