Amber & Arianna from ShelfNotes here to bring you the down low from the BEA Bloggers Conference. Check out the turnout:
|Johnson: "By the way, I made the world's stupided Powerpoint."|
I'm sad to say that neither of us have had the pleasure of reading Maureen Johnson and were pleasantly surprised by how adorable and funny she is. For those of you (like us) who aren't familiar with this Author, she has written over ten YA novels including the Little Blue Envelope series and her most recent Shades of London series. Not only was she cute and funny but you can tell she has strong convictions about many book industry-related issues going on, the most recent being a critical analysis of the 50 Shades of Grey book. If you venture over to read it, just remember to check out the reactions from others around the web. I think what endeared us to her the most was when she told us she is forced to work from the sofa because her new puppy Zelda (named after Zelda Fitzgerald & the video game) cries when she tries to sit at her desk. How cute is that!
Maureen was eminently quotable, and we jotted down some of her gems:
- On writing: "You create characters, make people up...and then punish them...make them suffer for being fake-alive."
- On being asked by the parent of a reader, "Do you think you do this [write books that make people suffer, apparently] because there's something wrong with you?", she responded with: "...Probably?"
- On blogging: "Writing a review is making something--a review is a piece of writing itself" and "Book bloggers call out the scare mongers in the traditional press."
- This was a quote she quoted from the "50 Shades" article mentioned above: "Tell me the books you read and I'll tell you who you are; tell me you read no books and I'll tell you there is no you." --William Giraldi
- There's so much to read out there, that Maureen says "It's a battle for eyeballs!"
- She is convinced there will be Internet Archaeologists in the future who will be able to dig up your entire internet history, which your grand-kids can then view (scary, huh?) - she imagines Indiana Jones. With the whip.
After the keynote speaker, everyone had the choice of going to different panels. We compiled a list of interesting take-a-way facts for everyone at home.
Design 201 Panel (Taking Your Blog to the Next Level) with Hafsah Faizal (IceyDesigns) & Dawid Piakowski (CEO of BookLikes)
Dawid had 5 tips (in this order) for every blog to follow.
5. Use Gifs (http://giphy.com)
4. Be Social - Share everywhere, interact with your readers.
3. Have a profile photo.
2. Show what you read. Have a bookshelf on your site.
1. Introduce yourself - Make it personal.
Some tips from Hafsah:
She pointed out that you want to "immediately evoke emotion or feeling - the need to come back" and that you want people to want to read what you have to say. She suggested using color schemes related to the theme of your blog (dark for fantasy, for instance) to evoke the feeling your blog wants to portray. She recommended kuler.adobe.com for some sample color schemes which the graphics giant suggests starting with. Additionally, she underlined that a logo is very important for your blog's branding.
The next panel we went to had Armchair's own Florinda Pendley Vasquez of The 3 R's Blog. The panel was very interesting and I think we'll let her tell you about this one in an upcoming Armchair post.
After lunch, we headed over to the Blogging & the Law Panel.
This panel was really informative, we both took away quite a few good tips and tricks.
- creativecommons.org is a useful licensing tool.
- plagiarismtoday.com has a tool that will let you run your URL through a search engine to tell if your work has been used elsewhere.
- Bloggers' rights can be found at www.eff.org/bloggers
- Legal guide for bloggers: www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal
- Make sure you renew your domain name, but if someone takes it from you, you can check with the ACPA laws if the buyer intends to profit from the domain in bad faith.
- Remember 4 things:
- Protect (your content)
- Inform (others how you want them to use your content)
- Police (what others are doing with your work)
- Respect (others' copyright)
- Generally a good rule of thumb is to ASK to use content, if you are able.
Lastly, we also got to see Armchair's Sheila DeChantal (Book Journey) speak on the Engaging Your Readers: Take Your Writing to the Next Level Panel.
I think we'll let the expert cover this panel on her own. The discussion was really interesting and fun though. We took a ton away from it.
The night ended with popcorn, books, beer, and Tiger Beat! Check them out:
Thanks for attending with us! Please feel free to comment and discuss any of the above with us.
|Amber and Arianna of Shelf Notes|