Armchair BEA – Day 4: Beyond the Blog

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA is for those people who cannot visit Book Expo America but still want to join in the fun. This week, June 4th to June 8th, there are celebrations for those who stay at home rather than make it to New York. Look out for a new post every day from me!

Today, we’re talking about the perks of book blogging – did it it open doors that were closed to us before we started the blog?

Book bloggers get lots of free books, if they want: publishers will send them to us, we download them from Netgalley if they let us, we find other ways to get free or cheap books, it’s books galore!

Library

For me, other than that, very little came out of book blogging so far. Before I continue, I should mention that I will talk about my Dutch blog in this respect, rather than Leeswammes’ Blog. The Dutch blog is the one that talks to my national community. Via that blog, I came into contact with people from the local library, where I was going to be a “special interest” volunteer, helping with projects. They have been so busy that I haven’t slotted in properly yet, so this is still in its infancy and I lost interest a bit, to be fair.

Book review sites

I do not want to be involved in writing for on-line newspapers or websites if I don’t get paid for it, so I haven’t pursued that option. There have been a few vacancies in the past for jobs like that, that I could have applied for. You see, I spend a lot of time on my blog as it is (for no pay), and I don’t want to read and review for anyone else if I don’t see some hard currency in return!🙂

Press mailing llist

I did get myself on a (book) press email listing, which means that I get invites to book launches and other bookish events. I enjoy that I get these so I know what’s going on in the Dutch book world, but I don’t know to what extend I, small-time book blogger, am really invited to these things. Do they send these emails to just anyone? Or do they know they are sending them to book bloggers and they really would like me there? You see the problem? I may show up and they’ll say “Hey you, mite, what are you doing here?”.

My cunning plan

So, my first line of attack is getting some business cards which I still don’t have because I didn’t know whether to make them for 2 blogs or just the one. Of course, I’m meeting mostly Dutch people, so I now realise the business cards should be for my Dutch blog, with maybe a link to my English blog somewhere on it, as well.

Having done that, I may visit a book launch that I expect to attract a lot of people – so chances are no one will bother me with their “Hey you, should you be here?”. If they do challenge me after all, I’ll give them my business card rather than say “Erm…”. And I’ll take it from there. What you say?

And further…

I’d love to be a book editor. I think. Maybe I’d find it boring, but it sounds really good. Other than that, I’d love a paid job as a book scout, reading foreign (English) books for a publisher to help them decide whether they should publish it (in translated form). Maybe, one day.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

33 Responses to Armchair BEA – Day 4: Beyond the Blog

  1. Nadine Nys says:

    I think working as an editor could be great, but it will depend on the publisher you’d be working for. I would also love to work in a library, or a bookshop.
    I don’t think you have to be shy, Judith, so go out and promote yourself and your blog, you are both worth it. I will be cheering on from the sideline.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for your support, Nadine!

      About book shops: my friend scolded me the other day: “They’ve got someone new at the book shop and it isn’t YOU!!!” I laughed. I would love to work p/t at a book shop, I think.

  2. I think if they are sending you the invitation you should not worry about taking them up on it.

  3. curlygeek04 says:

    I like the business card idea! I need to get better at getting the word out about my blog. I would love to be a book editor too. I feel like that’s a business you have to get into really young, but maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know how you manage two blogs at once, I can see what you mean about not doing a lot of extra things for free.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Curlygeek, I also think being an editor might be something you do straight from university (at least, the career towards being one), but maybe free lance I could do something.

  4. Bellezza says:

    Having a buisness card would be a good idea; could you do a blog on each side? Anyway, I think it would be wonderful to be invited to press releases, too, and I’m with you on loving the books which come our way. Happy BEA Day 4!

  5. Didn’t you read a draft novel and help edit for someone? You might want to pursue something down that road, to get connections for everything you listed and start exploring if you really want to do it. Just an idea🙂

    Just don’t stop blogging soon… I enjoy reading your thoughts even if we don’t read much of the same material. Love your opinions/take on things.

    Have a great day!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Mari, you are absolutely right! I edited a beginning author’s book! Which happened only because I have this blog. How could I forget about that while writing this post? You know me better than I do!!

      I actually didn’t quite edit his book, but read his *two* books and told him (quite detailed) whether I thought they were suitable for publication and what could be improved. It was a fun thing to do. It’s something I’d like to do more often, although I’m not sure how I’d go about it getting new “customers”. It’s something I have to think about (if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them, here or in an email). Thanks for putting me back on this path (at least, in my head, and who knows what comes out of it).

      The only reason I can come up with why I didn’t think of this was that I didn’t get paid in money, but with an Amazon voucher, so when thinking of things I’d done for money, I came up blank.🙂

  6. Laura says:

    I’d love some kind of job in the book world for definites, but I have no idea if my blog would be helpful to achieving that at all, really! But yeah, working with books in some way=dreamy.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Laura, indeed, anything in the book world would be great. I guess the blog would help you in showing that you care about books, a lot. So it would be proof of your devotion to books.🙂

  7. Leslie says:

    Getting paid to write would be nice and like you, I’m not doing it for others for free. I consider the blog a hobby, although it’s becoming a much more time consuming one than I expected when I started it.

    Definitely make a business card. It’s much easier to hand someone a card than to try and explain how to find your blog on the internet. And I include a card with books that I mail out from my giveaways.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Leslie, same here! I never thought “just writing a quick review of the books I read” would turn into something this time consuming! But I love doing it!

      Yes, that’s what I thought – with a business card I have something to show for myself plus I can advertise the blog that way.

  8. elena says:

    Ooh that’s interesting! I would love to be a book editor too, it sounds time consuming but worth it.

  9. I think it would be nice to get paid to do what I love, but plan to stick to doing it because it is fun.

  10. Great post. I only been to Holland once when I was very young (but it counts…).

    I read in several languages but I blog in English, even if the book wasn’t in that language. I’d be interested to read about Dutch books.

    http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

  11. Katrien says:

    Nice dreams!
    I Would like to become a journalist or book reviewer myself, but I still have plenty of time to decide (1year)! Think I’ll study English-Dutch/German and an extra year to become a journalist or so.

  12. Maybe you could get a two-sided business card – English on one side and Dutch on the other, for your two blogs? I think that could be neat!

    And I understand what you’re saying about spending so much time on your own site, you don’t want to commit to someone else for free. I feel the same way.

    Great post! Here’s my Armchair BEA Beyond the Blog post.

  13. Amanda says:

    I always get nervous when I e-mail publishers! I really need to create a business card

  14. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I hand out my bookmarks when I talk to people about my blog. I think you should get out to some of those events you are invited to!

  15. I’d like to be an editor, but I’m not sure if it would demystify and reduce my reading enjoyment. I’m tempted to do some business card dropping though😉

    • Leeswammes says:

      Well, I wonder about that, too Sam. Maybe I wouldn’t have my “innocent” approach to books anymore. In fact, having read so many books, I start to see tricks and manipulations (by the author on the reader) in many books now.

  16. I’d love a job as a book scout too! I think your knowledge of different countries makes you far more liekly to achieve that than I will. Think of me once you’ve got your dream job – I’ll always be available for recruitment.:-)

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