Bloggers have been successful because of the relationships generated with other bloggers, authors, publishers and booksellers. Because of our willingness to use the power of the Internet and build relationships, the entire book industry has sat up and taken notice of the importance of book bloggers.
Because there is a serious dearth of independent booksellers in my area, I have not been able to build a special working relationship with a specific bookseller. However, thanks to the power of Twitter, I have been able to promote various booksellers through retweeting and letting friends on Facebook know of special events and promotions. I also try to visit these same booksellers whenever I visit the town/city in which each bookstore is located. Showing my support for independent bookstores, no matter where they are located, is one way of building relationships.
I have had the pleasure of attending a regional trade show, where I was able to mingle with authors, booksellers, and publishers. It was a great way of getting the word out about my blog, and my presence at the trade show indicated how serious I was about building relationships and representing authors and publishers to my audience. Through e-mails and Twitter, I have been able to become quite friendly with them and know that there is a mutual respect between us. In fact, I look forward to any opportunity to meet them again to further strengthen our relationships.
Speaking of meeting fellow bloggers/publishers/authors/booksellers, outside of Twitter and other social media sites, meeting someone in person is the best method to build long-lasting relationships. I have jumped at the chance to meet bloggers, whether it is a formal book function or just a few people meeting for coffee or lunch. Through this method, I have been lucky enough to have established legitimate friendships, spending long weekends with several of them. These friendships have enhanced the blogging experience because I know that they can understand some of the stresses and frustrations that occur with blogging. Similarly, we can commiserate and champion various books or encourage the other to read a book that the other would have never considered reading. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that is even more special because it transcends a regular blogging relationship and has become something more. You never know when these friendships will occur, so I say get out there and meet your fellow bloggers. Even if you do not find a BFF, you will never regret the stronger professional relationships that results from these meetings.
Any good book industry relationship is built through time and effort. Do not be afraid to become active on Twitter. Speak up and speak often. Jump into on-going conversations. No one, and I mean no one, will be offended by this. Private conversations tend to occur via direct messages or e-mails, so everything else is fair game. Take advantage of this because this is how you start building relationships. Also, do not be afraid to meet bloggers as often as possible. This does more for strengthening relationships than any Twitter conversation and can be quite fun to finally meet someone who is as passionate about books as you are.
Once you do all these things, you cannot stop there. Good relationships, like good marriages, require continual effort to maintain. E-mails, phone calls, Twitter conversations, blog commenting and more in-person meetings will strengthen and enhance these newly-formed relationships. Whether it is with an author, a publisher, a bookseller or a fellow blogger, you will not regret this output of energy because relationships are what make blogging truly rewarding.
Lovely post. And I am so happy that I can consider you an IRL friend now, Michelle!
My recent post Nurturing Relationships Join Twitter
Thanks, Rebecca! Yes, although most of my blogger friends also get the importance of silence and reading. Nothing is better than sitting with girlfriends where you can go from chatting to reading in a matter of minutes with no hard feelings or awkward silences. It truly is a special relationship.
Thanks, Ashley! It's a difficult transition to make, as we are taught not to interrupt one another or butt into someone else's conversation. Yet, Twitter is a public forum and designed specifically to allow anyone to participate in any conversation no matter if it is ongoing, just started or even long past over. It takes some courage, but everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming. So just do it!
Oh, I'm sorry about your indie bookstore. Every time I hear that another one closed, I get upset.
Thanks Jen! Meeting bloggers, authors and publicists in real life makes all of the hard work and time spent blogging so worth every minute!
It's amazing to have blogger friends since you can all squeal, rave and just support each other. Everyone knows what the other is going through, since we're all doing the same thing! I really like your post–definitely bring up some good things!
My Nurturing Relationships post can be found here!
Rebecca @ kindle fever
My recent post Cruelty To Innocents- The 911 Abductions by CK Webb- DJ Weaver
I like the idea of not being afraid to jump into conversations and putting yourself out there, trying to make contacts and just being friendly with people. I've seen a lot of comments over the past couple of days of people being too shy to jump in, or that they're lurkers… and it makes me a bit sad, because we all appreciate comments on our posts or in response to our tweets, so why not try and do that for other people? I appreciated all your thoughts on this topic. =)
My recent post Steel by Carrie Vaughn
My favorite indy closed recently not because of financial problems — the owners decided to retire. I miss the book store. 🙁
Rather than talk about bookstores, publishers or bloggers, I'm talking about volunteering. Come see what I mean.
I agree! Blogging relationships are so important!
First off, I LOVE your blog title. Hilarious. Secondly, I 100% concur on the whole "jump at the opportunity to meet bloggers" thing. I've met some amazing bloggers that I feel so much closer to because of that meeting.
My recent post Armchair BEA- In Which I Get a Little Sentimental
Enjoyed reading this post
My recent post MY FREQUENT BLOGGERS VISITS and Giveaways repost