Attaching Faces to Names Should Never be Approached Lightly
Lunch was spent in a Steak & Shake and involved me stealing fries from Ellen Klages for half an hour.
Pam Coughlan of MotherReader led Kitlit Blogging, Part 2 – the business side and talked me up considerably. During the conversation that followed, Greg of Gotta Book mentioned that the best way to attract readers to your blog is to "misspell" something. For example, he once wrote a piece called "The Spiderweb Chronicles" about an encounter with an arachnid. The hits to that piece just keep on coming as a result. So from here on in I’ll be giving all my posts titles like "His Dark Materials Is Rising" and the like.
During Kidlit Blogging, Part 3 – the creative side the point was made by someone, possibly Brenda Ferber (my notes are a little shaky on who exactly said this, actually), that sometimes group blogs are better beasts than those created by single writers because self-promotion is easier (if one Longstocking talks about another Longstocking then you, the reader, do not usually mind) and the reader doesn’t get sick of a single voice. All very interesting. There is also the fact that when you have a single blog author, that person doesn’t tend to sleep much. FYI.
I’d like to take a moment to mention that the acoustics in the conference room were superb. Even the low-talkers could be heard if everyone was quiet and listened carefully. At this point in the proceedings, chocolate chip cookies were broken out and they were approximately the size of my head. Well played.
Of all the topics held at the conference, the one that I felt could have been a full day of discussion in and of itself was The Ethics of Reviewing as conducted by Liz Burns. Of course the subject of whether or not a person should do negative reviews came up, and Liz made the interesting point that often we have so much material in front of us that it’s difficult to find the time to merely finish a bad book, let alone review it. Due to the fact that I had read a pretty terrible book on the CTA ride to the conference center (and never picked it up again) I could see where she was coming from (though I’ll be writing some mighty critical reviews in the next month, so watch out). Other concerns included that old bugaboo of whether or not you should make it clear on your reviews where you got one item or another. I suppose I could make some kind of "Where Did I Get This Book" note at the end of each of my reviews, just so that I was completely transparent every time I talked about a title. That might be easy enough. At the very least it’s something to consider.
(CONTINUED IN PART FOUR)
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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