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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nurturing Book Blogging Relationships - The Armchair BEA Style


Its Day 04 of the Armchair BEA Agenda 2011, and some really awesome things have been going on the whole week, bringing together book lovers, book lovers, publishers and authors from all parts of the world. And if you too happen to be one of those eternally crazy people who just can't live without books (and oxygen too maybe?), then Armchair BEA is THE place for you to be.

I have been blogging for about a year now, but its only been just six months that I have started blogging about books. Well of course that had to happen, given my love for books and reading.

Today's topic of discussion on Armchair BEA is about Nurturing Book Blogging Relationships. So in these last few months, I really got to have a look at the book blogging scene across the globe.

I am based in India, and here, the concept of ARC or blogger review through publisher is still not popular, and most of us who blog in India about books end up making it more of a personal blog where we talk about the books we read and our view/review on these books. The book blogging scene is still not very popular here, I have only seen about 4-5 blogs that talk much about books, that too while mixing book blogging with all other things like poetry, travel, recipes and many such things. So I cannot say that there are other book bloggers in my country with whom I connect.

After being a part of Armchair BEA (exactly two weeks back!), I discovered many wonderful book blogs and was really happy (and will admit, jealous too) to see that the book blogging concept is so popular in the US and some other parts of the world. I wish I could also get a little of the support back in my country, sometimes it gets tough to just sit and keep reading and writing and getting back to the same routine again, without actually getting to meet more like minded people. It was pretty lonely earlier on this front, but I have started making some wonderful and intellectually stimulating friends here on Armchair BEA and the relationships are beginning to form now.

While I was never much great at talking about networking, I did not pay much heed to it earlier. Blogging about books for me had started more like a passion that I wanted to share with whoever dropped by, I was not doing anything proactively to promote my blog. Since I was always talking about books, I was labeled as the 'Girl With Books' and anytime my friends wanted a review or a reference, they would immediately ask me about it. If anyone wanted a list of books to read, in a particular genre or otherwise, they would always ask me first. This is why I started a book club on FaceBook for BookWorms to bring together people who share a common love for books.I also promote my book blog there and try and give readers in India, especially the non-bloggers, a chance to connect with books and book-lovers from around the world.

As the concept of ARC or book reviews through publishers or bookstores has not begun in India, I cannot say I share such a bond with anyone here. I am mostly on my own, collecting books as much as I can and talking about it. I had heard a lot about Twitter and had got an account for myself precisely for the reason of connecting with fellow book lovers, publishers and authors, but my twittering (or tweeting?!) was really poor and I had kind of given it up altogether (as if reading, writing, blogging, managing kid and hubby, managing a job, and doing a couple of more things together at once wasn't enough) - but I know thats no excuse :O I am now beginning to get back to Twitter as I have seen how most of the bloggers here swear by it..I am particularly looking at taking a few tips from blogger and tweeter Tiffany James (she was so sweet to add me as a friend on FB and I got to know her better) and if you get the time to help me out a bit, maybe you too will share a few twitter tips with me here? Thanks in advance from a twitter-illiterate.

I met up with some amazing book bloggers her and have done a post about my favourite book bloggers in my previous Armchair BEA Agenda post and I am sure you will enjoy their work too.

Recently a website in India has been calling bloggers to register. But it's not a stand-alone place for books. It looks like they are thinking of starting a ARC concept and I am really excited to see how that goes....fingers crossed :D I got a few awards too .... happy happy happy...

For now, to be really honest, I am still to learn the ways of networking. Each time someone visits me on my blog or follows my blog, I make sure to visit them back and follow them and leave a hello on their site. I love making new friends and I know its only fair that if someone's following me, I should follow back as well. Also, any time I get a new comment on my blog, I make sure I reply as soon as I can. I also try and tell people about a new site or blogger I may have found, I believe its always best to share something good you came across.

So you see I have a lot to learn here and I would really love it if you could help me out. Comments, suggestions, referring my blog to others (only if you like), following my blog (if you like), giving me tips to make myself more visible on the book blogging scene and most important of all, sharing tips on how I can start reviewing through authors and publishers...(that will be a huge favour as most of the time I don't even get my hands on the lovely titles that are realeased internationally and many times I am not even aware of them).

Love you guys and thanks for visiting me :D Have a great day and I really hope to make many more amazing friends here.

Lots of love from India......

- Debolina Raja Gupta