Armchair BEA: Relationships & Community

Today's ArmchairBEA focus is all about nurturing relationships and building a sense of community. You can blog all day long, but at the end of the day - if nobody is reading what you're blogging, you're really only writing for yourself, and could be doing that just as easily non-blog. What sets blogs apart from self-writing is the community that develops - you get a set of followers, or even just people cruising through reading. Your words, reviews, thoughts can help others make decisions about reading or make them think about something differently. But where does this community come from? I s'pose idle internet surfing is one way, google and other search engines are rather nifty for searching out reviews on a particular book. Or you could attract readers who stumble across something you've written or posted somewhere else. The secret, you know, is people. Gotta have people involved. Therein lies the 'nurturing relationships' concept ... Tricksy little creature.

At first I wasn't sure I'd be able to contribute much to today's conversation - I'm still feeling pretty new to this blogging thing, and I don't really "know" publishers or bloggers the way some people seem to. Then I started thinking, and I have met so many great people through this venture - there are definitely some relationships that have started. And you can't reach the end until you have a beginning - so a start is a great thing, and I am happy with that - knowing that as time goes on, and I keep learning through this venture, that the 'young' relationships will grow and one day maybe, just maybe, I'll be one of those bloggers than new bloggers look at and wonder "How does she know all these people?"

There are a few bloggers I know I can go to if I have a "How on earth?" question - they were spotlighted in yesterday's post actually: Gina, Danielle and Christina have been a great blogging example for me, and have answered my "?????" postings on twitter with help and humor.

I've also started a fun working relationship with Emily over at Peachtree Publishers - love, love, love their titles, and getting to review for them and participate in their Earth Day celebration blog tour was entirely too much fun!

Through the blogging adventure, I've also been able to meet some fun and crazy people through peripheral activities ... Austen Authors's monthly #TwitterAusten contests last fall resulted in meeting Adam (we tied for 1st place in condensing Sense and Sensibility to 125 characters), who ended up becoming co-creator of the Jane Austen Twitter Project, and well, that was an amazing adventure that introduced me to so many new friends ... Including my partners-in-crime Jess, Nancy and Kaydee (you know, the ones I team up with to post long treatises on Disney Heroes?)

So maybe I have more blog-based relationships than I first thought ... and that's not even counting the comments and discoveries of similar tastes and titles. Book blogging is really a very awesome, very huge community - and with a little effort, you can start finding your place in the family. I'm totally looking forward to seeing where next year finds me, enjoying the ride along the way.


  1. Love the book blogging community and all the friend I've made. It's amazingly fun!

    My Nurturing Relationships post can be found here!

    Rebecca @ kindle fever

  2. This is the hardest thing about blogging, as far as I'm concerned. It's so easy to gain Twitter followers, because (let's be honest) it's not much of a commitment to follow someone on Twitter. Following a blog faithfully takes a bit more time and concentration.

    There are tricks, to be sure. Find prominent blogs in your field and comment on their posts, with a link back to your blog. (Easier if said blog is also a Blogger blog, since they can find you through Google that way.) Tweet links to your posts using hashtags. When you read a book, tweet your review and @ mention the author, so they see it and retweet it to their followers.

    Oh! One thing I did which I think has made a difference... I use the Blogger plug-in with "connect with google..." etc, and I put it right at the top of my blog, underneath my picture. Make it easy for people to follow you.

    But (and yes, I'm getting long winded here) the bottom line is that it takes time, and I want it to happen NOW.