Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Run Down of the Conference by Sarah of She Never Slept

This weekend was the first annual Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference. Organized by Terry Kate, of Romance in the Backseat (with assistance from Phoebe Jordon, of Talk About my Favorite Authors), this event was three days of panels on subjects like: Building Online Community, the Business of Blogging, Ask the Agent or Editor, and so much more. All of the panels were live on Blog Talk Radio, with the opportunity for people to call in and ask questions. There was also a forum set-up on Ning for discussion, as well as an online chat room. I am not sure what the official head-count was, but I know there were over a hundred bloggers, authors and publishers in attendance. From amateur to professional, the bibliophiles were out in force!
I had never been to an “Online Conference” before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The thought of networking in my pajamas was mighty appealing and the topics were interesting, so I went into it with an open mind. Just like every conference or convention I have been too, there was just no way to make every single panel (but luckily with this conference I have two weeks to go back and listen to the ones I missed!). So, today I am just going to talk about the panels that I moderated, was on, or listened to.
Day One
The first panel I listened to was “Publicity Departments and What They Do”. Terry Kate was the moderator and Director of Publicity from Tor & Forge Books Patty Garcia – along with Digital Concierge of NetGalley, Lindsey Rudnickas were the panelists. This was a very interesting panel for me because most of the books we get at SNS are sent directly from the author. I learned a good deal about what it is publicists are looking for, so it was a terrorific way to start the day.
“Wordpress Friday” was the second panel I attended. This was a pre-recorded panel modertated by Terry Kate with Peter Ferguson from iCrackerJack as the panelist. Though the information in the panel was pretty basic, it was informative and Peter was around in the chatroom for Q&A afterwords.
The first panel She Never Slept participated in was called “What Bloggers Want”. It was moderated by Terry Kate and the other panelists were Doug aka SciFi Guy and Alyssa from Teens Read and Write. Most of us don’t make money with our blogs/review sites. We work full-time jobs or go to school. So for us, this is a labor of love. We discussed what publishers (and authors) could do to make it easier on us as bloggers/reviewers. It was a very interesting panel. Doug, the SciFi Guy was hysterical and very knowledgeable. And Alyssa, though young and new to reviewing, had some wonderful insights on the topic. I was glad to be on a panel with two such interesting folks. Now if only some publishers would give it a listen… *laughs*
Next up on my agenda was “Business of Blogging”. I moderated this panel and Rachel, from Bitten by Books and Terry Kate, of Romance in the Backseat were the panelists. This panel was of great interest to me so I was happy to be the moderator. Rachel and Terry both spoke on different ways to monetize your blog/review site, so that (at the least) you are not loosing money. Rachel was very clear that it should always be about the content and I whole-heartedly agree. (Though I am not opposed to accepting advertisers or donations!*wink wink* *nudge nudge*) But if you are looking for ways to support your site (getting to conventions, hosting upkeep, etc.), there are some interesting options out there. I found this panel very informative.
The last panel I attended on Friday was called The Legal Side of Blogging. Once again moderated by Terry Kate with Mr. Bruce C. Cohen, Attorney at Law as the panelist, this panel was setup to discuss FTC regulations and bloggers/reviewers rights. It was chocked full of great and vital information. Mr. Cohen patiently answered all of our questions and I learned a lot.
Day Two
Becuase the conference was EST and there was a last minute scheduling change, I was a little late on Saturday. (Thankfully there was noone to comment on my slippers, bed-head or morning breath. *chuckles*)”Building Online Community” was the first panel of the day. I was the (slightly tardy) moderator of the panel with Molly from The Bumbles Blog and Mary from Pajamas and Coffee as the panelists. Though both Mary and Molly have more generalized blogs with occasional reviews as opposed to being strictly review sites – they had great ideas on how to build, grow and substain your “audience” or “community”. Really, as with many of the panels, it all boils down to content, content, content!
The next panel I attended was the “Independent Press Panel”. Terry Kate moderated this panel with Renee Rocco of Lyrical Press and Tina Burns from Liquid Silver as the panelists. This panel was setup to demonstrate what is different about Independent Presses and how we, as bloggers/reviewers, can work with them. It was an interesting panel with a lot of great Q&A. (Quick SNS PSA to fellow reviewers: Support Indie Press! They need us!)
The last panel I attended on Saturday was called “Standardizing Review Practices” and was again moderated by Terry Kate with Lisa Dawn of Wild Rose Press and Sabrina from Cheeky Reads as the panelists. Sabrina was a little late getting in and I think that the direction of the panel seemed to meander a bit. Some of the conference goers were confused by this. But towards the end, when the questions and comments started rolling in, the subject came back around to the main topic. I learned some new things, and really that’s what I want in a panel.
Day Three
I didn’t attend many live panels on Sunday because I was getting tattooed. But I did get some networking done… and because of the killer way these ladies set this conference up… I was able to call in and ask questions on two panels from the bus. The first panel I called in on was “Ask the Editor or Agent” moderated by Phoebe Jordon featuring Laurie M. Rauch, Executive Editor from Samhain Publishing and Agent Lori Perkins from Ravenous Romance. The second was “Authors and Publishers Work Together”, due to scheduling issues it was only moderator Terry Kate and panelist Kylie Brant. I listened to both panels when I got back home in the evening and found them to be well rounded and interesting.
Wrap Up
This conference was a great experience. It was well worth the $20 entrance fee. I learned a lot and met quite a few interesting folks. If you are a blogger/reviewer, publisher, author or industry pro and you are interested in listening to the panels, they will remain up for the next two weeks. It’s not too late, you can still obtain a membership and hear what we all had to say this weeked. After the two weeks are up, they will be opening up the Ning to the general public (minus the audio panels)… so if you are interested in helping to plan next year’s event or want to talk about what we did this year – be sure to stop by next month. I am glad I was able to participate and would like to thank Terry and Phoebe for inviting SNS to be on panels and moderate. We would be happy to come back next year, and perhaps I will even drag some minions along! Mwahahaha!

She did such a great job why not utilize it?
Read Sarah's Blog - She Never Slept here -

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's Scedule!

Okay today we will be welcoming more authors into the fold.
We have some panels just for them.
So on to today's Sceduled Panels.

- Moderated by Terry Kate

Panel 1 - YA Authors and Bloggers
Join those working in YA on the front lines.  What are they working on and what are they reading?

Author - Erik Bergstrom -
Bloggers - Teens Read and Write -

Panel 2 - Reaching Out Beyond the Internet
What can authors and bloggers do to reach out and bring new readers into the online book community.

Author - Linda Wisdom -
RomCon Director - Tiffany James -


Contracts for Authors
Lead by Author/Lawyer  Caridad Piniero -

Blog Tours - Good  for Authors Worth it for Blogs  
Rachel of Bitten By Books
Author Leanna Renee Heiber 

Social Networking - Building a Platform

Sunday, March 14, 2010




Blog Design Wednesday

Wednesday March 17

Blog Design is so important that I thought it deserved a bit more time then just the usual panel time of 60-90min.  So instead join web designers and and bloggers all day as we discuss design.   Readers want to return to an enticing and dynamic site so lets discuss what works.

Starting 11am EST
Live audio Panel at 12pm-1pm EST

This will all take part in the Conference Ning the link participants will receive after signing up for the Conference.  If you have not yet Registered you can visit the Conference page here -

Terry Kate
Conference Organizer
Romance in the Backseat 

Kendra of Creations by Kendra 
Kate of The Neverending Shelf
Phoebe of TAMFA 
Sarah of She Never Slept

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pre-Conference Panels

Friday March 12th 8:30pm EST

Are Covers Important?
Come hear what industry professionals think.  This is a free Panel from the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference.  The Conference is March 19-20 wth a Special Authors Day Sunday March 21st.  Find out more about the conference at
  Book covers pre-conference panel tonight 8:30pm EST

please spread the word! Authors and readers welcome.
Blogger - Book Junkie - Brande
Cover Artist - Kendra - Creations by Kendra
Publisher - Renee Russo - Lyrical Press

Friday March 19th Schedule

***Scheduled Times Vary Depending on Room

Moderated by Terry Kate
of Romance in the Backseat

PANEL 1 -  12:00pm - 1:00pm EST

Publicity - What Publishers Are Doing
    Find out about how the Publicity Departments work.  What they are doing, and what role online venues are playing in their current work and plans for the future.

Director of Publicity, Tor & Forge Books Patty Garcia

Digital Concierge, NetGalley  Lindsey Rudnickas

PANEL 2 -  1:30pm - 2:30pm EST 

Industry Bloggers  Share Their Insight
   Readers and Authors are not the only ones blogging.  There are fabulous and informative blogs out there written by Editors, Agents, Book Sellers.  Hear what they have to say. 

Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester Publishing -
  Lori Perkins, Literary Agent -

PANEL 4 -  4:00 - 5:30pm EST
What Bloggers/Reviewers Want
   Let's face it, blogging is a time consuming labor of love.  What can the Publishers do to make our lives easier?  Here is your chance to let them know what YOU think needs improvement.
SciFi Guy - Doug Knipe

Live conversation with Borders Books Romance Buyer Sue Grimshaw.  Read the interview that will be featured and then have your questions ready to go.  Check out her blog at

Various Moderators

PANEL 1 -  12:00pm - 1:00pm EST    
Blogger - The Ins and Outs
   Learn more about one of the two most popular blog programs.  Listen to opinions and ask your questions in the forum. 

PANEL 2 -  1:30pm - 2:30pm EST
Wordpress - The Debate Continues
   See what bloggers who are working with Wordpress have to say about the free and hosted versions of this blog program.

PANEL 3 -  4:00pm - 5pm EST
Site Analytics
   This is a key part of running a site.  Without feedback it is hard to know what promotion is working and what is not.  We will go through the different options you have and what the information means.

PANEL 4 -  6:00pm - 7:00pm EST 
The Business of Blogging
   The way to millions?  Nope.  But that does not mean you should be loosing money either.  We provide an author and publisher service, see what that means in terms of money.  Affiliates, ads, see what other bloggers are doing on their sites.

PANEL 5 - 7:30pm - 8:00pm EST
The Legal Side of Blogging
   See what a lawyer has to say about the new FTC regulations and what they mean to bloggers/reviewers.  What are we required to list on our blogs and what is just good practice. 

Saturday March 20th Schedule

Moderated by Terry Kate
of Romance in the Backseat

PANEL 1 -  12:00pm - 1:30pm EST

Young Adult Publishing and Blogging
    YA is not just read by teens.  So what is coming our way?  Hear from this diverse panel of an Editor, Blogger, and Librarian.
Jennifer Bonnell Senior Editor Penguin
  Blogger - The Neverending Shelf -
  Bogger/YA librarian - Green Bean Teen Queen -

PANEL 2 -  2:00pm - 3:30pm EST
Indie Presses
  Who are the Independent Presses and what are they doing?  How do they work differently and what are they looking for? 

PANEL 3 -  6:00pm - 7:00pm EST
   Review Information - What Publishers Want
Hear what publishers look for when they search your site.  What questions do they want answered in a review policy?  Find out from them.

Moderators are as Listed

PANEL 1 -  12:00pm - 1:30pm EST 
   Building Online Community 
What activities can make you friends online and bring in steady traffic?  Are giveaways effective?  Listen to what the panelists have to say about giveaways, and other techniques.  
Moderator - Sarah L. Covert
of She Never Slept

Molly - The Bumbles Blog -

PANEL 2 -   2:30pm - 3:30m EST
   The Art of Reviewing a Book
Is there a style or right way to review?  Reviewing is an individual activity, but there are tips to help.  Here online book reviewers discuss the process as it is for them.  How there style evolved and other goodies.

PANEL 3 -  5:00pm - 6:30pm EST

   Organizing/Planning Your Blog/Site
Learn from our mistakes.  What planning you can do before you start the blog.  Also ways to keep up with demand once your blog gets busy.  See what have others done and learned the hard way.

Sunday March 21st Schedule

Moderated by Terry Kate
of Romance in the Backseat

PANEL 1 -  1:00pm - 2:30pm EST   
YA Authors and Bloggers 
Join Alyssa from Teens Read and Write
What Agents Do and What They Want

Hear from three Literary Agents about their take on the Market and what they are shopping for. 

What Publishers Are Doing to Support Authors
Hear from the Publishers the resources they have available to all of their authors.  What are they doing?
What Authors can do to Work with their Publishers
Ideas on how to encourage growth of the house you are published with by working with the publisher and other authors withing your house.
Ask the Editor
Call in and ask the editors YOUR questions.
Legalities for Authors 

What is standard in a contract?  What should you be looking for?
Hear from lawyers what their take on the matter is.

Various Moderators

PANEL 1 -  1:00pm - 2:00pm EST    
Reaching Out in the Physical
  What Authors, Bloggers, and Publishers can do to reach out and make readers more aware of books and information Online.

What Authors Want
What do Authors look for in a Blog?  What should they look for and what questions should they be asking?

Working With Authors
Bloggers deal with authors everyday, we all have a system, hear what others are doing that might help you.

YA Readers and Authors
Hear what those in the trenches of YA have to say. 
Social Networking
What is a platform and why do we all need one?  Face Book, Twitter, Make them work for you.