Networking is the driving force behind any successful organization. This is especially true for fields where your success depends on keeping in touch with people in your community. With book blogging that would be the literary community. Obviously bloggers do a ton of networking online. We use social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler to promote our blogs while also using our fellow bloggers, publishers and authors to find out what's new and relevant in the world o' books. A lot of us tend to hind behind our computer screens and leave out and incredibly important part of networking - actual human contact. I am a social creature by nature, but when it comes to this blog you can usually find me in a basement room like some kind of serial killer staring at a computer screen until all hours of the night. Sure, I've only had this blog for a couple of months, and so I haven't had the opportunity to go to conventions, meet-ups, etc. but a couple of weeks ago I was presented with a challenge and it surprised me how easy it was to get out there and actually talk to people about what I love - reading.
So here's the challenge: Daniel Marks, author of Velveteen, had a giveaway on his YouTube channel. He sent out signed bookmarks to 20 people and their job was to give out some of those bookmarks to local bookstores, libraries, etc. in order to promote his new book. Then he would randomly select one person to win a signed ARC of Velveteen. I was super excited when I won the bookmarks but then I had to actually go out and talk about the book and my blog and books in general with strangers (oh no!). Here's the thing though, once I got to the bookstore, it was so easy! First of all I came bearing gifts which is always good, but more importantly I was talking to someone who worked at an indie book store. Someone who loved reading as much as I did and wanted to talk about books. Even though we only talked for a little while, that's one more person who knows about the blog, when she uses that bookmark or sees that book on the shelf I'll pop into her mind. When someone brings up that book she may say "Hey a few months ago there was this crazy lady with fake mustaches (don't ask) who has this blog...". It all sounds very simple but it really is. The more people you talk to about your passion and your work within this community, the more people will know about it. So don't be afraid to get out there, be weird and be seen!
And now for your amusement my grandma and I wearing those fake mustaches I was talking about. It was supposed to be gimmicky but just ended up being weird. The author seemed to think it was funny though so that's a plus!