Smart Bitches Make Awesome Keynote Speakers: On Book Blogger Convention Part 1

You know, I don’t normally take notes or anything, but I have a copious amount of notes from BBC, I thought I would break my re-cap of Book Blogger Convention into two parts.

Book Blogger Convention Logo 2011

Book Blogger Convention

First, I just want to say this year’s Book Blogger Convention was awesome, from the build your own swag bags – FYI I don’t NEED a huge amount of books or swag, so I liked that the swag bags were smaller, to how smoothly it went from my vantage point.

It’s incredibly exciting to have a book blogger as a keynote speaker, especially one who has made it, so to speak. Sarah Wendell, one of the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books founder/blogger, whatever, and writer of Beyond Heaving Bosoms and Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels started off her speech by stating she didn’t expect to end up at a podium.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books log

Smart Bitches are awesome IRL

Also, kids, I don’t have what she said written down verbatim, so if I mess some of this up, I am sorry but you’ll get the gist.

Guys, I wish every keynote I had to listen to was as smart and funny as Sarah Wendell. Seriously, she’s not boring or stuffy or anything.

Right, so she said we have similar goals. In her community, the goal is to talk about romance, but you can apply that to YA too, our goal is to talk about YA books because we’re fit to burst. She spoke about how her site is an outlet to talk about crazybad books, meaning they are so bad it’s good. *sidebar: I give up on those books, but I do love me some crazybad movies.

Of course, everyone’s favorite book blogger perk was brought up. And I quote, ‘Holy shit free books!’ Guys, that was similar to my reaction to my first review copy as well. This followed up with ‘why didn’t I blog about hot tubs or Ferrari’s.’ Why, indeed.

She went on to say having a website is like having a child. Which I think I will use as an excuse not to have children. I’ll just state hey guys I don’t need kids, I have a website! She said you have to feed it – which is true with content and answering comments and such. She also said sometimes a fight breaks out. Also true.

This segued into parenting books and wisdom from The Blessings of A Skinned Knee. My takeaway from this, what I explicitly remember was that everyone’s opinion about a book is valid, but our opinions are not the only one that matters. I do think we often forget that in the heat of the moment, however, it is something to keep in mind.

Yet blogging can bring a lot of crazy with it. However, she said the key to keeping your sanity is balance.  I didn’t have a lot written down on that, so I’m going to interpret this as, your life shouldn’t be your blog. You do what makes you happy and keeps your wellbeing intact.

Then of course, was my favorite part of her speech, on taking your blog to the next level. Sarah said everyone’s next level is different. We all want different things from our blog. To take your blog to the next level, you have to think about how you define success. You have to decide what do you want. The currency of book bloggers, according to the Smartest Bitch on the block is threefold: authenticity, consistency, and generosity.

  • Authenticity is hard. You have to fight the hype machine. Also you don’t need to reveal all to be authentic. You do not have to get naked on your blog so to speak. She also said to be authentic it is okay to admit you were wrong.
  • Consistency. I think she said something about consistent posting, or at least having a consistent voice. IDK, I just wrote down consistency with no notes beside it haha.
  • Generosity is basically helping other people. For example the writers helping after those natural disasters and the enormous outpouring of help and donations from bloggers after Joplin. She also said generosity includes linking to others and sharing and talking. It involves listening to your commenters.

There was a bit on bad reviews. Basically, the takeaway was to not fear bnad reviews. She had the great example of how bad reviews actually sell books, saying one someone tells you – This smells bad, sniff it. People usually say okay and end up sniffing it. She then went on to say how she’d like there to be less fear about bad reviews.  Bad reviews communicate your scale of what’s good and what’s bad. I remember her saying something about how one ofher favorite comments was that someone loved everything she hated, which is how strong her scale comes across, I guess. Also, she said meh reviews are really hard to write AND I TOTALLY AGREE. Guys, it’s hard to write a good review when you don’t have strong feelings of love or hate towards a book.

OH, and one last little tip I got from her was using voice memos while reading, so you could come back to them while writing your review. What a great idea.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 30 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and baby, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. I really loved the keynote, too. Glad you took much better notes than I did 🙂
    Melanie recently posted..MovingMy Profile

  2. Some good advice there! Yeah, in terms of the voice memo thing I often record my thoughts on the book partway through and/or right after I’m finished, and then I play them back when I’m writing the review and find they can be very helpful!
    Danya recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday- The Right &amp the Real and The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightMy Profile

  3. Voice memos. I’ve never thought of that. Fantastic idea. This post was worth it for that alone.

    Thanks.

  4. love the idea of voice memos. i would feel so vip taking voice memos while i read. i shall make this so.
    thanks for the recap!
    lisa recently posted..Review- Stupid FastMy Profile

  5. Great wrap up. You captured her message so well!
    Amused recently posted..In Case You Missed It- May 2011My Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] was one of the pieces of blogger currency mentioned at the Book Blogger Convention Keynote. I think this is something that I definitely need to work on. I’d like to add a charity […]

  2. […] MacColl Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell (who was last year’s keynote at BBC) Bio Of A Space Tyrant vol. 1 by Piers Anthony Of Blood And Honey by Stina Leicht FYI clicking […]

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