Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Networking:: Armchair BEA

Day 3's topic is networking off line. I'm afraid I'm not very good at this. I met a couple people at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books who are out in the Inland Empire area, where I live, and I've run into them at a few events out this way, once I learned about this great place called Mrs. Nelson's, one being one of the librarians for a near by city system. But mostly this is to recognize them and say hi. As I mentioned in my introduction, I am terribly introverted, so striking up a conversation is not natural to me (I never know what to say to the authors at the signings, especially when I haven't read their books yet).

My city is not a very literary city. We don't have any independent book stores that sell new books, except for the highly specialized ones (ie. church related book store) which I have no interest in. We have one Barnes and Noble, and they almost never have any author signings, and usually its author of books I have no interest in, or a local author published by a small publisher, that I never hear about their book again after the event has passed. I think the most interesting literary thing was probably when the local museum opened up an exhibit on Rin Tin Tin to tie in with the release of Susan Orlean's book, since he was from the area. And again with the whole introvertedness, I've not tried attending their book clubs.

My local library systems don't do very many events with authors, so I've been heading to the Ontario City Library, who has held a couple YA-MG events in the last month, and Mrs. Nelson's Bookstore. Not the most convenient, but sure beats heading to the Grove where it seems like most author events are held.


The Cozy Reader said...

Sounds like my story! We have a super smal independant book store inside our local Hallmark so my IRL networking is not very detailed, just like you!

Here are my posts so far for Armchair BEA:

Day 1 | Introduction
Day 2 | Best of 2012
Day 2 | Giveaway | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Day 3 | Networking

Kristina D @NewBorrowedUsed said...

I don't even have a B&N near me. Any signings are hours away so haven't been to any yet.

Vikk Simmons said...

I don't think signings are as prevalent as they once were, although they still occur. Even with the problems you have, it's great that you continue to try. Sometimes it takes a while for that spark and connection to happen.

I'm very introverted myself with a 100% Meyers Briggs score as an introvert, but I learned to get around it. I pretend. I just put a different hat and look at what I'm about to do as a task or part of a job so that when I give a speech, conduct a meeting, or whatever, it's a job that has to be done. For that moment I have just enough of an extrovert summoned to get me through. Apparently it works. The only place where I have major problems is with parties. I guess I just can't conquer that chit chat chasm. :)

TheHouseworkCanWait said...

Some events are better than no events! And as a fellow introvert, I know how weird and scary it can be to talk to people. I personally am terrified of it, but sometimes force myself to do it anyway. I hope you're able to meet some people you are comfortable with!

Here's my Armchair BEA Networking Post!!

Layoffthebooks said...

It's too bad that you don't get many events in your city. You could try to start up something yourself, maybe you'll find a hidden group of book lovers! :)

TheHouseworkCanWait said...

I'm sorry you don't have much in your city! Maybe one day you'll be able to travel to a really awesome event.

Thanks for stopping by my Armchair BEA Networking Post!

Sarah Williams said...

Here, it seems many signings are in West LA. When the Times used to list them in the paper, it was really easy to predict (used to be at a Sherman Oaks B&N, which apparently has closed). With traffic, those would be almost an all day event. The ones done with Mrs. Nelson's shop are small, and an hour is reasonable drive I think.

Small talk is evil. I hate that, so I hate parties, even when its sort of relatives. So I was pretty shocked that I didn't have as much trouble talking to people at the Festival of Books when I went. Maybe its the common interests? For work I tend run through my mental script to get through phone calls. It does help, having some sort of system.

Sarah Williams said...

Starting one myself might be hard, being introverted. I just noticed my county library has an adult book club for the summer. Maybe I will try that out. The whole majority rules so this is what the club reads thing could be a problem for me.

Sarah Williams said...

That makes it hard. There needs to be more new independent book stores! Although, out here I've heard some authors doing signings in area Costcos, so maybe the unconventional locations will spread.

Sarah Williams said...

Yikes, that's got to be a pitiful selection of books