New Kids on the ‘Blog’: Promoting New Book Blogs

When I first started my life blog back in 2007, I was posting for almost an entire month before someone left a comment.  My daily stats were in the low single digits and I was discouraged.

I learned, trial by fire, how integral connecting with readers through my writing, tagging posts, and commenting meaningfully on other blogs was to helping grow my blog.  I eventually developed friendships and my stats and comments grew.  Blogging became more fun because of my friends, their feedback, and a sense of community.

When I decided to launch Book, Line, and Sinker in early 2009, I contacted a wonderful book blogger who I’d gotten to know through my life blog.  I asked her for some advice and she went above and beyond, writing an entire post promoting my new venture.  

With her introduction, my neophyte book blog’s stats spiked and I found myself warmly welcomed into the book blogging community.  That introduction made all the difference between my book blog languishing for months without an audience and my book blog finding a niche in such a great community.  While I do think that it’s marginally easier to break into book blogging than life blogging*, starting a new blog can be daunting no matter what your niche. 

Recently, this same blogger tweeted about a new book blog and asked that we pay a visit to welcome the new blogger.  All of these things, and BBAW, got me thinking about building community and engaging new (or under exposed) book bloggers who might not have the encouragement (through comments, chats, tweets, and emails) that others in the community enjoy. 

I’m not sure how (or if) promoting new book bloggers is a viable idea.  While developing Book, Line, and Sinker’s new layout and design, I’m toying with a widget for New Book Blog Promotion.  Here are other things I’m considering:

  • Have other book bloggers submit new book blog links to me via email and then host the links in my sidebar for a week
  • A monthly or bi-monthly post on my site with links promoting new book blogs 
  • A blogroll on my site devoted to new blogs 
  • Other bloggers hosting links or adding new blogs to their blogrolls 

As the book blogging community continues to grow, I’d love to give back by offering new bloggers  encouragement and exposure.  If you’d like to be a part of this, please let me know.  Have any ideas or suggestions?  Drop me a comment or email! 

*In my experience, book bloggers are, by nature, avid readers and are more willing to read posts and comment on them. 

Review: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

ManWhoLovesBooks_JKTF.inddTitle: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

Author: Allison Hoover Bartlett

Genre/Pages: Nonfiction/288

Publication: Riverhead Books; September 17, 2009

Rating: 4 BOOKMARKS

A riveting account of one man’s obsession with rare books, another man’s unrelenting efforts to catch him, and the woman who documented it all.

Persistent lying and stealing.  Check. Superficial charm.  Check. Lack of remorse or inability to care about hurting others.  Check. Narcissism and sense of extreme entitlement.  Check and CHECK.

John Charles Gilkey could be the poster child for Antisocial Personality Disorder and he’s fixated on rare books.  In him, Allison Hoover Bartlett finds an inconsistent and unreliable source who acts as her guide on a literary odyssey through the world of rare books and his obsession with possessing them through acts of fraud and theft.

Spending whole years researching Gilkey and Ken Sanders, the book dealer who made it his personal mission to catch him, Bartlett finds herself, at times, walking the fine line between right and wrong to get her story.  This conflict actually made the work all the more authentic and exciting.  Gilkey confides in her about crimes past and Bartlett wrangles with her conscience–should she report him and risk scaring him off, ending their professional relationship (and her research)?

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much details the world of rare books, making it seem enticing and almost seductive.  Each collector’s hunt for the book, the crowning jewel of his or her collection, keeps the dealers in business.  What used to be a rich, white man’s game is now seeing an influx of younger, more diverse collectors.

With colorful characters, steady pacing, tales of deception and illicit behavior, and dogged efforts to catch a criminal,  The Man Who Loved Books Too Much is an exciting, educational, and thoroughly entertaining read.  If you’re looking for a great nonfiction book for a challenge or just want a change of pace, I would recommend this book without hesitation.  Many thanks to Lydia at Riverhead for this review copy!

Do you collect rare or first edition books?  How about signed editions?  I have a few signed books–Jodi Picoult came to my local library a few years ago and signed two books for me and I went to Megan McCafferty’s book signing a few years ago at B&N.  I don’t have any rare or first edition books–the only old books I have are ones from my childhood that I keep for nostalgic reasons.

BBAW: We’re GOING Places!

Blog goal in 50 words or less?!  The pressure is Twitter-esque!

After months of stalking and waiting, I was finally able to snag the .com domain for Book, Line, and Sinker–a company that sells domain names had been sitting on it for a year!  Site will be up and running shortly!

http://www.booklineandsinker.com

soon

BBAW: Have you heard about…

A few months ago, I put out a plea to book bloggers for help with a personal reading challenge I was developing–Off The Deep End Summer Reading–and asked for suggestions of bloggers’ favorite books.  I turned to book bloggers rather than more traditional sources (New York Times Book List, Washington Post, etc) because I think we cover a broader spectrum; we’re not only reading best-sellers or books that have been marketed heavily. 

The response was overwhelming–over 30 titles–some I had read but most I hadn’t.  And so began my reading binge of GREAT BOOKS suggested by book bloggers.  I’ve only managed to get through eight of the 30 books so far, but it’s more fun to savor them!  (To view this list with LIVE links to the blogs and the books, click HERE.)  If your TBR pile ever gets low, stop by and take a look at my list again!

Here’s a (partial) snapshot of the original post with images of the suggested titles–my two favorites so far were The Help and The Gargoyle:

bk

List of book recommendations without links to blogs:

  1. Autobiography of a Fat Bride by Laurie Notaro (Erica of Pannonica) 6/11/09
  2. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (Vivienne of Serendipity)
  3. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Claire from Kiss a Cloud) 6/17/09
  4. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (Anastasia from Bird Brained Book Blog)
  5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Hayden from Through the Illusion)
  6. Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson (Dani at Positively Present)
  7. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Heather at Book Addiction)
  8. End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson (Keri at Bookends) 6/6/09
  9. Wise Children by Angela Carter (Veronica at I Lived On Rum)
  10. And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer (Lynn at Lynn’s Little Corner of the World)
  11. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Stephanie at The Written Word and Belle of the Books) 8/24/09
  12. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Jackie at Farm Lane Books)
  13. Namako: Sea Cucumber by Linda Watanabe McFerrin (Christy at The Daily Dish)
  14. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (Jena at Muse Book Reviews) 7/19/09
  15. One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash (Suzi Q Oregon at Whimpulsive)
  16. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (Florinda at The 3 Rs) 6/19/09
  17. One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon (Becky at My Thoughts…Your Thoughts)
  18. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (Belle from Ms. Bookish)
  19. Cloud Street by Tim Winton (Susan and Meredith from Whelan Flynn)
  20. The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart (Institutrice)
  21. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (Carrie K. from Books and Movies)
  22. The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread by Don Robertson (Bybee from Naked Without Books)
  23. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (Beth from Beth Fish Reads)
  24. Clown Girl by Monica Drake (Stephanie from Please, Stop Bouncing)
  25. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Claire from Kiss a Cloud)
  26. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Emily from The World Inside My Head)
  27. Popular Music in Vittula by Michel Niemi translated by Laurie Thompson (Chartroose from Bloody Hell, It’s a Book Barrage!)
  28. No One You Know by Michelle Richmond (Avisannschild from She Reads and Reads) 8/2/09
  29. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (Soft Drink from Fizzy Thoughts)
  30. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender (I spotted a review for this one on StephSu’s blog) 5/31/09