Sadly (and yet...) I have to leave the Conference today. No more name tags on a lanyard around my neck to make me cringe as people bend to study them (or, worse, for me to forget, and then wander around Beverly Hills advertising my name like a dork), and no more of the word 'Faculty' reminding me that I should be more helpful and assist people in finding their conference rooms (okay, I'd do that anyway, but this time people actually looked to me. Which was sad, since I actually walked into a dead-end hallway trying to find an exit. Twice.). Probably the nicest thing about being a screen name instead of a real-life person will be the lack of cameras (ahem). I hate to leave early, because there's still so much great stuff, but final revisions for my next novel (!!!!) -- and preparing for a massive garage sale -- beckon.
Since the haze of horror from actually having to speak in public is somewhat fading, I've been analyzing what we said -- and what I dearly wished we'd had a chance to cover... and cover again... and cover again... and repeat (but it was only an hour, thankfully... and alas). These are a few points I would wish anyone wanting to know about the kidlitosphere blogworld to ponder:
1.) There is a difference between we bloggers who are writers, and bloggers who are readers and reviewers and book 'recommenders' - and a difference between booksellers and librarians and parents and teachers. We have different points of view. We introduced ourselves to indicate to you where we came from in our different walks of life. We are not all the same. There is, however, a similarity as well. We. All. Love. Books. That's why the kidlit blogosphere exists.
2.) Our talk was not about what blogging could do for you. Our talk was about what blogging and the kidlitosphere has done for us. There is still time to attend a session by C.L. Smith (or Roxyanne Young or any of the people who list blogging and finance together) and get more of the other angle. Check your Conference schedule.
3.) Our talk was not a how-to of blogging, and we're really sorry if people came to our presentation expecting a network lesson. Do a search on 'how to blog' or check blogger.com for step-by-step details to create your own. We learned by trial and error -- we firmly believe that you can, too.
4.) We never intended to provide marketing assistance to any one population (we're lookin' at YOU, Oz.). We do not presume to have read all the books in the world, including yours, so any confrontational accusation that we haven't reviewed your book? Means... nothing. We still might not review your book. We don't run a review service. However. Many bloggers in the kidlitosphere are contacted regularly by publishers and have books sent to them. We love books, and we're always happy to get more. This does not constitute any kind of agreement to review your book, advertise for you, or ... anything, really. Which leads me to another thought, which is not really a point, but more of a soapbox rant from observing some weird interactions yesterday, so we won't count it:
(Aside:) Blogging is a largely anonymous pursuit. As the moon only shows one face, so do you only know one facet of any blogger you 'think' you know. For instance, Nerdfighter you may know yourself to be, you do not know John Green. Cult of Castellucci? I'm all over it. But you won't see me running up to the poor woman and flinging myself at her. I'm just sayin'.
5.) Our corner of the kidlitosphere is more about dialoguing about children's literature, because that is our area of interest to us, than it is about any particular aspect of our professional careers - developing or promoting ourselves as authors. As authors, we tend to be inward looking, and focus so closely on our own work that we lose sight of the rest of our milieu. Blogging helps me, at least, balance that laser-focus with a view of other worlds, other books and styles I might not encounter, and other people.