Hi, all!  Here is the official Armchair BEA 2015 topics & agenda.

May 27th, Wednesday: Introductions & Library Love
May 28th, Thursday: Visual Expressions & Social Media
May 29th, Friday: Character Chatter & Blogging Q&A
May 30th, Saturday: Giveaways & Book to movie adaptations
May 31st, Sunday:  Wrap-Up
June 1st, Monday: Closing Survey

May 27th, Wednesday

An Armchair BEA standard. We provide a list of ten questions beforehand, and ask that you pick FIVE. Hopefully you'll be making more friends and meeting new people, so introduce yourself and get to know others. Tell us all about yourself!

Library Love
Librarians are awesome. Not only are they helpful, they're very fun to talk to and give great recommendations. Show your library some love, and the wonderful men and women that run it. Why is your library fantastic? Got any funny stories? Feature your library on your blog? Do an interview with a librarian?

May 28th, Thursday

Visual Expressions
There are so many ways to tell stories. Whether it's comic books, graphic novels, visual novels, webcomics, etc, there are quite a lot of other mediums to tell a story. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just words and use other ways to experience a story.

Social Media
How do you use social media to expand your blogging/writing horizons?  Social Media is all about networking and connections, and utilizing today's technology to the fullest.  Make sure you mention your own social media pages. Do you have another blog, maybe a Tumblr? Have a Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook? Or maybe there's an underrated social media program that you like.

May 29th, Friday

Character Chatter
It's time to give your favorite characters some love! Characters are essential to a story, and they can make or break a book for some readers. Now's your chance to shine the spotlight on your favorite characters, or maybe your least favorite. Who's your favorite couple? What are the components of a well written character? What are you favorite or least favorite cliches associated with characters?

Blogging Q&A
Blogging 101. All kinds of tips and tricks to get you started or keep you going. Talk about ARCs, reviewing in general, web design, etc.  What blogging platform do you use? How do you network? What are some of your favorite web designs?  Or maybe you want to talk about your own blogging journey, and how you got to where you are now. Either way, we want you to share your knowledge with the rest of the community!

May 30th, Saturday

You host the giveaway on your own site and link it up here for all our participants to come and visit. Don’t forget to give Armchair BEA a little love when advertising, but you can choose your own guidelines and deadlines.

Book to Movie Adaptions
What books do you want to be made into a movie or television show? What are some of your favorites? We'll explore more about this topic, especially what works and what doesn't.  Are there any upcoming shows or movies that you're excited for? What are your recommendations?


Remember to make the topics your own! We've shared some examples from each category, but you can go in any direction you would like. Since this year's topic is diversity, if you can, try to connect that back to the posts. Do you! :)

We are very excited about our 2015 agenda, but now it is your turn to weigh in! What do you think? Which one of the topics are you most excited to dive into? After sharing your thoughts, be sure to share the agenda with all your blogging friends!

[CLOSED] Armchair BEA 2015: Help Wanted!

Edit: Thank you all for the help and overwhelming support!

ABEA 2015 is quickly approaching! Many of our team members are stepping down this year, and we need your help!

Six years ago, Armchair BEA started out as a small event thrown together by a team of bloggers that were not able to attend Book Expo America.  Over the last five years, the event has grown to include hundreds of bloggers participating and hundreds of giveaways thanks to our amazing sponsors.  It has been a very exciting five years, and we want to see the excitement continue.

Here is a breakdown of what an ideal full team would entail . . .
  • Prize Team (2-3): Work with the Sponsor Team to assign and award daily prizes and special giveaways; draw winners and announce on site. 
  • Instagram Challenge Coordinator (1): Set daily themes, draw daily winners and send to Prize Team for announcement. 
  • Social Media Coordinator (2-3): Maintain Twitter and Facebook accounts, answering questions and interacting with participants; organize Twitter parties; work with Prize Team for Twitter party giveaways. 
  • On-site Correspondents (2-3): Interact with sponsors and post special sponsors as needed; take pictures/video throughout the event and post on a daily basis; blogger interaction. (This is for people attending BEA)

If you are interested in joining the team, please complete the form below as soon as possible.  Registration will close when the positions are filled.  We will be in contact with you shortly afterwards to discuss opportunities with you. :) Thank you so much!

Armchair BEA 2015 Registration is Open!

The Sixth Annual Armchair BEA is now open for participant registration!!

Armchair BEA is an online conference that runs in conjunction with Book Expo America in New York City. There are a large number of people around the world that are not able to join in the literary celebrations in the Big Apple, so Armchair BEA brings the celebration to you by allowing networking among other book bloggers, authors, and publishers as well as special coverage of the event, all from the comfort of your very own armchair. For more information, be sure to check out our FAQ page!

Last year, we had almost 500 registered participants partaking in our daily discussion topics, twitter chats, new instagram challenge, and giveaways. This year we are doing something completely new - Armchair BEA will have a theme! This years theme is DIVERSITY! The Armchair BEA team will be bringing you awesome guest posts, featured giveaways, and topics that we can all relate to the theme. Don't want a theme? Don't worry, you still get the wonderful Armchair BEA topics that you can relate to anything you want. Who knows, maybe you will find a way to make it diverse.

In the weeks to come, we will be announcing our official agenda, scheduling twitter chats, and soliciting your help to cheer on our participants. In the meantime, mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 27-June 1, 2015, grab our button to add to your site (please be sure to credit our artist Amber!), and complete the registration form below.  We have heard your feedback this year, and will be sending an email in the weeks before Armchair BEA kicks off with reminders and special links.

(Please be sure to only register once. If you're unsure if you've registered check our List of 2015 Participants first. There may be a time delay in seeing your name appear on this list because we manually check each entry.  Thanks!)

Questions:  Email us at armchairbea (at) gmail (dot) com

Please feel free to spread the news 
and see you back here very soon!

Calling All 2015 Sponsors!

Part of the excitement of attending BEA is meeting so many wonderful authors and publishers, as well as all the amazing books you come in contact with and get to bring home. Armchair BEA strives to bring as many of the aspects of Book Expo America as possible into the homes of our fellow book bloggers in every way possible, including through our sponsors. Each year we've had outstanding support from Sponsors, from authors to publicists and many of the publishing houses attending the event in New York. (View the full list of all past sponsors here.)  This year we'd love to continue that tradition and this is where our Sponsors come in! 

 As part of this event, you will have two options . . . 

(1) **Sponsorship** hosted right here on the Armchair BEA site.  Keep reading for more information.
(2) A giveaway hosted on your own personal blog or site. For these personal giveaways, we will have a post available during the week of the event for you to link to your own site.  Personal giveaways are separate from sponsored giveaways, so please do not fill out this form if you fall into this latter category.

You may be asking...who qualifies to be an Armchair BEA Sponsor? 
  • A Sponsor could be an author, a publicist, a publisher, a bookstore, and potentially even other fellow book bloggers. 
  • Please Note: Due to the high number of Sponsors over the last few years, we are asking that book bloggers wishing to sponsor Armchair BEA be those that are unable to participate in the "Giveaway Day" during the event week. If you know that you will not be able to participate in the event (for whatever reason) than please feel free to fill out the form below to sign up to be a Sponsor!

What does being a Sponsor for Armchair BEA provide you with? 
  • Listing on the Armchair BEA Giveaways Page as a Sponsor, including links back to your website or other specified page. 
  • Advertising of whichever title(s) you wish to provide with your Sponsorship. 
  • Mention on social media sites such as Twitter (@ArmchairBEA), Pinterest and our Facebook Page.
  • Viewing by hundreds of book bloggers as well as their followers. (Last year we had over 500 participants!)
  • Possibility of promotion by the bloggers who receive winnings. (Though it is at each individual blogger's discretion what they choose to share on their personal sites/blogs, we will encourage them to make mention of their winnings in some form either via an In My Mailbox post, review, or a way they are comfortable with. Again, not required.) 

We believe that our Sponsors truly make Armchair BEA one of the best ways to participate in BEA from the comfort of their very own homes and appreciate each tremendously! If you wish to be a Sponsor for Armchair BEA 2015, please take a few moments to fill out the form below. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to have your item(s) hosted here, credit and link love will be given to you and we will handle the contest itself; however, you will still be responsible for shipping your item(s) to the winner(s). Shipping information will be provided to you by one of the members of the Armchair BEA Sponsorship Team once they have been selected. Sponsorship offers will be accepted until Sunday May 17, 2015 to allow for time to prep proper publicity for each. Thank you!

Sponsors, if you still have questions feel free to contact Stephanie at armchairbea (at) gmail (dot) com. If you are unable to view the form below, you can also access it here.

Announcing FEATURED GIVEAWAY Winners!

We are excited to announce the final winners of Armchair BEA 2014 -- the FEATURED GIVEAWAY winners!  Each of these winners have already been contacted and have confirmed their winnings, but we wanted to publicly congratulate them and once again say thank you to these amazing sponsors!  Without further ado, I present to you our winners . . .

1 fully featured Wordpress install, with two hours of theme customisation and one year of hosting. 

Sarah from Exploring All Genres

2 auxiliary prizes of a year's free hosting for two lucky winnners, with 250mbs space and 2gbs bandwidth.

Social media graphic package (for the purpose to help brand your author/blog FB/Google/, Twitter (old & new layout). Includes avatar 1x1 ratio (sized right for twitter also)

A dozen (12) ebooks from Patchwork Press

Brittany from Please Feed the Bookworm

Three (3) ebooks from Patchwork Press

Julie from My Five Monkeys

A single title ebook (1) from Patchwork Press

Cici's Theories

Congratulations & Thank You!!

Announcing the Top Cheerleader Prize!

For Armchair BEA 2014, our Commenting Team wanted to do a little something extra for our CheerREADER volunteers, and that resulted in the Top Cheerleader Prize!  We are now happy to announce that Wesley from Library Educated won the Top Cheerleader Prize by commenting on 207 blogs during Armchair BEA. Our cheerleaders left 4,996 comments (and those are just the ones who kept track)!

Congratulations Wesley and thanks for doing an awesome job supporting our Armchair BEA participants! 

A HUGE SHOUT-OUT TO Wesley and every other of our 2014 CheerREADERS for doing an absolutely amazing job this year!!  We appreciate all of your hard work!!

LIVE FROM BEA (BLOGGERS): Tech 201--All About Ad Networks

Please welcome Florinda from The 3 R's Blog: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness as she gives a little peek into the panel that she sat on during the BEA Bloggers Conference this year.

For the first time, the annual BEA Bloggers Conference offered two programming tracks this year--"101" sessions for newer bloggers, and "201"-level topics for more experienced ones. I was honored to moderate the "Technology 201: Ad Networks" session featuring panelists Jason Chambers of the LitBreaker network, Henry Copeland from BlogAds, and Swapna Krishna of S. Krishna’s Books in a Q&A, and I'd like to share a few of the highlights of our discussion with Armchair BEA.

Tech201 Ad Networks panel BEA Bloggers ArmchairBEA
Panelists (l-r): Florinda Vasquez, Swapna Krishna, Jason Chambers, Henry Copeland
Photo by Amber/Shelf Notes.

  • Why wouldn’t a blogger want to monetize with advertising? What are the negatives/pitfalls?

Bloggers may worry that carrying ads means "selling out" or advocating something they may not stand behind, or be concerned about the aesthetic impact of ads on a blog's appearance. With most ad networks--and with a good understanding of the terms of the agreement between the network and the blogger--neither of these has to be a problem. 

  • Besides the money, what are the benefits to carrying advertising on a blog? 

The fact that your blog can attract advertisers may give it more credibility with publishers, and help attract better review offers. Also, ads that line up well with your (book-related) content can help your readers discover new books they want to read.  

  • When/how do you know if your blog is ready to carry advertising?

Consistency and regularity in posting is more important than traffic. and specialized, niche-oriented content may be appealing to advertisers even if a blog's overall numbers aren't as big.

  • Where do you get ads? What options do bloggers have?
Selling ads independently:

For most blogs, this won't generate much revenue on its own, and it's not particularly easy to manage. Try placing a statement on your blog inviting advertisers, and link that to contact information so they can approach you--but keep your response expectations low, and consider doing this as a supplement to another ad source. You'll have to negotiate your own pricing and terms, and you will probably want to charge a flat rate for a set amount of time; the CPM model (cost per 1000 impressions) used by ad networks doesn't really work on such a small scale. (You may be able to find a plugin for this if your blog is a self-hosted Wordpress one.) 

Ad networks:

Search for networks and find out how to apply; you may need to provide some blog stats. There are networks like Litbreaker, Blogads, and Riot New Media that specifically target book blogs. Networks may be able to work with bloggers who want more control over what ads appear on their blogs---for example, excluding certain advertisers or product classes, or showing geographically targeted ads.

  • How can bloggers be more appealing to advertisers and maximize their potential ad revenue?

A blog that consistently posts engaging, original content and has a clean, professional appearance will appeal to advertisers, and as previously mentioned, blogs with a well-developed speciality niche can do well.

moderator behind podium BEA Bloggers ArmchairBEA
Why didn't the moderator use the podium?
Photo by Sheila/Book Journey
Most ad networks have specific requirements about where ads need to be placed on a blog; usually, they must be at least partially "above the fold," or visible onscreen without scrolling. Some networks restrict or prohibit carrying ads from other sources, so it's very important to know the terms of your agreement with a network before you try to combine different types of ads. Then again, while it may seem counter-intuitive, exclusivity may be advantageous; your blog may be more attractive to advertisers if they know they won't be competing for views.

Mobile and social media are shifting the focus from traditional to "native" advertising, AKA sponsored posts. These generally pay a flat rate for a post that conforms to certain parameters; the specifics will depend on the subject and the sponsor. Sponsored posts that are consistent with your overall blog tone and topics can be effective as long as they retain your blog's voice (and include appropriate disclosures). There are several networks that offer sponsored-post opportunities for bloggers, including BlogHer Publishing NetworkClever Girls CollectiveCollective BiasMassive Sway/The SITS Girls, and TapInfluence. However, as yet, there are none that particularly cultivate book blogs. 

Thanks to Amber of Shelf Notes (and the Armchair BEA on-site team) and Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness for letting me use their session notes in preparing this post--I had the questions in hand, but no opportunity to take notes on the answers!