After a month of trying to adapt to my new working environment, of course, I need to reward myself and try to de-stress. What better way to do just that than to attend bookish events and meet my friends, both old and new. Today, I’m sharing with everyone a recap of my short but sweet experience in the recently concluded Philippine Readers & Writers Festival 2016 hosted by National Book Store.
As previously mentioned on my announcement post for this event, I was more than eager to attend the book blogging 101 panel, support my lovely friends, and try to learn a thing or two from them. I look up to these ladies for inspiration in hopes of being as successful as they are someday. In my eyes, they are indeed book blogging and bookstagraming royalty, so you can only imagine my excitement when I was there to listen to what they had to share on how to start, maintain, and have fun with a book blog! I’m summarizing some of the topics they had, and a few tips they were more than willing to share:
- In starting a book blog, choosing a platform is important since it’s where you’re going to spend most of your time drafting and publishing posts. Choose from WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and Blogspot. It’s advisable to try and create accounts with all social media platforms and see where you’re most comfortable with.
- Choosing your audience and genre to blog about may also help you in following a certain format or template in terms of drafting posts and customization. You can opt to blog for young adults, which I’m actually doing myself, and try a bit of everything in the process so that you won’t get tired of focusing on one scope from a wider perspective.
- Time Management is also a great tool in maintaining your blog after establishing yourself. Balance your time wisely between reading, blogging, and studying or working so that you don’t disregard anything in the process. Of course, education still comes first.
- Don’t treat book blogging as a requirement. Don’t pressure yourself to blog or draft if you’re not feeling the urge to do so. Creative juices won’t flow if you’re forcing yourself. Let the need come to you, and the rest will fall into place.
- If you can, try to maintain a good social media presence by making accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can maximize promoting your blog and it’s content. This, too, isn’t a requirement though, especially if you’re not up for maintaining multiple accounts at a time.
- As for bookstagraming, always remember that you will need to put in quite a lot of effort in making your photos look good: It’s advisable to invest on props, and be sure to experiment with different photo editing apps and filters so you’ll know how you want your feed to look like. People who will follow you will most likely remember you for your feed.
Here are the panelists! From left to right, that’s Eunice from Nerdy Talks Book Blog, Hazel from Stay Bookish, Kai from Amaterasu Reads, Kate from The Bookaholic Blurbs, and Lyra from Defiantly Deviant.
- Don’t take credit for someone else’s photo. It takes hours and at least 20 attempts to get the perfect shot, and it’s plain disrespectful. If you want to post someone’s photo, be sure to credit the owner. Same with book reviews or any other post. If you’ve gained inspiration from someone’s certain blog post, be sure to mention it on your post and link back to the blogger.
- Working with publishers is basically like a bonus after having to establish yourself and your blog. It isn’t just an automatic privilege that book bloggers have. Once you’re well established with a good number of followers and page views, you might want to go ahead and start writing to publishers in hopes of maybe collaborating with them in the future.
- ARCs or Advanced Reader Copies are strictly not for sale. Should you get your hands on them, never opt to have it sold for profit. The publisher didn’t earn anything from producing and sending you that copy. In fact, they actually spent more, so please never even think about selling those little pieces of treasure. If you want, you may opt to trade them with other books, lend them to others who’ve been anticipating it, or give it away.
- Always remember to be kind on social media. Don’t just promote your content. Try to help others promote theirs as well so your accounts won’t look too self-centered.
- You don’t need to have any literature background just to get yourself started. You just need the passion and the commitment, and you’re good to go!
The panel discussed more than just that, but I’ve only listed the ones that I think will really help those who would want to start their own book blog. Should you have any questions, you can always send them a tweet or message via their blogs or their Twitter accounts!
That’s me with Allie on my left, and Kat on my right.
I had an amazing time! I also got the chance to meet my internet friend Allie from A Literary Wanderer, and Kat who I’ve recently met on #BookwormsUnitePH 2016! We had great talks about Jennifer Niven, Nicola Yoon, Sarah J. Maas’ books, and tons more of super exciting topics over lunch!
After saying our goodbyes, I went to Anna Todd’s signing event held at Ballroom 2! I was a bit late, so I wasn’t able to catch anything about her or her books, but I was a bit impressed at how much her fans loved her. There were girls screaming with joy at how elated they are to have the chance to meet Anna Todd in real life! I had a friend’s copy signed, since I don’t have one of my own and so I have Gavin to thank for this photo of me and Anna Todd:
Don’t even ask why I have a flower as a face. The shot was so shitty, I actually looked scary af.
Feeling like there weren’t any more panels that I was interested in, I then went to Powerbooks Greenbelt to check if they have some interesting titles on sale with huge discounts! They have this ongoing sale where discounts range from 10 – 50% and I didn’t want to let my chance pass by, and I was so glad to have been able to snag a copy of Lang Leav’s new book: The Universe of Us, 30% off! Duuuuude! It’s a total steal!
All in all, it was more than just a fun day. It was a great end to a month of working, and I can’t wait for the next time that I’ll be seeing my friends and people from the bookish community!
Were YOU at The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival? How was your experience? Share your feels with me via the comment section!
Until the next one!