What do I say about this day?
I could gush about the warm and friendly faces-of-blogs that I met (too many to list), or thank Robin endlessly for all the hard work that she did, or even gabble about the authors that I forced to sign my Planet Esme poster (ironically, only Esme Raji Codell herself was left out, as she was circulating the room with cookies rather than being parked at her spot signing books and chatting like everyone else).
But I figure that a majority of the people reading this blog were there, so they don’t need a reiteration of what are sure to be their own feelings. Instead, I’ll talk about what I came away with.
Link, baby, link
One of the discussions was on how to promote your blog without being completely obnoxious, led by MotherReader, arguably the queen of self-promotion and blog community in this sphere. She pointed out that not only should you thank other bloggers for heads-up on neat stuff by linking to their websites, when someone does the same for you, you should go thank them.
Various sites were thrown around to help keep track of linkiness. Technorati, Statcounter, and an RSS-ized Google search are all ones I’m going to put into use.
Turns out that getting ARCs (advance reader copies) is basically a matter of writing publishers or authors and begging. I practiced on PJ Haarsma, Ellen Klarges, Julie Halpern, and Micol Ostow and others . . . and it worked! Also, when you’re at conferences, if you let people know you have a kidlit blog, they are much more responsive now than they would have been even a year ago.
Just Keep Writing
Finally, the good blogger (like the good writer in general) just has to blog every day. Whether it’s writing more reviews, joining in on stuff like the 48-hour Read or the memes that go around constantly, or just putting up fun stuff that you’ve found on other blogs, you’ve got to keep cranking out the content.
This is by no means everything I took away. Not by a long shot. It's just the most important stuff.
Special "HI" to all the people I hung out with the most, like Ellen Klages, Brian Mandabach, Fuse #8's Betsy, Susan of Wizard's Wireless, Kristen from 2ndgenlibrarian, a really cool chick with "Celery Soda" written on her nametag (I don't remember your name and Google is failing me on your blog! Comment if this is you), and Barbara Shoup.
Super-special thanks to Jen Robinson, who lent me her brand-new copy of Robin McKinley's Dragonhaven when I begged and whined, and Kathy, who gave me a ride to the train station at 11:00 at night.
I loved meeting you all and thank you everyone for a fine, fine conference. See you next year in Portland!
ETA: So apparently, Celery Soda is one Lisa Chellman, which proves that Barbara Shoup is much more observant than I am, as she noted the name in her report, hosted over at The Flux Blog. Sorry about that, Lisa!